9 Tips for Applying to Hospitality Internships in the United States


If you are a student outside the United States planning to pursue a U.S. internship in Hospitality Sector, it is important to plan cautiously and have realistic expectations. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you prepare to undertake the exciting Hospitality adventure and experience of learning abroad:

1) Be proactive, Not Hyperactive!

Internships will come to you—Only if your choice of consultants is wise! There are consultancies in the market like Vira International who help students realise their American dreams with opportunities in top American properties, but as the famous saying goes ‘Rome was not built in a day’ you must wait for your opportunity and prepare for interviews until your chances comes.

2) Eeenglish, Hinglish, English.

Good English, Well-spoken and well written will open more doors for you than anything else. Bad English on the other hand will slam doors which you had no idea existed at first place. There is a lot of competition for internship opportunities, so it’s important that you express yourself clearly in the interview. You do not want the Host companies to use “poor English skills” as an excuse to choose someone else. Excellent or at the most Good English skills is a must-have.

3) Have realistic expectations.

If you have never worked before, don’t expect to be given a lot of responsibility. If your English is not very strong, don’t expect to do a job that involves a lot of work on the telephone. Choose your area of specialization wisely!  Be sure to set reasonable goals for yourself. You can’t become a CEO overnight!



4) Plan ahead.

The process of finding an International Hospitality internship can take a while, so you should start at least 6 months prior to when you want to go to the United States. There are also several costs associated with a U.S. internship: visa sponsorship, airfare, housing, food, transportation, to name just a few. A paid internship will help cover these costs, but unpaid internships will not. You can ask your consultant for in-depth details regarding the same.  Start saving money now so that you have money available to cover these expenses when you find an internship. It is also recommended that you are employed at the time of the Visa interview as it reflects your ambition.



5) Think of the internship as an educational investment for your future career.

Many people consider this opportunity as a ‘Foreign Job’ to raise a lot of Dollars, since an internship implies “work”, many students expect to earn a lot of money. Most often that will not happen. Just as you need to invest in your university education to learn skills, you will likely need to invest money and savings to acquire practical, hands-on training in an internship, a “real-world” classroom that builds on your Hotel Management studies. Although there are perks involved like Tips and gratuities, you should always treat this as a learning experience.



6) Think about different sizes of companies and Brands.

Most interns want to intern at a big company with a famous name because they think it will look good on a résumé. Though big companies offer quality internship opportunities, small- and medium-sized companies often give interns more responsibility and exposure to more challenging projects. You might always look forward to train with the likes of Marriot’s and Hyatt’s but there are many big American brands like Ameristar and L’auberge which could be unheard in your place but can offer you a lot in terms of professional development.

7) United States is more than New York & Vegas.

There are many amazing properties with internship opportunities in locations other than New York, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles. Keep in mind that the cost of living (rent, food, etc.) is considerably less in the smaller cities. The climate also varies so be sure to research the weather patterns.

8) Take initiative and be open to new experiences and challenges.

Students who possess these traits and understand the mutual benefits of the internship experience (for the intern AND the Host companies) have the most successful internships. If you expect everything to be done for you and think you won’t encounter any problems during your time in the United States, you should probably reconsider whether or not you are ready for an international hospitality internship and get more experience in your home country first.

9) Tell potential Host companiess about the J-1 visa.

The J-1 visa enables you to legally intern in the United States for to 12 months. The U.S. State department maintains a list of designated J-1 Visa sponsors who can help you

obtain your visa. Be sure to research these organizations to understand the J-1 process and to find the organization that best provides the services you need.
Good luck and enjoy the exciting and educational adventure of interning in the United States!

To apply for Hospitality internships in USA email your CV to anjum@vira.co.uk

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