The Hospitality and Tourism Sector is More Than a Stepping Stone to Another Career: What I Learned as a Youth Think Tank Researcher
My name is Clara Bemmah Antwi, and I am a graduate of the University of Cape Coast in Biomedical Science. Currently doing my National Service, a requirement for students who graduate from university in Ghana. I am also representing Ghana as a member of the 2017-2018 Youth Think Thank (YTT) research team. I joined the Youth Think Tank because of the diversity of the program and my interest in research. As a YTT researcher, I worked with fellow young people from across the continent on youth employment issues in the tourism and hospitality sector.
Research has generally been depicted as led by old people or professors, however, I found my experience on the YTT to be different. Instead, young people lead the research and developed insights to inform government and policymakers on the challenges and opportunities in the hospitality and tourism sector.
I was quite a novice when it came to the research process, but I was given the opportunity to learn and add knowledge. Throughout the research process, I developed my communication and interpersonal skills, and other skills such as data analytics.
Ensuring the voices of young people were central
As a YTT researcher, I wanted to ensure that the voices and experiences of young people were central to our research, and the findings helped inform stakeholders on how to take action and appeal to them.
I was surprised to see that some young people saw the hospitality and tourism (HoT) sector as a stepping stone to other career opportunities. The findings show there is potential within the sector, and that more needs to be done to change this perception.
Being part of the YYT was an intriguing adventure. The experience equipped me with new skills and experiences, while working with young people on issues affecting them.
Clara Bemmah Antwi is a member of the 2017-2018 Mastercard Foundation Youth Think Tank.