Choosing a university degree is far from easy and finishing one is an achievement in itself, especially within the hospitality industry which demands a working commitment, in and outside of the lecture theatre.
Hospitality is an industry that immediately ticks all the boxes in terms of stimulating students through robust degree courses, which usually involve a year’s placement of ‘on the job’ experience. This depth of study allows graduates to gain a wealth of experience before completing their degree course, putting them in a great position when looking for jobs once finished university.
This article will take a look at some of those avenues; paying attention to particular skills that as a graduate, you can sharpen and develop to increase your employability in the hospitality world.
According to Prospects, the hospitality sector is the second largest employer in the UK, so your decision to study it at university may have been a wise one, having possibly reaped the benefits of immediate employment that the industry offers.
We spoke to a hospitality recruiter, Andrew Duffy, from the recruitment agency Mise en Place to gain some insights into the various roles in the industry, along with some information to help you along in your career.
Following on from our Pursuing a Career in Retail article last week, we spoke to Kathy Allison, the Head of HR at boohoo.com to talk about her role and graduate opportunities within the retail industry.
I got my first management role in the hospitality sector at Moat House Hotels where I then went on to join Radisson Blu as a People Development Manager. I worked across a number of HR roles so this really gave me a great understanding of the industry.
My friend actually saw this position at Boohoo advertised and thought I’d be perfect for it with my experience and love for fashion. When I first started at Boohoo there was no HR team so I have seen this business grow from strength to strength which is really exciting. I now head a group of 7 people within the HR team with nearly 700 employees across head office and the main distribution centre.
As Head of HR, my days are always varied as I oversee all the different HR roles at Boohoo. I could be focusing on the recruitment side of HR and interviewing candidates for our senior position, supporting with any employee issues or attending meetings with directors.
I stumbled in to HR, or Personnel as it was then! What really excited me and engaged me was the sheer variety of the work and the ability to really support and make a difference to the business.
Many of our roles are those which people have chosen as a career – buying, design, marketing, IT for example. It’s therefore certainly usual to find that strong candidates have a relevant degree and have often combined this with a period of internship during their studies. Competition for many of these roles can be fierce. Having said that there are also opportunities for people to move around within our organisation and we do value experience.
Often depends on the candidate and the level of the role. For entry level positions, having the right degree is certainly an advantage. When it comes to senior positions we of course also look for the track record of proven success.
Fashion inspires people. It’s fast paced and creative. There may be times when people are attracted by the glamour also, and at times it can be, but it’s also important to understand that it can be tough and hard work too.
For HR – know the function from the ground up. Be prepared to think and act commercially to support the business you are in, and understand that the results you generate and the culture you provide for your employees are more important than bureaucracy. For fashion – be clear about where you want to get to. Accept there will be competition and seize every opportunity for experience and exposure to build your portfolio and CV.
Continuing our focus on graduates and pay, we sat down with the founder of Neil’s Recruitment, a specialist digital media recruiter, to get his views on graduate prospects in the sector.
As Neil explains, while starting salaries are not as high as traditionally lucrative sectors such as law or finance, digital is attracting growing numbers of the brightest graduates.
In this video Neil discusses the outlook for graduates entering the market, the possibilities for progression, and some tips for impressing at application and beyond.
After our graduates and pay article revealed last week that the UK has seen a 4.6% increase in graduate hiring in the last year and the average starting salary is £29,000, we decided to have a look at some of the top graduate schemes and how they compare in terms of role, requirements, and salaries.
Various career paths are open to chemical or mechanical engineers at ExxonMobil, the UK’s oil and gas supplier. For chemical engineering graduates looking to take the refining, chemicals and EMEEL programme, you will undertake a range of project and technology roles and an assignment at a European refinery to broaden your experience before moving to other refineries and top global positions.
If you don’t have an engineering degree, the ExxonMobil graduate programme also offers roles within the HR and information technology departments where you don’t need to have an engineering degree.
Starting salary: From £36,000
Entry Requirements: 2.1 Degree in Engineering
Career options with GSK’s two to three year graduate training scheme vary considerably but they are tailored to suit a graduate’s ambitions and underpinned by a line manager and a mentor. There are three year programmes for scientists with a passion for healthcare which provide experience of different roles and working environments in labs around the firm, while for those with strong verbal and writing skills there are other roles in the communications department.
Starting salary: Between £27,000- £29,000
Entry Requirements: 2.1 Degree in relevant area
The IBM graduate scheme looks for Business Specialists and Software Engineers to provide commercial and technical support to its clients.
As a Business Specialist you’ll look for ways to make a client’s firm more efficient, while a Technical Solutions Specialists will develop software to solve a client’s business or IT issues. Whichever area you choose, training takes the form of formal career development Continue reading “Life after University – Top 10 Destinations for Graduates” »
When you think of retail, the first thing that springs to mind might be working in the stockroom or on a till; basically a means to an end during your student life, but this is not the whole story.
The fact is the retail industry employs nearly 2.8 million people and makes up around 11% of the total UK workforce according to the UK Retail Figures Report 2012 by Datamonitor. As well as the huge workforce, the retail industry also brings in a staggering amount of money through retail sales; a study from the British Retail Consortium estimates that the retail industry draws in over £311 Billion from sales alone!
With figures like these it is hard to pass by the range of opportunities available to graduates within the retail sector.
As we continue to explore graduates and pay, this article will focus on Continue reading “Pursuing a Career in Retail: Exploring the roles on offer” »