Hospitality and tourism industries overlap; the main differences between the two areas are that tourism deals with attractions, activities, and events, while hospitality focuses on providing people exceptional accommodations, travel, restaurants, and sports venues.
Some key abilities that will make students stand out in these industries are:
- Communication – MCOM 320: Communication in Organizational Settings
- Handling Pressure
- Problem Solving – EXDM 422: Experience Needfinding; EXDM 423: Experience Insights
- Operations Management – EXDM 307: Sport and Entertainment Venue Management; EXDM 412: Event and Experience Management
- Administration – HRM 391: Organizational Effectiveness; MSB 390: Ethics for Management
- Leadership – HRM 391: Organizational Effectiveness
- Financial/Resource Management – ACC 200: Principles of Accounting; FIN 201: Principles of Finance
Suggested Electives and Minors
Hospitality and tourism careers cover a broad spectrum and include hotel management, restaurant ownership, entertainment management, destination marketing, and tour operation. Some electives and minors that may be beneficial in preparing for these careers are:
- EXDM 302: Hospitality Management
- EXDM 303: Introduction to Sports and Entertainment Industries
- EXDM 306: Community Festivals and Special Events
- EXDM 307: Sport and Entertainment Venue Management
- EXDM 490 R, section 5: Managing Meaningful Guest, Visitor, and Customer Journeys
- Theatre Arts Studies Minor
- Communications Minor
- Nonprofit Management Minor
- Design Thinking Minor
Organizations provide excellent opportunities to network and learn more about the profession from professionals. Most provide greatly reduced student membership rates. They also host conferences that have reduced rates or volunteer opportunities for students. Students are highly encouraged to join at least one of these organizations and attend one of their conferences.
- American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
- National Restaurant Association
- Resort and Commercial Recreation Association
- National Tour Association
- International Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus
- Destinations International
- Society for Incentive Travel Excellence
- Transformational Travel Council
Certifications not only help in professional development, but they are also valued by potential employers. The ExDM department highly recommends working toward certifications that are aligned with a student’s career aspirations. The program actively attempts to integrate certifications or preparation to gain certifications into curriculum whenever possible.
To learn more about professional contacts as part of the ExDM mentoring program, get in touch with chief student experience officer Ariadna Mateu.
Career and Internship Placement
Progression within this field often entails moving between different organizations or shifting to management roles with less direct involvement in event planning.
For more information about career opportunities and internships, check the experience design and management career placement profile or contact ExDM career director Noelani Wayas in the Business Career Center.
Graduate Degree Options
Students are highly encouraged to consider graduate school as career preparation option, including earning an MBA, MPA, or master’s degree in hospitality, tourism, or event management.
Students interested in graduate school should consider enrolling in EXDM 585R: Experience Design Research Seminar. Students can also reach out to Patti Freeman, who teaches the research seminar course, if they have questions about graduate school opportunities.