One student demonstrates how you can work & study hospitality at the same time

work and study hospitality at the same time

Scott Cooper grew up around hospitality and hotels, and he’s always known he wanted a career in the industry.

“I was literally born into hospitality, because my parents owned hotels, and I’ve been working in hospitality and events my entire career,” he explained.

Scott Cooper grew up around hospitality and hotels, and he’s always known he wanted a career in the industry.

“I was literally born into hospitality, because my parents owned hotels, and I’ve been working in hospitality and events my entire career,” he explained.

When he started his Bachelor of Business in Hospitality Management with Torrens University in July last year, he was already working full time in the industry as Sales and Client Relationship Manager at Top Shelf Recruitment, a Sydney-based hospitality recruitment agency. He loved his role a lot.

“In my current role, I talk to hospitality businesses and venues about their casual and permanent staffing needs.

I love solving clients’ problems and meeting so many creative and innovative people. Once the client comes on board, our recruitment and rostering teams work their magic to place our casual crew and our candidates into shifts and roles that suit their current experience or goals,” Scott said.

Scott didn’t want to give up this role in order to start studying. But, he also knew he wanted to take his career to the next level, and this degree was the right one for him.

“I’ve always known of and respected William Blue College of Hospitality Management, now part of Torrens University,” he explained, “When I saw I could do this prestigious degree online and on demand, that was all I needed to know this was the course for me. I also had a positive enrolment experience.”

Before he could commit to the degree, however, Scott had a few questions he needed answered.

Firstly, he wasn’t sure if some of his previous education would be recognised as prior learning. Secondly, he needed to know if his job would be accepted for the compulsory industry placements that this degree required. Finally, the question nobody could really answer but himself -- would he be able to juggle work and study?

Luckily for Scott, the answers so far have been yes, yes and yes again. So far, he’s found it is possible to complete part-time study while also working full time.

Best of all, his work actually counts as part of his degree.

“I was already working full time before I started the course, so I did have to think about whether this role would be suitable for the two industry placements required as part of the degree,” Scott said.

“I’m extremely grateful and thankful that it was, as I didn’t really want to have to try and find a new job during COVID-19. I did need to check with the university that it would be applicable for my work integrated learning subjects.

I’m also doing this course part time to manage the workload. My plan is to knock out a couple of subjects per trimester. I was also approved for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for some subjects, which has made a bit of a difference.  I know my success coach is available if I need her help.”

Scott’s already working hard to achieve the career of his dreams. So, what’s next for him in the short term, and where does he aim to get one day with his degree?

“Right now, I’m just concentrating on finishing the degree whilst working full time,” Scott explained, “and I’ve also splurged on a personal trainer this year so, I’m looking forward to developing that healthy habit further and seeing the mental and physical results.

In the long term, I’d love to own my own boutique coastal hotel that caters for incentive groups and high-end tourism.”

Does Scott have any advice for other young industry professionals out there right now who want to advance their careers, get a better job or further their studies?

Don’t let your lack of experience hold you back. If COVID has taught us anything in hospitality recruitment at Top Shelf,” Scott said, “what’s more important is your attitude and presentation. My advice is to concentrate on making a fantastic first impression, highlighting any soft skills you possess, and to be yourself in the interview.

Businesses can train the hard skills, if a candidate has the personal attributes that enable them to interact professionally.”

With his can-do attitude and incredible work ethic, Scott has a bright career ahead of him.

See here for more information on the Bachelor of Business (Hospitality Management) at Torrens University.

Check our Hospitality Courses to learn more
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