We all have standards. It comes in your expectations, of receiving purified water when dining in a restaurant or being paid that extra attention during your hotel stays. How many times have you been disappointed with lackluster service? It’s recognizing that we need standards that has given birth to a plethora of opportunities in the hospitality field.
IT’S ABOUT SATISFACTION
Ask anyone and they will agree that hospitality is a fast-growing industry. This fast-paced world is where you meet people of all races and dynamics – your job is to make people happy and comfortable.
“In Bachelors of Hotel Management (BHM), you have to entertain guests, from receiving and welcoming them in a courteous way. Emphasis is on service and your ultimate goal is to satisfy guests,” explains Subham Paudel, Instructor of Travel and Tourism at NATHM College.
In a way, hospitality is about understanding human behavior, and treating people the way you wish to be treated. In a hotel setting, hospitality starts from the front office (which is often overlooked), which exudes the first impression of the organization.
Hospitality management, thus, is the management of hotels, motels, resorts, cruise ships and any other overnight accommodation management. BHM is similar to business administration, but focuses on hotel management (hospitality and service).
THE HOSPITALITY QUALITY
According to Shibendra Malik, Senior Instructor of Food and Beverage Services at NATHM College, during the course duration of 3 years, students become more hospitable by the time they graduate. It’s like changing your personality – students take life more positively.
It is universally agreed among the students and teachers that students develop or hone their interpersonal and communication skills to become hospitable at the end of their three-year course. A student at NATHM college likens the course to “working in an army’’ because of its strict guidelines, so be prepared for discipline. You also have to be well groomed, responsible, and confident, have a cheerful disposition, and well versed in pronunciation as well as speaking.
“This subject is more about the behavioral experience – being practical oriented, dealing with the understanding of people, by dealing with them. In that sense, BHM is more than just knowledge and skills,” says Binod Aryal, Instructor of Food and Beverage Services at NATHM College.
For those with a short attention span, this is more of a practical field – making integration into the working field easier. Theories will include understanding the coursework through videos and project work, to simulate understanding of how a hotel runs. You learn food production, pastries, housekeeping, food and beverage service, principle of management, accountancy, English and French. Of course, the course material differs with each institution.
With the recognition that this field is an expanding enterprise, more colleges are offering a tourism and hospitality course - Bachelors in Hotel Management.
GATE College offers vocational and higher diploma in hotel and restaurant management alongside their BHM course. The higher diploma is equivalent to a bachelor degree from Tribhuvan University as accredited by the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality. Certificate level courses for a specialized sector like baking, culinary arts, housekeeping and bartending is available as well.
BHM is quite expensive as this is a practical field. You are likely to invest about 4 to 5 lakhs altogether over the course of 3 years, but you will also earn back your investment after a few years of employment. Sachin Shrestha from GATE College says, “You have increased viability and employability depending on how hardworking you are. In BHM, your attitude is refined, you develop skills, give and gain knowledge.”
WHAT LIES AHEAD
What do you do after you learn hotel management? Luckily, even with the surge in hotel management professionals, there is as much demand for these graduates, with the crop of more hotels and restaurants, in the city. This industry isn’t slowing down anytime soon, rest assured, with the aid of tourism working to promote the hospitality field.
There’s no use sugar-coating the fact that there are better opportunities abroad than here in Kathmandu. You will most likely have to wait a while till vacancies for your desired position opens up in hotels or related sectors. Then, prospective candidates are screened according to years of experience.
Also, with the development in IT and commercialization, you can expect constant change. Standards of living will, and is slowly starting in the macro level. As a result of keeping up with higher standards of living, one may have lesser time at home (to cook, meet family and friends etc) and instead dine out more. Sachin Shrestha notes that dining out may become easier in a few more years, and as such restaurants and hotels can expect to continue growing.
LANDING YOUR DREAM JOB
Achieving your dream job is a tad harder to attain. While there are ample opportunities in this business, you also have to work twice as much to get recognized, and ultimately get promoted. How qualified or determined you are also plays a part in landing your desired position.
(Diploma in Culinary Arts, Diploma in Bakery and Certificate in Barista,
There weren’t many options for me so I took the vocational courses offered at GATE College, after which I got promoted from an assistant chef to a professional chef. I learnt to develop my potential in this career. I hope to become a master chef recognized world-wide.
Aishwarya Bhetwal (Higher Diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management, GATE College)
I wish to become a chef and work with sky chefs after I complete this course. I first heard about sky chefs while surfing the net in class 12 and I felt this field was good. I don’t think anything is difficult if you are passionate and interested.
“It is a glamorous field,” says Subham Paudel. “You meet and get to interact with new people every day, including foreigners, and there is exchange of ideas,” continues Paudel.
Professionals are also imbibed with the acceptance that no task is too menial. Should the situation arise, you have to be prepared to handle the front desk area or serve food in a restaurant setting.
What’s difficult about this field are the working hours and short holidays. A hotel has to be open 24 hours, so shift work is assigned. Professionals may have to face irregular hours, and not the normal 9 to 5 working hours. Also if any staff calls in sick, working staff may have to cover for the college.
Festivals and holidays are peak seasons of the hospitality field. This means a higher workload for you while cutting back on time spent, celebrating with your family.
The difference between being a student, and a professional is that you have more responsibility, and there is the pressure to perform well. Students, who can’t make quick decisions, will find it hard to cope in an establishment where fast-thinking is required.
* NATHM - Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management
*GATE – Global Academy of Tourism and Hospitality Education