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Dont pick hospitality tourism AKA hotel management

BigD124BigD124 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
I chose Hotel Management as my major and it was the biggest mistake of my life. It wasn't until my last semester until my teacher, who I had multiple times before in previous classes, said that it takes TEN years for someone to get promoted to a first line manager and then ANOTHER ten years till you get promoted to a decent job such as GM.

Not only that but my school never told me that the vast majority of hotels are actually ran by management companies. Unless these aren't a top of the line, huge hotel, of which a big city will probably have like five of, these hotels will be bought and sold every two years or so. The new owners will have their own management company, who will hire their own GM. The new GM will bring his own director of sales and perhaps a few other managers. This makes it difficult to get promoted and turnover VERY prevalent. When you get laid off you have to find work in another state.

Furthermore, your education is WORTHLESS. It would have been much more beneficial to work the four years instead of obtaining the four year degree. You obtain no skill from college.

Plus, there are a number of other factors that I knew before getting into the industry but still took its turn on me after awhile:

Pay is terrible for entry level employees and first line managers.

Working nights and 99% of weekends in my case. It was very rare that I got either Saturday or Sunday off but there was a few exceptions and I note one below.

Get used to working 3-11PM one night and 7AM - 3PM the next day.

It is not uncommon to get called into work on your days off when people call off.

Forget about holidays off. In my year and a half working in the industry, I worked two Christmases, two Thanksgivings, two New Year's Eve, and two New Year's day during my tenure. To be fair, I did get one Easter off.

Not having two consecutive days off was the norm for me.

Customers abuse you. Getting yelled at was anything but uncommon.

If customers don't like you, they can report their experience on travel sites. This didn't happen to me but it did to a couple of my coworkers.

Customers make up complaints, usually in an attempt to get free stuff, and play you like a fool.
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Replies to: Dont pick hospitality tourism AKA hotel management

  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 21,844 Forum Champion
    I do know people who are happy in the industry and I'm sorry you are not one of them. I think it generally understood in the hospitality industry (not just hotel management but also things like restaurant management, chef, party planning etc.) that the hours will be irregular with an a lot of nights, weekends, and holidays -- in essence your busiest times are when people with 9-5 jobs want to play. If you are unhappy perhaps your should consider another career path.
  • arc918arc918 Registered User Posts: 701 Member
    Hospitality is what I describe as "high volume, high risk."

    You are working the front desk at a hotel with 500+ rooms, every person who arrives it only taking ONE vacation (business trip, event, etc.). So it's a routine transaction on your end, but a very important transaction on the other side. Perhaps it's even worse in a world of social media.

    Some people certainly love the industry, just a matter of personal preference. Not my cup of tea. If I'm dealing with high risk transactions, I want it to be low volume.

  • BigD124BigD124 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    edited June 2016
    I chose a new career path some time ago. May I ask what it is that they like about the industry? Of course, I am talking about hotels and hotels only. It's one thing to expect to work irregular hours, nights, weekends, and holidays, as I noted in the OP, but it is something else with the amount of time it takes to pay your dues and the enormous high amount of turnovers which I was not aware of.

    The turnover is absurd in the hotel industry. I know of so many people that got laid off, fired, quit, etc. My first GM got laid off and ended up working in five different states in five years time. I felt bad for his kids who had to keep leaving their friends behind. The hotel I worked for changed management companies three times in my two years of employment.

    There were plenty of people who had these silly degrees in hotel management and cannot stand two weeks working at the front desk.

    I don't think that anyone can argue my point that the degree is worthless. Perhaps, it would be beneficial to have a college degree when someone is applying for a high management position but it certainly doenst have to be a degree with a concentration in hotel management.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 21,844 Forum Champion
    edited June 2016
    @BigD124 One of my S's friends graduated with a hotel management degree a few years ago. Through the last couple of years of college he interned and worked part time at the hotel he is currently at. He was moved up to a manger level in what he though was a very reasonable/fast amount of time. enjoys working with clients and solving problems (has some great stories), has traveled a good bit with the company (training, visiting other hotels in the chain etc.). No aspect of any job is perfect and I personally would not choose the hotel industry due to the hours, but he certainly seems to have found his niche at least for now. To each his/her own!

    Glad you moved on and hopefully you have found a career path that works better for you.
  • BigD124BigD124 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    @happy1 How long did he work at the front desk before getting promoted?

    The one front desk manager I worked with would show up at 7AM and leave at around 630 PM Monday-Friday. I doubt he got paid more than 35K. In what I presume was an effort to make ends meet, he worked at a gas on weekends and holidays.

    The GM, who didn't like him and had no idea what he was doing, fired him just weeks before Christmas that year. A year later, that poor guy was still pumping gas for a living and still couldn't find a job in the hotel industry.

    At 55 years old, he should have been thinking about retirement and NOT finding another job. Furthermore, had he of chosen a different career path, he probably would have made a lot more over his lifetime and could have already taken his retirement.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 21,844 Forum Champion
    edited June 2016
    @BigD124 I'm not here to argue with your about the pros and cons of a career in hotel management. I get that you were unhappy with that career and moved on. That was clearly the right move for you. But that doesn't mean that everyone in the field would have the same unhappy experience you did at your hotel nor does it make a hotel management career wrong for everyone else. I'm not discounting your opinion or anything you experienced, but just trying to show another perspective.

    I don't think I have anything else to add to this thread.
  • BigD124BigD124 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    @happy1 I wasn't arguing with you. I just wanted to know how long it took your friend to get promoted.
  • briank82briank82 Registered User Posts: 1,115 Senior Member
    Perhaps explore other jobs within the tourism industry?

    My wife graduated several years back with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. She works for a DMO (destination marketing organization) and she essentially sells/markets a county internationally. She, for the most part, loves her job. She also travels with the hotels of the county we live in, who are selling/marketing their properties internationally, as are local recreation companies.

    I have no idea what your curriculum looks like, but perhaps you can take your knowledge of what you've learned and do something like this? If you want to be a GM of a hotel perhaps this isn't the route, but it's a good job, makes decent money, and aside from travel, you'll have regular hours.
  • BigD124BigD124 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    @briank82 Good advice. Hopefully, the recent grads in hotel management who will quickly find out how horrible it is can take your advice to heart and find a decent job.
  • prof2dadprof2dad Registered User Posts: 694 Member
    Leisure and lodging industry is a tough industry. The average pay (with or without a bachelor degree) is quite low. Many (particularly smaller) employers do not think they need managers who are university-trained. As a result, not too many universities has such degree.

    To make things worse, the deans or the department chairs at some of these programs have tried to expand their domain into other business disciplines (potentially to improve their placement records or to obtain more resources, I suppose) but without adequate investments. It leads to adverse impacts on their reputation. For example, an ivy league university has such a hotel management school in which it has a finance group. Finance professors are known to be very expensive, but the school does not or cannot pay enough to get ivy-level faculty members. The professors and the administrators at other universities, of course, know about this eventually and subsequently revise downward their reputation assessment on this ivy league university and its hotel management school.

    Having said so, hotel management major can be a good major for right kind of students who love personal interaction. It is also a major that may opens up the possibility of developing your professional career in many foreign countries that you want to explore.
  • BigD124BigD124 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    @prof2dad I'm not sure where you're getting the impression that not too many colleges have a hotel management degree. In my city alone, there are probably half a dozen colleges.

    The major is worthless. If they want to interact with customers apply to a number of local hotels. I'm sure they'll eventually be hired as turnovers are so high in this line of work. I went to the sixth best school in the entire USA for this major and I can assure you that no hotel called me up and made me an offer after I graduated. To my knowledge, neither did any of my classmates with this major. EXPERIENCE is key.

    If anyone out there want to interact with customers then choose one of the many other options.

    To all you college students out there, make sure you get a skill out of college. Do not end up with a ton of debt and nothing to show for it.
  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    my teacher, who I had multiple times before in previous classes, said that it takes TEN years for someone to get promoted to a first line manager and then ANOTHER ten years till you get promoted to a decent job such as GM.

    Lol, this applies to ANY industry . Why would you think otherwise?

    Millennial conceit...


  • BigD124BigD124 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    @GMTplus8 I noted more than 10 points in my OP and you point out one you have issue with. In other industries it does NOT take two decades till you have a decent job. The first decade in the hotel industry you're going to be struggling mightily making front desk salary and forget about a social life as you will have to be on call 24 hours a day in order to get promoted. Making just 9-10 dollars an hour or so after years on the job is not typical for someone with a college degree. There are some who get paid just minimum wage to start.

    First line managers do not usually get paid well either. $35K after 15 years in the industry is just sad. I feel like I am being lenient with my estimation.

    Lastly you do not know I am a millennial. There are plenty of people who go to college late in life. Talk about ignorant.
  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    Talk about ignorant.

    Call me ignorant? I'm not the ignorant one. I don't work in that industry, and I already knew that it takes a couple of decades to become GM of a luxury hotel

    I have a friend who is a GM for the Mandarin Oriental chain. He didn't make to that position until his oldest child was in HS.


  • BigD124BigD124 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    edited June 2016
    @GMTplus7 As I said in my previous post, my anger with the industry isn't that it takes two decades to become a GM. It's that it takes that long until you have any decent paying job at all. As far as I know, the first line managers are paid quite poorly. Is college worth it if someone has to put in maybe 20 years of dues before they finally get paid well?

    I know one guy with experience is making just minimum wage at a high end resort and needs his parents to wire him money to pay for rent. You don't think he regrets his college major? Would you do that for a decade, heck even half that, before you get to be making just 30K or so?

    Plus, if you do get promoted to GM, you're still at risk of being replaced every couple years or so when new management companies take over the hotel. To be fair, this isn't the norm for luxury hotels but they're the outlier.
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