Becoming an Asset Within the Hospitality Industry

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


First Advisor

Rebecca Overmyer-Velasquez


The demand of employment within the hospitality industry gives us an incomplete picture as to what competencies are required from recent college graduates to consider them proficient enough to immerse into a highly skilled work environment. Young individuals from the ages of 18 to 25, are interested in going into this industry, but are not hired enough. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we see a gap among hospitality workers in which recent college graduates don’t form a substantial percent of the overall work force. There has been little to no research done that suggests that upon the completion of a college career, individuals need to add work experience to curriculum in order to become a valuable asset within this labor sector. So we begin to wonder: What is going on here? Is the lack of hiring due to a preparation gap based on their college experience or has the layout for requirements changed over time? In order for my completed research to serve as a guide to recent college graduates, it is necessary for me to gain insight on hotel upper management positions: what are graduates missing? What are they really looking for when hiring new employees? By examining what hotel management finds most important in regards to preparation, I intend to highlight these competencies in order for endeavoring employees to find these suggestions useful and be able to apply them to their professional etiquette. Upon analyzing some of the literature presented on the subject of hospitality, involved the use of surveys and interviews in order to expand my results. I interviewed seven individuals who hold high management positions in hotels throughout Southern California and handed out surveys to twelve random recent college graduates. Based on my analysis, upper management in hotels considers a college education vital, but not sufficient compared to other skills you may have been able to acquire elsewhere. As a result, the data I gathered demonstrates that although a college degree is enforced upon applying to a job in the hospitality industry, the compilation of your outside experience will play an equally determining role. Outside skills- such as hospitality training courses and entry positions in the hospitality branch, will be able to boost your overall probability of landing an interview and subsequently a position in this industry.


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