How to get work experience in hospitality, leisure and travel
If you’re considering a career in hospitality when you graduate, it’s important to start gaining relevant work experience as early as possible. This is even more important if you’re not studying a directly relevant subject, such as a hospitality degree. Our advice article on
how to get work experience in hospitality explains your work experience options in detail.
Some of the big hospitality, leisure and tourism employers run internships that are open to both hospitality and non-hospitality students. If you’re considering a career in this area, it’s worth bearing in mind that practical, hands-on work experience is highly valued by employers, so it’s important to explore your options and make sure you develop the skills employers are looking for.
Key skills you need to develop through hospitality work experience
When it comes to applying for graduate jobs in hospitality, employers will be particularly interested in evidence of the following skills:
You’ll also need to know all about the industry and show real enthusiasm for working in hospitality. Our
guide to key hospitality employers provides a useful overview of companies in this area that could offer work experience or relevant part-time jobs, and, further down the line, might offer graduate job opportunities that you will be interested in.
Our tips on the top ten skills for getting a job in hospitality will give you more insights into what employers are looking for.
Hospitality internships and other work experience options
Here are some of the ways you could develop the skills and experience that you’ll need for a career in hospitality, leisure and tourism:
- formal internship or year in industry
- part-time job in a local restaurant
- short work experience placement with a hotel group
- volunteering to organise fundraising events for a charity
- taking time out to work in the industry, for example by working at a summer camp or in an events assistant job.
You’ll find that hotels, music venues, ski resorts, theme parks and cruise liners offer a range of opportunities to gain hospitality work experience. You could also consider front of house roles and positions in administration and marketing with hospitality, leisure and tourism companies.
What to expect from work experience in hospitality, leisure and travel
If you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment with lots of people contact, you might find that a work experience placement in hospitality, leisure and tourism confirms that this is the right choice of industry for you.
There are plenty of different areas of work in hospitality, leisure and tourism to choose from, including the following:
Use your extracurricular activities to develop your skills
If you’re interested in events management or planning, joining a society at university could give you the chance to develop relevant skills. If you get involved in proposing, planning and running events for the group, you’ll be able to show that you can take a project and manage and promote it within budget.