“Even Eagles Need a Push”

Change is a necessary, inevitable part of living and is best handled through embracing the change.  Change causes shift and is the wellspring of new opportunities.

Have you been pushed in your career role or have you pushed another in their role in order to grow or improve?  I would like to hear from you.  Contact me at kathleen@hospitalityeducators.com.

Are you ready for change or do you need a PUSH?   Watch this inspiring 3-minute video by clicking the link below:

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Embracing Change

Learning is exciting and fun (even with the discomfort in learning new skills that are at first difficult). Learning is crucial for everyone, regardless of age. We grow our mind’s knowledge and renew our spirit’s freshness with learning. Our skills increase. Our ability to compete and survive is enhanced through learning something new.

In the process of building the hospitalityeducators.com website, which is an ongoing process with many learning curves, we have had to master new skills continually. The technical learning curves are uncomfortable and numerous, but they are a must. We do not know what we do not know, so we ask and are willing to keep on asking in order to reach our business goals.

Mastering new skills increases the professional’s value in the workplace and the marketplace. The position of today while working in company A will be different tomorrow whether still working for Company A or a new Company B. One market may shrink or disappear while another emerges. We all need to retain the flexibility needed to adapt or change. I recommend you read Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson if you have not already.

Share what you are doing to learn new skills right now in order to advance your hospitality career tomorrow. Write to: kathleen@hospitalityeducators.com.

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Starting Out in a Hospitality Career

Two burning questions need to be asked and answered on a daily basis. They are: 1) What do I want? and 2) What do I need?

Fulfill your needs while you focus on your wants. Doing this holds the vision for the future before you. Too many dreams are lost due to lack of vision or lack of active attention to the vision.

If you have never created a vision board before, now is the perfect time. Take a square of cardboard, a poster, a mirror or a bulletin board (either cork or french style) and affix words and pictures that capture the direction you want to go in terms of needs and wants for your career and life. Magazines are a great source for printed words and pictures. Use your imagination. A particular fortune from a Fortune Cookie, for example, may be included in your board along with your list of goals. Another suggestion is to include play money or Google blank check, find a blank bank check to download and/or print out. Make the check out to yourself, future date it and fill in the dollar amount you want your Net Worth to be by that future date.

The vision board brings your goals, needs and wants to life and keeps them visible when you place the board within daily view. In later years, it will be interesting to look back at the board and note how much of your vision has been fulfilled. New vision boards can be created over time when life changes take place. These changes may involve a career move, geographic move, or the start of a new life stage. Dream BIG. It is true that “a picture says a thousand (or more) words”!

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From the Chalkboard to the Front Line-Meeting Tomorrow’s Staffing Needs

As the lead for the new Student Corner at HospitalityEducators.com, helping hospitality students be better prepared in starting their professional careers is a priority. This is the first of a series of “Hospitality Conversations” exploring different internship programs available to hospitality students. As a native New Englander myself and a professional dedicated to “blended learning”, I respect the Johnson & Wales University commitment to blending academics and real world experience.

The business world has voiced frustrations surrounding the time and expense associated with training new hires, who have educational degrees but may have inadequate skill sets for the jobs they will be doing. In the hospitality world, when a ski resort business in its high season needs to hire staff to operate its ski lifts, finding experienced, skilled help is critical. “Time is money” in business, which makes any disconnect between what is learned in the classroom and what is needed in the workforce a costly one. This is especially true with regard to staffing in the hospitality industry.

Finding the way to connect or reconnect academia and business is key to solving the staffing problem. One remedy may be found in the internship programs at colleges and universities that connect hospitality students with hospitality related business owners in the community.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Sandra Tremblay, the Assistant Professor and Director of the Travel-Tourism & Hospitality Internship program at Johnson & Wales University in the state of Rhode Island. Her career includes professional service at Newport Hospitality, the Vanderbilt Hall Hotel and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council.

Our discussion focused on the following four questions:

1. We note your web site overview of Hands-on Learning. One question would be, how do you develop assignments?
Response: Networking and building multi-faceted relationships with both internal and external industry partners is key to the success of any Internship Program. Some of our partnerships include the Rhode Island Tourism Division, the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau, AAA, the Radisson Hotel, TF Green Airport and our own Johnson & Wales Inn. In addition to their Internship assignments, Travel-Tourism & Hospitality students participate in industry events and perform community service.

2. Internships – how does the approval process work? How long are the internship programs?
Response: Students are screened one trimester ahead of the start of the upcoming internship program. Candidates are sent an application to complete and return, which is then reviewed by the program head to determine the best fit within the available site placements matched with the student’s identified interest area. The next step involves a one-on-one interview with the program head and is often followed by a second interview with the lead person from the site assignment.

There are fall to spring internship programs available with each one lasting a full trimester. Sophomore Hospitality students are required to participate in an internship program as part of their degree program fulfillment. Each internship is 11 weeks in length. Week one is for orientation, weeks 2 through 9 are spent working on specific assignments at one or more sites, week 10 is an international trip followed by a final exam in week 11. There may be other reports and assignments given students in and around the 11-week internship. The final exam draws upon the student’s previous academic knowledge in combination with their personal insights from the internship experience and earns them the equivalent of 3 courses (13.5 credits).

Since the internship is required, the cost for the International Familiarization Trip is paid for within the trimester tuition, including the professional dress uniform required. Students need to have enough spending money to cover their meals and personal item purchases while abroad.

3. Travel/tourism focus – this is obviously a global growth area. What are current student interest areas in tourism and how does Johnson & Wales cultivate these internship areas?
Response: The student interest areas are quite varied and often change with exposure to new areas during the internship program. The industry partnerships forged through our networking efforts have afforded the students many opportunities to work in a wide variety of industry areas. Every assignment pairs students with the supervisor or teaching assistant at the venue site, where they gain real world experience performing the responsibilities of the job with full accountability under the normal pressure associated with the position.

Currently, International students comprise roughly 32% of our Internship Program enrollment and they are paired with students from a different country in order to foster a cross culture exposure and familiarization. The destinations of our international trips rotate and have yet to repeat during my five years with the program. Our trip destinations have included China, Singapore, Czech Republic, France, Costa Rica, South Africa (just to name a few) and now Italy. We cross regions and continents in our travel, making the experience truly international. It should be noted that the international trip destination is not made known to the students until the beginning of each Internship Program in order to manage balanced enrollment.

4. Can you share some successes concerning career placements for students who participated specifically in one of these internships?
Response: We have students who, for example, have landed positions with Delta Airlines, the Preservation Society of Newport (Newport Mansions), and Marriott Hotels. Our students graduate with enhanced skill sets through their real-world work experiences and participation in the Internship Program. The students have improved abilities in the areas of time management, organizational skills, customer service skills and professional appearance as a direct result of the Internship Program.

They are able to include these work experiences on their resumes, which adds value and increased opportunities for starting their professional careers. The university devotes a whole department to career development to ensure students find the best possible position available to them.

For more information on this particular program, go to


Closing comments from HospitalityEducators.com:

When bridges are built between the worlds of academia and business everyone benefits. Students are better prepared to enter the workforce and compete for the desired positions. Business acquires fresh talent that is ready to hit the ground running. Academia provides an education relevant to current needs and jobs in the marketplace. Mutual support and collaboration fosters positive change and invites greater advancement for everyone involved.

Kathleen Hogan, MBA
Co-Founder and Publisher of HospitalityEducators.com  

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Starting Out in a Hospitality Career

There are many hospitality industry certificates and certifications available to those who want to build upon their knowledge base, CV expertise and career experience.  Which certifications should be pursued is dependent on your area of focus and career goals.

Certificates are very good stepping stones at the start of your career and may be earned much faster than certifications, which often require 2 to 5 years tenure in the same position.

The Educational Institutes of the AH&LA (American Hotel & Lodging Association) and the National Restaurant Association offer certifications for administrators, educators, operators and suppliers in the hospitality industry.  Many hospitality professionals hold more than one certification.

Search and find other sources of advanced certificates and certifications as part of advancing your career.

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Starting Out in a Hospitality Career

There are many ways to stimulate people, but what works for one person may not work for another.  It is important to understand what drives you and keeps you engaged.

Tamara Lowe, author of the book Get Motivated! and Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Get Motivated Seminars, Inc., offers a Motivational DNA model that designates three areas:  drives, needs and awards.  Drives are the internal forces that mobilize a person to act.  Needs are the core requirements that a person must have in order to feel fulfilled.  Awards are the preferred remunerations that a person desires for achievement.

Whether you possess the tendencies of a leader, producer, or connector in the Drives category, coupled with whether you prefer stable versus variable conditions in the Needs category, and prefer internal or external Awards determines your unique DNA.

Knowing your own Motivational DNA is one more tool in identifying the best career choices and career moves as you advance your career and work towards achieving your list of goals.

What you need for a work environment to stay engaged and productive is determined by your Motivational DNA.

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Starting Out in a Hospitality Career

Another way to identify and quantify your goals is, in the Steven Covey style, with the end in mind.  Write your own obituary to include your life and career accomplishments.  Answer these questions:

  • What do I want the world to remember when reading or saying my name?
  • What do I want to contribute, achieve and leave behind.
  • How do I want to be remembered?

Now make that list of goals answering these questions:  what?, when?, how?, and why?.  Be specific, write them down and look at them.  Put the list on your mirror, your vision board or somewhere you can see the list each day.  Post the list in multiple places to keep your goals in focus.
(If you have not read his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you should.)

Kathleen Hogan, HospitalityEducators.com

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