The world we live in today is changing. It’s evolving faster than ever before, connecting us in new ways and unifying the world and communities across it.
Borders and walls are dissolving, replaced instead with carefully thought out campaigns enticing visitors into countries that had shut themselves off from the world barely two generations ago.
Across the globe, customer service is helping determine our consumer habits – with a single experience having the power to create a lifelong association between customer and brand.
Our world today is built on interactions and service and where knowing the right formula can transform small companies into global powerhouses or take professionals to the summits of their career. We’re all living a world that’s run on hospitality whether we realise it or not.
When it comes to preparing graduates for a landscape that’s as kaleidoscopic as hospitality, the education intended must match up in order to be successful. Hospitality and other service delivering sectors are fluid and not what you could call great examples of routine.
New challenges can arise every day, with new and unexpected factors to be encountered at almost every turn due to the strongly human aspect of the job.
A set of rules or actions won’t cover even a fraction of possible scenarios in these industries — not to mention the possibility of becoming outdated in the blink of an eye with rapid evolution of our society.
This is exactly why hospitality education, with the intention of preparing successful, future-proof and flexible talent for the world, is an education that stays with you for life. A good hospitality education is focused on developing critical thinking, problem-solving capabilities, excellent communication skills, a sense of leadership, ambition and an unrelenting entrepreneurial drive.
Students are provided a master-key for their career, and a foundation on which they learn how to imbibe new skills and knowledge as they grow professionally.
This holistic approach to nurturing students’ capabilities is exactly why hospitality graduates go on to enjoy the freedom of exploring numerous industries – their education prepared them with a foundation that is tailor-made for the professional landscape we are living in today and anticipate tomorrow.
It’s not an education that just teaches you to connect the dots – it’s a journey that gives you a grasp of the bigger picture, and enables you to connect them in better, faster and more creative ways. Our world is run on innovation – and the industries of today need adaptable and inspired talent more than ever before.
At the end of the day, we’re all living in a hospitable world. We might not fully realise it, but almost every outward facing interaction we experience with it puts us in the role of consumers undergoing carefully curated experiences, tailor-made by brands and corporations.
Today’s landscape provides incredible professional opportunities and can take those willing to pursue them to unexpected new heights. The opportunities are out there and they possess immense potential for today’s youth. Our industries thrive on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship — things that today’s generation have an exceptional hold over already.
Hospitality provides a platform for those who are willing to think outside the box, enjoy the human experience and discover new horizons and most importantly, shape tomorrow into a better world for everybody.
The writer is managing director and regional vice president of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, South Asia.