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What should I be doing the summer before entering college?

This next fall I will be entering a college or university into a hospitality program. I would like to take advantage of any opportunities I can this summer, is there anything specific I should be doing to fluff my resume? Or that would be particularly impressive to a company for an internship? #resume #hospitality #hotel-management

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Meghan’s Answer

Hi Amelia,


I think Ken's answer is a great starting point.


College is going to be a time where your focus, major, goals, and aspirations are going to change at least a few times, and that's ok! That is what this time of your life is for.


Hospitality is a great industry, but it's vast and varied. Hospitality covers everything from waitstaff to chefs to guest services in hotels to restaurant managers to sales to meeting management. When you say you want to major in hospitality, what are you thinking of? What makes you passionate?


The best way to see what you want to do, is to do it yourself. As a young person graduating high school, your opportunities will be entry level. If you're able to work, I would start with a part-time job at a restaurant or in guest services at a hotel. If an internship is what you're looking for, start by looking in the careers section of hotels and restaurants in your area. I would also check hospitality and internship job boards.

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Ollie’s Answer

Here's a specific suggestion, Amelia.


Get a kitchen-crew job at a summer camp. If you can find a camp with a good pre-camper-arrival leadership training program, that's the best choice.


If you get your Serv-Safe certificate in time to put it on your application, that will be double plus. It will show the camp you're committed to success.


There are many summer camps like this, and every single one of them needs good kitchen crew. Let's put it this way: if you're willing to work breakfast you'l have a job. If you pay attention you'll learn a LOT about working in a busy kitchen, from planning to buying to cooking to serving to sanitation.


Now, camp food is going to be weenies and beanies cordon bleu, with bug juice and potato chips. But that's OK. You can still learn a lot about how to do things.


Many camps consider it part of their mission to help their young-adult staff do well in their lives. So, tell your supervisor your hopes and dreams.


If you are part of a church or other house of worship, inquire about a job in their denominational summer camp. Some of the best make-it-happen and leadership training I've had in my life was when I worked at a church camp, specifically Camp Calumet Lutheran, Ossipee, NH. There are many camps like that (none as good as Calumet, of course! :-)

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BluJean Casey, M.A.,’s Answer

Hi Amelia!


You've got some great suggestions here, and I hope you take advantage! Another idea is to ask family members who are in the hospitality industry (or family friends) about their experiences and how they got started. You might be able to get a foot in the door by observing their work environment (essentially creating an informal internship). Let many, many people know about your interest and something may pop up!

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Phillip’s Answer

Amelia,
I agree with all. I would start with a part-time job at a hotel or theme park in Guest Services or entry level management position.

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Ken’s Answer

Hi Amelia! First, what draws your interest into this area? Have you had any work experience in this area? A few suggestions (1) imagine the ideal setting in which you would see yourself working after college (2) try to get a job in that ideal setting between now and your going to college, even if it is at a lower level that you would see yourself eventually working. Many times companies will help employees with college expenses if they see the quality of their work and think that they would be a good investment or they might have their own training program - which might be more important and relevant. Let me know what you think and how I can help you further. Looking forward to hearing from you. Best of luck!!

Thank you comment icon I studied hospitality in college as well. To be honest, I would try to enjoy your last summer off. Once college begins, you will be getting internships and jobs every summer thereafter. But if you be want to do something hospitality related, either volunteer or get a job in something in area you think you may be interested in! Let me know if you have any questions! Megan Muñoz
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