Work placement

Try out theories and methods hands-on during your work placement on the Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management programme

In the third semester you will be going on a work placement within your chosen field of specialisation. The work placement is an excellent opportunity for you to build a network with the business community while testing your theoretical skills in a practical setting.

The work placement can begin in the month of July or August the year after you have commenced your studies and end in late September/October. During this period of time, you must complete a thirteen week work placement.

We strongly advise you to start looking for work placement host companies in the autumn before you will need to go on your work placement.

Purpose

The purpose of the work placement is to:

  • provide you with professional competence within your field of specialisation
  • ensure integration between theory and practice
  • contribute to your professional and personal development
  • ensure continuity over the course of studies in that your final exam project must also be based on the company where the work placement took place.

The work placement may take place in Denmark or abroad. If you want to go abroad, you can apply for grants with the help of UCN. 

As a student of service, hospitality and tourism management you will also get access to the world's leading hospitality network, Hosco, where you can search for work placements and jobs among more than 1.400 employers worldwide and 45.000 jobs.

Learn more about your international possibilities

Examples of duties

Depending on your specialisation course, you can manage, more or less independently, a number of duties and assignments.

Here are some examples listed by specialisation:

Hotel and restaurant management

Examples of duties

  • Receiving guests, including check in and check out
  • Learning to use booking systems
  • Analysing occupancy rates/the business/outsourcing possibilities
  • Knowledge of order placements and supplier contracts
  • Knowledge of staff scheduling
  • Updating and maintaining homepage
  • Preparation of specific marketing efforts
  • Conference booking
  • Meeting booking
  • Organising and hosting conferences
  • Customer service including answering the phone
  • Knowledge of pricing
  • Preparation of staff handbook
Tourism management

Examples of duties

  • Preparing guide manuals
  • Customer servicing and booking
  • Knowledge of staff scheduling
  • Preparation of a specific marketing effort
  • Knowledge of pricing
  • Analysing questionnaires, the internet, the competition, marketing channels and clients
  • Participation in trade fairs
  • Updating and maintaining homepage
  • Organising and hosting trips
  • Preparation of marketing material
  • Transport booking
  • Agency contact
  • Destination and tour guiding
  • Preparation of newsletters
Sports and event management (the service specialisation)

Examples of duties

  • Idea development for events and competitions
  • Concept development
  • Preparation of specific marketing efforts
  • Customer service including answering the phone
  • Updating and maintaining homepage
  • Taking part in project implementation, events and client events
  • Taking part in relevant meetings, seminars and/or conferences
  • Planning and hosting activities for children
  • Learning to use booking systems
  • Partner contact
  • Expansion of the sponsor group and possibly fund raising
  • Sponsor events
  • Match facilitation and hosting
  • Analysing questionnaires, the internet, the competition, marketing channels, clients and culture
  • Tournament planning
  • Database management
  • Preparation of standards for check lists, project manuals and duties

Work placement and written assignments

Following the work placement, you must prepare a small written project which must treat the work placement as its subject, just like the final exam project.

The final exam project must show and document your ability to process a complex problem orientated towards practice.

The subject of the report could be e.g. a strategic analysis of the company's current situation, an assessment and planning of a new service concept or a marketing plan.

What the service industry says about work placements

Read examples of how members of the service industry feel about the service, hospitality and tourism management work placement.

Aalborg Zoo

Chief Information Officer, Søren Sørensen

Aalborg Zoo

Established in 1935 and with up to 375,000 visitors a year, Aalborg Zoo is one of the largest all-year tourist attractions outside Copenhagen. It has 1,200 animals of 138 different species, and 55 staff members.

Versatile

Chief Information Officer Søren Sørensen thinks that students from the Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management programme are versatile and are well-suited for a business like Aalborg Zoo where staff each have their area of responsibility but are also expected to be able to take on a variety of tasks when needed. That is why he could see himself hiring a Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management graduate if that person had the right profile.

Søren Sørensen sees different possibilities in the three specialisations offered by the programme since the zoo has many different kinds of work areas. He is especially interested in the specializations of tourism and service management which also contains experience economy.

Basically, Søren Sørensen thinks that the Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management programme lives up to the demands that the zoo might have to an applicant and points to the fact that an applicant’s personality is also of some importance.

work placement at Aalborg Zoo

Aalborg Zoo has had several interns and it is Søren Sørensen’s impression that they have been independent and have undertaken many initiatives of their own accord. They have been able to participate in the company quickly which is important as an employee in Aalborg Zoo

Søren Sørensen is very aware that internship companies should consider what they want interns to do and what goals they want them to achieve, because companies have an influence on how much use they will make from an individual intern… “If the company has good, well-defined tasks it can benefit from having an intern”.

Søren Sørensen also underlines the fact that an intern is unpaid and that interns will see the company in a different light since they are coming from a study environment with new ideas.

Intern tasks at Aalborg Zoo

The interns that Aalborg Zoo have prepared user surveys concerning the Zoo and the, now closed, amusement park Karolinelund which used to fall under the remit of Aalborg Zoo.

Furthermore they would answer the phone because that is a good way to get to know the company and its staff. This year’s intern also participated in planning and executing several events over the course of the summer. This is why, according to Søren Sørensen, that interns too are ready to help out and lend a hand when tables and stages need to be put up and removed again afterwards.

Søren Sørensen also mentions a user survey in which an intern counted non-Danish cars in the car park to get an impression of where visitors come from and then compare the numbers with the results of other surveys. That intern also wrote press releases because he mastered the Danish language so well.

On the basis of these experiences with Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management students Søren Sørensen would definitely recommend other companies to hire an intern.

Comwell Sport Rebild Bakker

Front Office Manager, Jane Andersen

Comwell SPORT Rebild Bakker

(formerly know as Comwell Rebild Bakker)

Over several years, Hotel Comwell Sport Rebild Bakker has had Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management students as interns for 3 month periods and they have also hired a Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management graduate to work in the reception.

Front Office Manager, Jane Andersen, believes that this shows that the Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management programme suits the needs and demands of Comwell Sport Rebild Bakker. In this connection she emphasizes that the Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management students’ extensive knowledge of the business is pivotal. Their knowledge about e.g. finances and marketing are also important elements.

Extensive knowledge

The extensive understanding of the trade of the Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management students also sets them apart from other students such as waiters and receptionists. About hiring another fully trained Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management students, Jane says that she considers it a positive thing that they are usually a little older, and that they have been on work placements.

During their work placements, Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management students often go to more than one department and thus they have a better understanding of a company as a whole;

“To us work placements really mean a lot – actually they mean more than the theory students learn at school. So when we hire, we emphasize the acquired practical experience concerning receptionist work, hosting seminars and conferences.

work placement at Comwell Sport Rebild Bakker

According to Front Office Manager Jane Andersen, Comwell Sport Rebild Bakker benefits greatly from having Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management students in work placements;

“We would definitely recommend other companies to do the same. As I said, they are older and know what they want and they have decided that they want to work in the business. That is why they have drive and commitment. It is also my impression that we have had some competent interns.”

work placement assignments

The students that have been on work placements at Comwell Sport Rebild Bakker have had the specialisations Hotel and Restaurant Management and Tourism. Among other things, they have worked on the process of separating the reception and conference activities.

In this connection they analysed the consequences this would have for co-operation, communication and management. Another task was about analyzing the hotel chain’s guests concerning the leisure part of the business.

One student who specialised in tourism worked on the possibilities of co-operating with Best of Denmark to attract tourists.

All departments

First students work in the reception for 1.5 months to get to know the place. They need to work with all aspects of front work and enter into dialogue with the guests in different ways.

After that, they work in the conference department for 1.5 months and thus they get around to all the departments of the business.

Experience comes first

Jane Andersen believes that being a part of the service industry, the company has a responsibility to affect the way future Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management graduates are trained. This also gives the company the opportunity to assess whether or not the student is a person they might like to hire later on.

Jane Andersen also points out that a newly graduated Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management student cannot expect to start a new job as an executive. Usually you have to work your way up and gain experience first.

Skanderborg Festival Klub

Creative co-ordinator, Jonas Hallberg, organiser of the SMUKFEST festival

Advantages

The Creative Co-ordinator of Skanderborg Festival Klub, Jonas Hallberg, thinks that there are many advantages in hiring a Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management student, because they contribute solid schematic tools in a world filled with creative people who are focusing on other things.

To him, the students are good at getting things organised and create structure. This is a necessity when organizing events and festivals like Smukfest.

A tougher business

Fourteen full-time employees handle the Skanderborg Festival, or Smukfest as it is called, and Jonas Hallberg believes that the organisation could also hire a person with a Degree in Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management full-time.

John Hallberg himself works with events and sponsors. He argues that he does so because the event and festival business has got tougher and that the experience economy is becoming a part of it.

That is why an organisation like Skanderborg Festival Klub could make good use of employees with a more professional approach. According to Hallberg such an employee could very well be a person holding a Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management degree.

Hallberg sees a good connection between the specialisation of service management / sport management / experience economy and the needs of the business and underlines that Finance is an important subject regarding the employee’s skills.

work placement in Skanderborg Festival Klub

So far, Jonas Hallberg has had two Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management students on work placements and is looking forward to the next one. This year the intern helped plan and carry out different events and assignments concerning Smukfest.

Some of the important ones being the ability to think through all aspects of the event, identify possible pitfalls, set the criteria for success and be on top of financial factors.

The intern also took part in meetings, checked contracts and made sure that sponsors had the right information and access to the festival grounds. Furthermore, the intern also planned and carried out small events during the main festival.

It takes grit

Jonas Hallberg also made sure that the intern was thrown into situations that took grit - and the intern had it! So Jonas Hallberg is very satisfied with the intern’s effort. He even recommends other companies to taking a Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management student as an intern because it has advantages but the company has to make an effort too!

Among the advantages he mentions that an intern can challenge the company’s daily ways and help open up to new thoughts and ideas. Quite often, interns are young people who can provide input and act as arbiters of taste. The festival’s interns have been typical examples of festival guests and the company benefited from it very much.

The company’s effort

At the same time, he wants the service industry to know that a company that is considering having an intern must also make an effort. It is important that the company really wants it and is honest about what having an intern means. It takes time and resources but that investment often gives a lot in return.

It is also important that both parties set up expectations for each other. Jonas Hallberg considers it a great advantage that the work placement lasts so long because it gives the student time to develop.

If the student shows commitment and a will to work with the assignments, he or she will also get responsibility and influence in return.

Fårup Sommerland

Staff and Park Manager, Niels Jørgen Jensen

Well-prepared

Staff and Park Manager Niels Jørgen Jensen thinks that the Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management programme prepares students well considering that the programme is only of two years’ duration.

Based on the students the Fårup Sommerland amusement park has had on work placements, it is his impression that the students have achieved good insight into the service industry. That is why he wouldn’t mind hiring a Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management graduate if he or she had the profile the park required.

For instance Niels Jørgen Jensen believes that a Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management graduate could be hired to solve tasks concerning staff, marketing and events.

work placement at Fårup Sommerland

Over several years, Fårup Sommerland has had students of Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management on 3-month work placements and the students have achieved good results.

For instance, the latest intern’s final exam project was very useful and Fårup Sommerland is considering using some of the ideas of the project in practice. To Niels Jørgen Jensen, this proves that the students are capable of producing something that is relevant to the real world of the park.

work placement tasks

In general, the different interns have solved the tasks they were assigned. Those were tasks such as guest analysis, flow analysis, creating new niches within the business and standardize job descriptions in the amusement park to give them a more uniform expression.

On this background, Niels Jørgen Jensen recommends other companies to taking students of Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management as interns.

First Hotel Europa

Front Office Manager, Susanne Andreasen

First hotel europa

(Formerly known as Quality Hotel Aalborg)

With 168 rooms and a breakfast restaurant, First Hotel Europa is a 4 star hotel in the centre of Aalborg. The hotel works closely with Aalborg Congress and Culture Centre situated in the same building.

Impression of the study programme

Several times, Susanne Andreasen has hired graduated Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management students to work full time at the reception desk. She has also had several students of Hospitality, Service and Tourism Management on 3-month work placements.

On this background she has gained knowledge about the study programme and her impression is that both interns and permanent staff are all passionate about the hotel business, very willing to learn and they know their abilities.

The first intern was hired on a permanent basis

Like many of the following interns, her first intern was hired on a permanent basis after she had graduated from the programme the year after the work placement. After that, she worked for a year and a half in the reception area at First Hotel Europa. Then she went to Copenhagen looking for new challenges. Today that girl is a Front Office Manager and that is why Susanne Andreasen believes that students of Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management can get far if they want to and have the skills needed.

On this background Susanne Andreasen thinks that the Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management is a good study programme and that the programme matches the demands of the hotel very well.

The Front Office Manager thinks that the four interns that the hotel has had have been “super effective” and they have been people who wanted to learn. All the interns had the specialisation of Hotel and Restaurant Management and Susanne Andreasen thinks that “…it has been really, really good”.

Recommendation

That is why she would also highly recommend other companies to take a student of Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management as an intern. On the one hand the hotel helps the student with his or her education and on the other the hotel also helps itself; “They can provide us with new ideas and thoughts and open our eyes to what we do.”

The work placement is 3 months long and Susanne Andreasen thinks that is an appropriate duration for both parties to profit from it.

work placement tasks

Susanne Andreasen tells us that the interns have completed many different assignments. The last intern worked in all departments of the hotel. First she worked as a receptionist and was in charge of all correspondence, oral as well as written, and serving guests.

After that, she followed the cleaning supervisor around for a short period to focus on internal communication and co-operation between cleaning and reception staff.

The intern even visited the accounting department and finally she followed the hotel manager on his daily routines. This way she gained a holistic understanding of running a hotel and an insight into the co-operation and communication between departments. Among her other assignments she worked out an Excel-based system to ease double checking bookings between the hotel and Aalborg Congress and Culture Centre.

Useful examination projects

Several of the students’ final examination projects based on issues in the hotel have also been useful in practice. For instance, Susanne Andreasen remembers one intern’s analysis of the hotel’s way of welcoming new employees and an analysis of the hotel’s brand when the hotel was first started.

These analyses helped her and the staff see the way they do things in a different perspective and helped them improve those areas.

All in all Susanne Andreasen thinks that the work placements have been very successful and she is definitely ready when students once again start looking for work placement companies.

Contact

Lars Olsen
Student Advisor

+45 72 69 13 95
laol@ucn.dk
Janni Østergaard Nielsen
International Coordinator

+45 72 69 13 56
jaon@ucn.dk

Erasmus and exchange students only

Work placement abroad

Entry Requirements - Danish B and C Level

Specific requirements and selection criteria

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