Internships in the Hospitality Industry

What Students Want and What the Industry Needs

By Leora Halpern Lanz President, LHL Communications | June 04, 2017

Co-authored by Jovanna Fazzini, Assistant Director of Finance and Accounting, Boston Marriott Cambridge Hotel

Hospitality schools and industry professionals have been working together to provide internship experiences that introduce students to different sectors of the hospitality industry, as well as expose students to the corporate culture and skills required by companies the student could eventually work with post-graduation. But if industry professionals and students are to leverage one another's abilities and resources for a successful internship experience, understanding underlying desires and motivations is key.

The Student Perspective: What do Students and Recent Hospitality Grads Want in an Internship?

Today's hospitality students pursue internships to test the waters of an industry segment for which they are interested in working post-graduation. For example, Oliver Tang, recent Cornell Hospitality graduate and now analyst at Horwath HTL in Atlanta, knew the company presented an ideal internship opportunity for him, thanks to his interests in feasibility and development planning.

"I had recognized my strengths and interests in development planning while taking a feasibility class at Cornell," shares Oliver. "So before I connected with Horwath HTL I had an idea that this was something I wanted to do. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to live as an industry professional in development planning through assisting in feasibility studies."

Yoshihiro Kanno, recent graduate of Florida International University and former analyst with HVS in Chicago, also pursued the internship to test the waters of his field of interest- consulting and valuation services. Yoshihiro also noted his ability to grasp the corporate culture while interning. "The culture attracts intelligent and motivated individuals. I am challenged every day, and the environment is extremely supportive. Everyone is always willing to help."

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close
Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.