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Empowering Restaurants in America

Here’s What One Hospitality Graduate Student Has to Say About the Industry’s Future

Veronica Hsiao is in her second year of her Masters of Hospitality Administration graduate program at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and she’s answering a few questions about why she’s passionate about hospitality and what she sees for the future.

Veronica Hsiao

Graduate student, University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV)

What was your inspiration for enrolling in an MHA program?

I have always been a big believer of learning and development. Having been immersed in luxury hotel operations for a couple of years since the completion of my Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management at UNLV’s Harrah College of Hospitality, it was time for me to expand my learning journey.

In the luxury hotel world, innovation and knowledge are key elements of our daily operations. Having been exposed to this type of environment, I am inspired to continuously learn and refresh my professional knowledge.

The Executive MHA program is entirely remote and self-paced, which was the perfect opportunity for me while working full-time management hours. It requires a great deal of self-discipline, balancing and time management, but it is completely achievable for those who are determined to learn and grow.

What about the MHA degree sets you apart from other hospitality professionals? 

While some hospitality professionals choose to pursue an MBA, the Executive MHA Degree at UNLV is a Master’s degree which specializes in the hospitality field. It is a unique learning experience, as it is particularly beneficial for those who wish to advance or gain a comprehensive understanding of our multi-faceted industry.

Regardless if degree candidates are working in hotel operations, sales and marketing, food and beverage, or gaming management, the program covers essential knowledge and research on current industry trends, which serve as invaluable tools. These tools, along with industry experience, will help us excel and advance.

What skills are you honing that you think will be most helpful to reentering the industry?

Resiliency, along with self-motivation and the will to learn new skills. People will want to travel again when it is safe to do so, however the industry will still take time to recover and change in a post-pandemic world.

Also, I’m committed to working towards becoming as knowledgeable as possible. This will help tremendously in terms of gaining transferable skills if one needs the flexibility to enter a different but relatable role, even if only temporarily.

How has COVID changed your perception of your career path, if at all?

If the pandemic has changed anything, it has taught me to be even more open-minded than I had always asked myself to be. It has also made me (and many of my friends in the industry) realize just how much we have grown and learned from our professional endeavors. Some of the most invaluable and “unteachable” skills of hospitality professionals are soft skills. Being more open-minded will help us reexamine each of our skills set, should circumstances require us to temporarily take on positions outside of the industry or switch paths completely.

While the unprecedented impact to our industry has been unfortunate, this is an opportunity for us to all reinvent ourselves, to continuously grow and learn forevermore.

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