4 Career Opportunities for International Students in Hospitality Management
By Angela Rose, Hcareers.com
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Leisure and Hospitality employment supersector is home to 13,670,000 professionals as of September 2012. Within this super sector, which includes employers such as restaurants, hotels, resorts and casinos, there are numerous career opportunities for students in hospitality management – even those in the U.S. on international student visas.
Students of hospitality management studying under a J-1 Visa may obtain work within a food service, lodging or other establishment for up to 18 months as part of an academic trainee or internship program. Sponsorship by an organization approved by the U.S. State Department is required, but more than 170,000 J-1 Visa Program participants work, study or teach in the U.S. each month.
If you’re a current hospitality management student, or have recently graduated from such a program, consider these four career opportunities.
Lodging managers are responsible for their establishment’s efficiency and profitability. They may interact directly with business and pleasure travelers as well as oversee the various departments within their hotel, motel, resort or casino. International students can take the first step towards this career by obtaining employment at the front desk, as a concierge, or within the administration, housekeeping or maintenance departments. Assistant lodging manager positions may also be available.
2. Food Service
Food service managers oversee the daily operations of restaurants, cafeterias, bars, nightclubs and other establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages. They may interact directly with patrons as well as oversee the kitchen and dining staff. Some food service managers have a hand in inventory, purchasing and payroll as well. International students interested in an eventual food service management career may want to seek employment as prep chefs, line cooks, bartenders, wait staff or hosts. Assistant food service manager positions may also be available.
3. Meetings, Conventions and Events
Event managers coordinate professional meetings, conventions and both public and private events. They are employed by hotels, resorts, casinos, banquet halls, restaurants, music venues, museums, country clubs and other establishments where such events may be held. Often working directly with clients, they supervise the departments or vendors responsible for support services, from suppliers and entertainers to caterers and photographers, as well. International students interested in a career as an event manager can take the first step with an assistant manager position wherever events are hosted.
Travel managers work under a variety of titles, from cruise directors and tour managers to travel agency and recreation managers. Depending on their position, they may work directly with customers as well as oversee other departments within an organization to maintain efficiency, profitability and consistent high quality service. International students interested in an eventual travel manager career may want to seek assistant level employment to gain valuable hands-on experience in their chosen field.
While a J-1 Visa for work and study only applies to students and recent graduates, employers of internationals who wish to remain in the U.S. may sponsor them for a H1B specialty Visa, which will allow them to work for up to six years.
Read more hospitality career tips. Find more hospitality jobs by visiting the career center.
About the Author
Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for Hcareers.com.