The fact that most hospitality students stick to some form of hospitality for their career is a bit discouraging for someone like me who feels intimidated in a completely different world. However, I knew when I signed up for the ILC that many of the skills I will pick up in Ithaca will certainly be valuable for any other career.
The main focus of today’s lesson was refining how we present ourselves in a professional manner through PowerPoint, Word, and actual presentations themselves. After sharpening our Word skills even further, the class and I actually managed to learn how to make our very own memo template. From my understanding, memos are very short and blunt messages which are normally used as a form of internal communication. Step-by-step, we learned what goes into a memo, how it is broken down, how everything goes into place, and how you are actually supposed to write one. After practicing on our own, we were assigned to make a personally customized memo template for ourselves.
Afterwards, we all watched a video on the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. I knew that hotels in NYC were grand and large, but the sheer scale of the Waldorf was absolutely ridiculous! From the thousands of staff to the scale of their rooms and facilities, it was fairly crazy that people could manage this well-oiled machine. It was really interesting to see the nuts and bolts of how a hotel operates behind the scenes. From operators to concierges, there is a large network of employees that work like it is the only thing they know how to do. For many employees, they have worked for more than a decade that it is perhaps one of the few things they know how to do like experts.
In the final hour of class, we were finally able to open the CHESS hotel simulation and I was finally able to put my plan into execution. I expected to either crash & burn poorly or to exceed very well, but it seemed as if I was average compared to other peers. Like many have said before me, just seeing occupancy levels and tweaking prices and expenses was really fun. I actually stayed in the computer lab after class just to try and perfect my small 250-room hotel in downtown Syracuse. Throughout the night, I tried to write down and record my planned expenses and rules for rate-selling. While trying it again didn’t work out as much as I thought, it was nice to dig deep and experiment to find the winning combinations to make the perfect hotel.