Hospitality is one of the leading industries in California, and employs well over 1.6 million people.
The Golden State's temperate weather, stunning scenery, relaxed culture, and varied entertainment options attract international visitors, business travelers, families, honeymooners, and many others.
What else can you do with your hospitality degree? Get inspired by these careers in California. Though we can't promise you a job at these specific places, consider where your hospitality career might take you.
Sous Chef at the French Laundry - Napa Valley
The top sous chef position in California might be at the world-renowned French Laundry, which is famous for promoting from within . Four and five-star restaurants around the world are helmed by former French Laundry sous chefs such as Grant Achatz (of Alinea in Chicago) and Ron Siegel (of the Dining Room in San Francisco). Current Chef-de-Cuisine and former Executive Sous Chef Timothy Hollingsworth won the Bocuse d'Or USA semi-finals in 2008.
Before joining the French Laundry (and other Thomas Keller restaurants like Per Se and Bouchon), current French Laundry Executive Sous Chef Philip Tessier worked as a cook in the Williamsburg Inn in Williamsburg, Virginia, before attending the Culinary Institute of America.
Most chefs at top restaurants do attend culinary school. In California, the top schools include Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco, The Art Institutes in Orange County, and the Culinary Institute of America - Greystone, located in Napa Valley.
Fitness Trainer at the Sports Club/LA
Training and fitness might not be the first think you think of when you think of hospitality. But fitness trainers are employed at resorts, hotels, spas, and gyms that help visitors stay on track and in shape during their time away from home.
Nearly 28,000 fitness trainers and aerobic instructors work in California, and many of those work for retreats and spas that emphasize health and wellness.
Fitness trainers work on the mind and the body of their clients. They prepare workout schedules, nutrition plans, and personally supervise cardiovascular and muscular exercises. They use the latest in technology to improve fitness and maintain a rigorous schedule, often starting early in the morning.
The Sports Club/LA is the best-known, best-reviewed fitness center chain in California and its downtown LA branch is the most exclusive. A-list celebrities are known to use its myriad number of services, including its spa and training areas.
Trainers here specialize in Resistance Training, Rehabilitation Techniques, Diet Intervention, and Flexibility. In order to reach expertise in these skills, Sports Club trainers have degrees in physiology, athletic administration, nutrition and kinesiology.
Schools in California that offer degrees in the above disciplines or other exercise sciences include Pepperdine University, UCLA, USF, and Westmont College.
Guest Relations Specialist at Disneyland – Anaheim, CA
A Guest Relations specialist for a popular theme park is expected to communicate easily and directly with guests. She should have expert knowledge of the park's offerings as well as a calm, sunny disposition.
A guest specialist in Disneyland should exhibit similar qualities, though smiling often is more than a small expectation. It is, after all, the Most Magical Place in the World and the image professionals here make it their job to be positive. A Specialist at Disneyland works at various booths around the Park, as well at several mobile hostess spots. They answer questions, provide directions, and solve problems as needed. They're in constant communication with security and are well-versed in presentation techniques.
Education needed for this position includes a high school diploma, but most specialists are college graduates and have bachelor's degrees in Hospitality Management, Communications, Marketing, Business, or Security. You can receive a related degree from local schools including Westwood College and the University of Phoenix.