This report covers the different skills that I have required through part time jobs and my education, and the areas I feel I need to improve on. I took travel and tourism as IGCSE level which I believe gave me a small insight to the large Hospitality industry, from learning about customer service to the impacts of tourism. I gained a large amount of experience from my part time jobs at the Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark, and Pambis Diner. I gained experience within the catering side of the hospitality industry and providing a service such as photography which both involved a large amount of customer service. I would like to broaden my skills in the near future by pursuing job opportunities, as I believe my skills are still limited at this point in time.
The hospitality industry is constantly growing every year, in 2018 the hospitality sector was forecasted to generate 100 billion pounds and expected industry growth of 6 percent, (Conference-News, 2018). Hospitality is a large employing industry, therefore I would like to develop my personal skills and gain new skills in order to have the best opportunities within the industry. Throughout this report I will asses my strengths and weaknesses, and how I can improve the areas I may not have confidence in.
The hospitality industry is largely practical based, therefore a large variety of skills is needed, although having a degree is highly beneficial some skills may only be gained by experience. ‘Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience' (Kolb, 1984, p. 38). Throughout university I will gain an abundance of knowledge however, Kolb suggests that in order to peruse to take advantage of the knowledge I posses I will need experience within the hospitality industry.
Needs priority development?
Technological experience I can operate a large variety of programs.
4- confident University: group presentation required a prezi presentation to present group findings.
Written communication I believe I can write effectively, however id like to become more academic with my style.
3- fairly-confident University and past education:
Have written many essays and completed English IGCSE.
Time management skills I am punctual and meet deadlines
5- very confident Employment: always punctual.
University: have met deadlines
Positive Attitude When given a task, I aim to do my best to complete it with an enthusiastic attitude.
5- confident Employment: I always had a friendly attitude when serving customers, and I always tried to cater for their needs.
Customer Service I always tried to do more than I needed to help customers in my previous employments.
5- very confident Employment: I always tried to ensure my customer received the best service possible.
Problem solving I believe I am inventive when problems arise, I will brainstorm and test out my ideas in order to fix the problem.
4- confident Employment: As a photographer there were times the pictures I had taken wouldn't upload and I had to find another way to show the customers their photos.
Leadership I can delegate work within a team situation, and ensure everyone works well together.
4- confident School: I would always offer to take the leadership role in group work situations, as I enjoyed the organization work.
My job as a waiter at Pambis Diner, my job required me to take orders and serve customers. The restaurant accommodated over a hundred people and it was situated in the middle of a tourist area, therefore it was always very busy. The restaurant required me to be punctual and work effectively to accommodate the high customer demand, this enabled me to develop my time management skills. There restaurant was visited by a large amount of demographics, therefore at times there was language barriers between the customers and I, however I always tried my best to overcome these problems with my communication skills, which therefore increased my personal relations and communication skills. (Kirchner, M 2017)
My employment as a photographer, and a sales representative at the Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark involved a large variety of skills, such as customer relations and technological experience. Within the waterpark I was employed by a company called Paradym Media, the company specialises in making personalised videos which would include pictures of the customers enjoying their day within the waterpark. The company was the first to use this form of technology in Cyprus, the concept was signed by Australia Warner Brothers. As the technology was new to the market at the time of my employment, marketing and advertising was a key feature in selling the product, and I took on the role of finding ways to advertise the product. As the company is largely technologically powered, I initiated the idea of walking around the waterpark with a tablet to show customers an example of the video we were selling. In some situations this form of advertising worked very well however in some cases the sun made the tablet screen fade therefore it was ineffective, this required problem solving, after brainstorming I concluded that pamphlets would be more affective . When selling the product to a customer I had to figure out which approach would be most affective to different customer demographics, I would always refer back to my Travel and Tourism IGCSE as a large section of the subject was about catering for different demographics. Due to the large variety of customers that I served I found that I came across a large amount of language barriers, as I was marketing a product compared to taking a order in my previous employment. I found the language barriers to be a weakness on my part as it stopped me from selling the product effectively, I believe that this would be excellent to improve during my time in university by looking into a language module through the Global Graduate Award.
Taking Travel and Tourism at IGCSE level is where I discovered my love for hospitality. By taking this subject I was able to gain insight and skills within the hospitality industry such as, learning about the different sectors within the industry, and gain skills for working life. A skill that I developed in great detail would be customer service as it is one of the main elements within the hospitality industry. I was also taught how to use the PEST analysis which analyses the macro-environment. I was also taught about the SWOT analysis which is ‘a strategic planning technique used to help a person or organization identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or project planning.'(MindTools, 2018). Having learnt these various skills and tools it has allowed me to be confident in learning new things in university, Kolb (1984 suggest that all previous can be used as a learning tool to improve performance, this can be shown by the learning cycle in Fig 1.
Figure 1. Kolb's Learning Cycle (Kolb, 1984)
Nixon says skills can be categorized into two different sections, ‘Soft' and ‘Hard'. By taking modules such as Business Environment I am able to gain hard skills, which are skills that are teachable and can be assed such as writing. By taking a practical module such as Restaurant Operations I am able to obtain soft skills such as social interaction skills. After attending my various workshops, seminars, lectures and practical Restaurant Operation sessions and taking the Lumley and Wilkinson's questionnaire (2014, pp.35) I came to the conclusion that I'm an activist. Honey and Mumford (1992) say that there are four learning styles: ‘reflectors', ‘pragmatists' and ‘theorists', ‘activists'. I came to the conclusion that I am an activist as I believe I learn best through doing things, such as working as a waiter or a kitchen assistant during my Restaurant Operations sessions. I try to involve myself as much as I can, and do tasks to the best of my ability at all times. I am a confident person which allows me to work well in a team whether it be practical or not. A lot of my confidence and teamworking skills developed during in my Drama IGCSE. During the course there was a large amount of team work, which wasn't always easy to do by with patience and cooperation I managed to work as a team. Within the hospitality industry there is a large amount of team work, without team work operations will not operate as they should which could cause a breach in the customer service line. Throughout university I will partake in group presentations and projects which will allow me to learn how to approach situations and understand how other individuals work. Experiential learning theory (ELT, Kolb, 1984) is used to describe the process different individuals go through to learn, therefore as individuals everyone has a different style of learning which can effect the way they work together.
When I was younger I had a large participation in theatrical performances in and out of school which allowed me to boost my confidence which will allow me to be confident within the hospitality industry. In terms of negotiations and business deals I will not feel submerged under pressure which will allow me to be more level headed. By being an actor in plays and performances I have been taught to project my voice and use my body language as a tool, this will allow me come across as confident and knowledgeable to my staff and business partners.
Combining all of the knowledge and skills I have gained through my schooling, activities, employment and university I believe I have a large amount of skills that I can use in my career in the Hospitality industry. Although there are sections that I would like to improve such as my economic skills, as there is a large element of money and business in the hospitality sector I believe it is crucial for me to be able to understand how to create forecasts and various tables in order to have a successful business.
Ways to develop on this
How will this benefit my performance?
To learn more about program design, in order to create programs for the hospitality sector. • take a programming course
• practice programming on my own. • Allow me to have technological skills when I enter the Industry.
To be able to communicate more effectively with non- English speaking customers. • take a language module.
• Attempt to learn phrases in other languages. • The hospitality industry is a global industry therefore, I will come into contact with a large variety of people who will all not speak English.
Gain more experience and knowledge about the hospitality industry. • Aim to do a placement year
• Apply for part-time jobs within the hospitality industry • It will broaden my CV which my entice employers
• Have additional skills which could help in working situations
Improve leadership skills • apply to be course representative.
• become project leader in next assignment. • increase my delegations skills
• help me to identify other peoples strengths and weaknesses
Improve economic skills • Take extra classes
• Attempt economic data projects
• allow me to help in situations where mathematic equations are involved.
Overall this report has evaluated all of the skills that I have collected over my life and the experiences that has come with it. Over my time at university I aim to posses as many skills and experiences as I can in order to give my self the most opportunities in the hospitality industry. Each of my modules will guide me in the right direction, and teach me valuable skills such as customer relations and group work. I plan to seek job opportunities during my time in university to ensure u gain the necessary skills.
...(download the rest of the essay above)