The leisure industry offers international graduate opportunities within sports, tourism, hospitality and event management as well as a vast range of part-time and entry level work.
You could be working within sports policy, development and administration, coaching and wellbeing, on a graduate programme within a global hotel, leisure brand or travel agency… the list goes on.
What underpins the work is a desire to create enjoyable experiences for the betterment of people’s everyday lives. Employers are looking for you to demonstrate communication, flexibility, commercial awareness and a commitment to the industry.
Where can you work?
Whilst the number of LSE graduates choosing to work in this sector is fairly small, there are a huge range of options. The areas listed here are some of the most popular with our alumni:
- International hospitality organisations – these include international hotel groups, restaurant/café chains, amusement parks and clubs, e.g. Whitbread, InterContinental Hotels Group and Merlin Entertainments.
- Event management companies – you could work for an event management company working across a range of industries, e.g. Live Nation Entertainment and Reed Exhibitions, or for a venue.
- Leisure and fitness companies – offer a wide variety of opportunities. Some of the larger companies, e.g. David Lloyd, DW Fitness First and Virgin Active, recruit graduates into personal trainer and management roles.
- Travel industry – there are many graduate programme and direct entry roles within this industry, including those offered by TUI Group, P&O Cruises and Expedia UK.
- Tourism bodies & associations – there are several associations and bodies representing the tourist industry, including the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO), Institute of Travel and Tourism, and Visit Britain.
- Sports bodies & associations – there are several associations and bodies representing the sports industry and advising on policy at a national and local level, including the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), UK Sport, and Sport England.
- Government, think tanks and research organisations – you could be involved in creating new national government strategies working for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), or a research organisation like the Institute of Sport Exercise and Health, or a think tank like Sports Think Tank.
- Online platforms – there are many new online platforms covering a range of different services from beauty to travel, e.g. Treatwell.co.uk and Airbnb.
- Gaming, betting and gambling – there are an increasing number of commercial and technology roles in this sector including structured graduate schemes for organisations like Sky Betting and Gaming, PaddyPower Betfair, and Electronic Arts (EA).
What’s changing in the sector?
The most notable change has been the rapid growth in online organisations and the sharing economy. For example, organisations like Airbnb have disrupted the global travel industry and the way in which people plan and experience their holidays.
Another key change involves the increasing number of roles working in data and technology. Organisations are increasingly relying on data to build and drive their business forward.
In some areas, companies such as Hawkeye (an innovator in sports technology) have totally transformed our capabilities within the sector.
CareerHub – jobs board targeting LSE students, including events and networking opportunities.
Prospects Hospitality & Event Management – an overview of job profiles and opportunities, key skills and further study options within hospitality and events.
Prospects Leisure, Sport & Tourism – an overview of job profiles and opportunities, key skills and further study options within leisure, sport & tourism.
TARGETjobs Hospitality, Leisure & Tourism – an overview of some of the main graduate employers in the sector.
BASES – careers advice from the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK.
UK Sport – aids in the development of sport within the UK, includes a job board, news and events.
AEO – Association of Events Organisers provides job vacancies and networking opportunities.
Leisure Jobs – search for leisure jobs across the world.
Local Government Jobs – search for roles related to leisure within local government.