Series Editor: John Walker,
D.B.A., CHA., F.M.P.
Case Contributor: Nicholas J. Thomas, Ph.D., Visiting Associate Professor, School of Hospitality Leadership, DePaul University
Title: Hospitality and Tourism
Purpose: Provide an overview of various career options that exist within the hospitality and tourism industry.
Mike, a junior in high school, is at the stage in his life where he realizes that he should get a part-time job. Mike needs spending money, but would also like to begin saving money that could provide extra support when he starts college in a few years.
In terms of finding, applying, interviewing, and maintaining a job, Mike's knowledge is limited at best. The past few summers, Mike mowed the lawns of residents in his neighborhood, a part-time job that he enjoyed because it allowed him an opportunity to work during the summers and provide him with a minimal mount of income. Mike knew that while mowing lawns was a great job for a teenager, he now needed a job that would provide a consistent paycheck, and, more importantly, give him the opportunity to develop skills that could be used later in his life. Mike needed to find a job that would develop his ability to communicate, to think
critically, and give him more responsibility.
Mike opened the Sunday "Help Wanted" in the classified section of his local newspaper and felt immediately overwhelmed with what he saw. There were hundreds of jobs advertised in just about every industry. Mike had no idea what to do. His lawn mowing work had been easy to find. He had just gone door-to-door and quoted his neighbors a set price to mow their yards. Now, looking at the classified ads, Mike was worried that he was under qualified for every available job, and even more concerned that he was unsure of how to differentiate one job advertisement from another.
Frustrated, Mike went to his parents and sought their guidance. Mike' parents suggested that instead of immediately looking for just any job, he first make a list of what would be important to him in a job. This, they suggested, would be a useful tool in identifying what type of work and in what environment Mike would prefer to work. They told him that there were not right or wrong choices, but that it was important that Mike applied for
jobs that he would enjoy doing. Finding a job that he would enjoy would ensure that he would work hard and develop a sense of pride in his work, something that would support him later in life.
Mike thanked his parents for the advice and retreated to his room with the newspaper. After a few hours of reflection, researching careers online, and looking at the available jobs in the newspaper, Mike came up with a list of the three most important things that he would look for in a job:
1. The opportunity to work with a diverse group of people;
2. Work that could make a positive impact on someone's life through his actions;
3. A job in which he could have fun.
The task Mike now faced was identifying the type of job for which he might be qualified, as well as identifying a job that would meet his three requirements.
Questions: 1. Without previous work experience, why would Mike still be qualified to work in an entry-level job in hospitality and tourism? 2. How could a job in hospitality and tourism meet Mike's list of important job characteristics? 3. Discuss a potential hospitality career ladder that Mike could follow if he took an entry-level job now, but had aspirations of more responsibility and a higher salary in 20 years.