Hospitality Placements; Do student’s expectations meet reality? How do the selection and application processes affect these expectations?


  • Emily Austin



The purpose of this research project is to examine whether or not student’s expectations of hospitality work placements are met in reality. The aspect of the application and selection processes and the affect these have on student expectations will be discussed. The research will aim to discover whether there is a relationship between the application and selection processes taken and the extent to which students felt their expectations were met. The wider issues surrounding work placements will be identified and then related back to the affect they have on the issue of student expectations. The purpose of this project is to also identify any recommendations or changes that could be made to future placement processes to more successfully match student’s expectations of the placement to the experience in reality.    


The method that will be used to gain the required data will be quantitative research in the form of an online questionnaire. The questionnaire will also include an aspect of qualitative research to allow the respondents more freedom in their response, this will allow for the collection of important primary data. The sample frame of 50 students will aim to be surveyed with a high response rate predicted due to the easy and quick attributes of the questionnaire. The questions will be designed to gain the required information needed to meet the objectives of the research study. The data will be analysed in the form of charts, tables and graphs where appropriate.      


The data gained uncovered some interesting findings in relation to this area of research. The application and selection processes were found to be significant to the student’s expectations but no pattern was found regarding the specific nature of the application processes taken and the affect they have on a student’s expectations. The results show that the students are very much affected in different ways regarding these processes. Each individual has ideas and aspirations that they aim to achieve from their placement experiences and the strength the selection and application processes varies considerably from student to student. Other significant results were also uncovered surrounding various aspects of work placements including; the relationship between the university and the employer on expectations and students future career aspirations following the placement experience. 


The importance of work placements within the hospitality industry have been identified, both in regards to a student’s career aspirations and personal and professional development. Therefore it can be seen that securing the most suited placement to the student is vital in achieving the greatest potential of the experience. Matching the expectations of the student to the placement that is most likely to meet them in reality will prove valuable in achieving career goals and personal fulfilment. This research study will aim to help and develop ideas and answers surrounding the aspect of the application and selection processes on the affect on student expectations. It will also aim to highlight any other significant issues and recommendations surrounding meeting student expectations of the overall placement experience.