There are a lot of benefits to working a part time or in a casual role while studying that go far beyond the extra dollar in your pocket. It’s also a great way to get experience for your resume and develop networks in your industry.
One other less often discussed benefit of working while studying is that it allows you to try a range of new tasks and roles.
While trying a new task, you might discover a whole new passion you never knew you had.
Through that exposure to new things, your part-time job while studying may actually end up playing a pivotal role in the direction you take your career.
Dylan Gillies, now in his second year of a Bachelor of Business (Hospitality Management) at Torrens University Australia, has recently had that experience.
Dylan has had a passion for hotels and the hospitality industry since he spent time overseas; that’s why he chose to enrol in Hospitality Management.
“Some of my interests outside of my career include soccer and travelling,” he explained. “However, my career passions are definitely all about working in the hotel industry. I think that stems from the time I spent travelling a couple years ago.”
When deciding where to study, Dylan wanted a university that could offer a blend of classroom based and hands-on learning. That’s why he chose to study Hospitality Management at Torrens University.
“I chose this course at Torrens University, because I wanted to go to a uni that was hospitality industry based.
So, it seemed like the perfect fit for me, in terms of the location and my career goals,” Dylan said.
Torrens University’s Hospitality Management course offers on-the-job training through the student run restaurant, William Blue Dining. On top of that, students receive support from their personal Success Coach and the team at Careers Connect in getting internships and part-time work opportunities.
It’s through this career service and with help from his Success Coach that Dylan got a casual role at the boutique, luxury hotel Ovolo at Woolloomooloo, while still completing his degree.
“I applied for it through Torrens’ Careers Connect platform,” Dylan explained. “Then got called in for an interview the following week and started working there the following Friday.
I received a lot of support from Torrens University.
My Success Coach at the time, Juliana Lopez, helped me massively by reviewing and helping me write out my resume and cover letter.
Juliana also put me in touch with Industry Consultant Vanessa Falzon who also helped me with my cover letter, and who sent off my application for me. So, I can’t thank them enough for helping me get my job at Ovolo.”
Dylan’s current role is Food and Beverage Attendant in the events department at Ovolo. Prior to this, he had no experience working in events.
Because of this role, he’s discovered a passion for events that he never knew he had.
“Since starting my new job at Ovolo, I’ve become quite passionate and heavily interested in the events side of hotel operations,” Dylan said.
“My role involves a whole range of tasks at the moment. Working in events could involve setting up rooms for the various conference meetings that take place throughout the week, or preparing for weddings or work Christmas parties.
Then, I have to make sure the guests that attend the various events on the day are having the best possible experience, through the usual tasks entailed in being a food and beverage attendant.
What I love about it is: firstly, the people I work with are great, and secondly, no two days are the same when working in events.
If the events department goes through a quiet period, it opens the door for me to work in other departments, such as breakfast, in-room dining, restaurant or the hotel bar.
Events can be challenging at times, however. There can be some really long days and nights, with big resets for other events. With all the other departments I rotate through, it can be hard to remember everything. However I feel that will improve for me with time.”
Who knows where this newly discovered passion for the events side of hospitality management will take him.
So far, Dylan has been such a great addition to their events department that the team at Ovolo have recently offered him a full-time role.
He’s really excited to start working there and having the opportunity to put all the learning from his Bachelor of Business (Hospitality Management) straight into action before he’s even graduated.
“What’s next for me in my immediate future is to go full-time at Ovolo and finish my last year of my bachelor’s degree, then start climbing the hotel ladder and progress in my career. Ideally, I want to do all of this while also trying to squeeze in some more European trips and travelling.
My dream job at this moment in my life would definitely be being a general manager of a luxury hotel.”
Luckily for Dylan, he’s chosen a career path where travel is part of the job. Plus, having a BA of Hospitality Management under his belt when he graduates, he’s already on a solid pathway to his dream job.
So, does Dylan have any advice for other students looking for a way into a job in their industry of choice?
“My biggest piece of advice for anyone trying to get their foot in the door is to be proactive and make the most of the Success Coaches or services on offer at their university. I found the coaches at Torrens incredibly helpful.”
See here for more information about the Bachelor of Business (Hospitality Management) at Torrens University Australia.