Would you like fries with that? The perks of retail and hospitality

by Oct 29, 2021

Working in retail or hospitality could be the best career move you’ve ever made.

Hear me out, I’ve worked with grad recruiters for almost four years and they get very excited when they see that you’ve worked in places like McDonalds, Woolworths or your local café.


  1. You tend to have had good training
  2. You know how to manage your time
  3. You’re familiar with having to present yourself well
  4. You have experience speaking to customers
  5. You can problem-solve. (Give me a day when a shift went entirely to plan, am I right?)
  6. You know how to work with others in a team
  7. You are experienced in multitasking and prioritising

I could continue, however, I think you can see where we’re going with this. These roles provide you with a wide range of transferrable skills which are important when transitioning from university to full-time work: one of the most challenging transitions you might ever make. 

Employers often spend more time than they’d like embedding these skills into their early workforce. Get ahead by considering your previous roles in these areas, and make sure you leverage these skills in your applications and interviews when applying for internships and graduate roles.

COVID and WFH has had an impact on us all. For some of us it has depleted our psychological well-being. For others we’ve forgotten what it’s like to interact with others. 

Recent research has found that, prior to the pandemic, students’ biggest concerns entering the workforce was ‘how to manage conflict’ or ‘how to negotiate a pay-rise’. The biggest challenge students have right now is ‘how to deal with people’. The working from home environment has limited your opportunities to develop essential skills (often referred to as ‘soft skills’).

It has also been noted that the WFH environment has impacted students’ cognitive ability. Cognitive skills are the ways that your brain remembers, reasons, holds attention, solves problems, thinks, reads and learns. Selection tools used as part of the graduate hiring process by many employers have recently been seeing lower scores in verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning skills. These are all critical for success in a new role, and are also all skills that can be developed in customer-centric role such as hospitality and retail.

Put yourself ahead of your peers by snagging a retail or hospo role this summer.  You won’t regret it!

Search for opportunities on UTS CareerHub or Barcats.


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Featured gif courtesy of giphy

By Kaye Carr

By Kaye Carr

Business Development Officer

A Sydney-based Business Development Officer currently working at UTS Careers, Kaye has over 20 years’ experience in sales, recruitment, account management and business development. She loves engaging with employers to create as many quality opportunities as possible for UTS students.