I come from a humble family in Lucknow, and when I joined this hotel management course at the Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration in Manipal, I did not have a lot of exposure and my English was not very good. Now, I am in my fourth year and my perspective has changed; I have become confident. My uncle, who did a hotel management course from this institute, has always inspired me. Today, when I see the opportunities in this field, I think I made the right decision. Recently, one of our seniors got a job in the on-ground food and management division of Qatar Airways in Qatar. Another senior got placed with the foods division of a frozen foods company. This course opens multiple options and there is excellent exposure to the food and beverages sector, hospitality sector and the tourism industry.
In many hotels, the package starts at 025,000, but as one gains experience, there is no looking back. Luxury hotel chains are expanding in different cities and they need talented hotel management graduates to manage them. Big players such as the ITC group and the Marriott Group are on an expansion spree, and eco-luxury hotels are mushrooming across the country. Star hotels are expanding even in small cities like Lucknow. Of late, there is also a growth in the number of luxury hospital chains, which require hotel management graduates.
The popularity of the course is soaring—when I started, there were only 67 students in our batch; now we have about 300 juniors studying the same course. I have just begun my six-month internship at Taj Vivanta in Lucknow and I am getting hands-on experience.
I will return to Manipal in January and try for a placement. But hands-on experience is nothing new as I was regularly trained at Fortune Inn Valley View, a hotel just across our institute. In my second year, I did my executive management training there.
Our institute follows the Culinary Institute of America's techniques and has designed many modules that have India-specific techniques, which some hotel chains prefer.
As told to Abhinav Singh