How part-time hospitality work can kickstart your career

By Aamina Chaundry · Sep 9, 2021

As university students there is a looming pressure that comes with summer holidays: internship stress. I’m not referring to the stress of your actual internship work but moreover to the stress of actually finding one. 

All of us come from different backgrounds with different amounts of previous work experience, yet it seems to never be enough. There exists a vicious cycle of trying to gain work experience prevented due to lack of work experience. 

But internships are not the only way forward, many of us overlook opportunities in the hospitality and retail sectors. 

There are many benefits that come with choosing a flexible hospitality job. For one there are more lenient entry requirements with many employers offering complete training for the role. This means  you can feel free to apply to these positions even  with no previous work experience helping create a foothold for future opportunities as well as bulking up your CV.

Although having a summer internship at a huge company on your CV looks impressive, you are just as likely to gain transferable skills with more hands-on experience in the hospitality sector. For instance, working as a waiter in a restaurant helps you develop interpersonal, organizational, communication, and teamworking skills, all things that employers look for when hiring you. 

Moreover many internships are unpaid, yet many of us are still willing to accept these opportunities regardless in exchange for gaining experience. Around 43% of all internship opportunities are unpaid, making it the norm for many. In contrast, hospitality jobs have the benefit of providing you with some extra money, which, as students, we all know never hurts. 

A useful thing to look out for when choosing opportunities is to consider whether they could be connected to your degree. A study found that 53% of the overall student respondents use part time work to boost their employment prospects after university. For instance, if you are pursuing a teaching degree and you decide to earn some extra cash by having a tutoring job in your free time, without even realizing it you are gaining valuable experience for your chosen career path. 

Alternatively, if you are struggling to find flexible jobs that align with your degree, be bold and choose something that you are interested in even if it’s the complete opposite of your university degree subject. Doing so means you can demonstrate to future employers that you are adaptable and have previous experience that you can accommodate into your new role.

While there is no one-size-fits-all model for career development during university, we wanted to show you how many different options you have that you often don’t hear about. 

There is no right or wrong, or better or worse, as long as you are making the most of your free time and acquiring new skills in whatever way you know how, you are doing great.


If you are looking for the fastest way to findinternships or part-time work make sure to check out the gigl app, specifically designed to help students like you find work.