Hospitality Management - a Humanitarian Approach to Business Education

Hospitality Management - a Humanitarian Approach to Business Education
14 Dec 2020

We’re living in the age of choice, freedom and possibilities. The millennial mindset has transformed the business landscape. Business today is about delivering a great experience as much as a good product. Businesses are spending millions on humanizing their brand – and even more on hiring people who can translate that into the consumer experience.

The companies flourishing the most in today’s landscape are praised for not just what they’re selling – but how they’re selling it. And, even more importantly, how they retain their customers afterward. Good brands sell a good product. Great brands build a relationship with their consumer and make them feel good for buying their product.

It’s all about the humanity of both company and consumer

Hospitality, at the very core of its essence, is about making someone feel welcome, at-ease, and joyous. The way we treat guests in our home is the same way we should be treating customers – if we want to see them again, that is. If the person selling you a pair of shoes genuinely listens to you, makes you feel heard and makes you feel looked after, you’re bound to go back the next time you need a new pair, or at least tell your friends about it.

If, on the other hands, it was impossible to get any help, or, even worse, you felt like you were being done a favor by the assistant, you’ll not walk out and never come back, you’ll make sure your entire network knows to avoid the store, too. The same principle applies to big-budget corporations. Whether you’re buying a new sports car, going on a holiday, attending an event or heading off for a meeting – you’re more likely to remember the way the experience made you feel rather than what happened. And that’s where the world of hospitality management truly comes in.

The hospitality factor – raising humanist, socially responsible entrepreneurs

To break it down, hospitality management consists of a primarily business focused education with extra. All in all, a hospitality management curriculum shares a majority of its modules with a standard BBA. Students learn marketing, finances, economics, human resource management, law & ethics, strategy, entrepreneurship and other business fundamentals, with business cases and special focus placed on hotels, resorts and leisure management scenarios. What sets hospitality graduates apart from traditional BBA pass-outs, however, is the ‘hospitality’ factor.

As an education that focuses on the art of celebrating humanity and all cultures, students are prepped with a unique skill set. Due to more and more hospitality brands being aware of their carbon footprint, students learn about sustainability and environmental issues. As hospitality is a rapidly changing industry and they’re been prepared for embracing change and working around it – they’re being given an entrepreneurial mindset. They’re tutored invaluable soft skills, cultural sensitivity and social responsibility. They’re being taught people skills like communication, attention to detail, leadership, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution – plain old simple manners and savoir-être.

Experiencing the ‘real world’ while still in college

All too often, great schools prep up graduates with the best in theoretical knowledge and book smarts and send them on their way after graduation. Graduates then soon come to realize there’s a lot more to the real world than just being really, really good at the theory of business. Reciting the five P’s of marketing won’t get you that promotion, nor will it help diffuse a stressful situation at work. Many of us have learned how to navigate the professional world through trial and error and sheer experience.

It’s normal to look back at our early years entering the working world and cringe – and that’s okay. Hospitality management students, on the other hand, are privileged to have a curriculum that has them spend up to a year working with brands and corporations before they even graduate. Whether it’s an internship or business project, the curriculum introduces them to the ‘real working world’, its processes and hierarchies and social intricacies, giving them a massive leg up on students who don’t get to experience that until after they’ve finally landed their first placement.

Better yet, it also helps students make their mind up on what they actually want to do before they graduate – saving them the months or even years of post-graduation professional fumbling students often go through.

A great starting point for the rest of your career

Hospitality management shares most of its DNA with a business degree. However, it’s got the added bonus of actually making a point of teaching its graduates charisma, charm and sheer likability. As another added bonus, the hospitality and tourism industry has more than doubled in the last 20 years – and is set to do the same over the next 20. That’s 1 in every 10 jobs everywhere.

Hospitality graduates, possessing the skill set of a business graduate with the social skills of someone with considerable time in the working world, flourish across banking & finance, event management, start-ups, restaurants, luxury lifestyle & retail, consulting – and every other landscape that requires business knowledge and great people skills – which, in today’s world is almost everywhere.

To keep things simple, how many 18-year-olds really, truly know what they want to do for the rest of their life? The answer is not many. And that’s okay. How many of us still aren’t sure at twice that age? (By the way, that’s also okay.)

If there’s one thing that would help ease the stress of this part of a student’s and their parents’ life is knowing that they will have good career options once they graduate. They’ll have a portfolio of skills that will make them employable and in demand with employers. They’ll find a livelihood, a good career, and, in turn, they’ll find their passion. It’s okay to not be sure of the final destination just yet – but choosing an education like hospitality management can help you get to some very exciting and rewarding destinations while you figure it out.

By Kunal Vasudeva – COO and Founder Member at the Indian School of Hospitality

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