While many of my cohorts struggled throughout the wee hours of the night attempting to finish up their short report before the sun came up, I performed a small experiment in that I actually went to bed early and finish my assignment when I woke up. It is an interesting strategy that many people have suggested to find a good balance between sleep and work, but I have always been concerned that I will be under the pressure of a time-sensitive rush if I knew I only had a few hours to collect my scraps and call it my project. Much of my morning was centered around getting the core body of my report finished and it actually turned out nicely. During office hours today (from 11 AM to 1 PM), I made some finishing touches to the assignment and the graphs and charts I did in Excel seem to bounce off of the paper. While I am not sure that I want to experiment with my time scheduling like that again, I feel rather relieved I still got the same amount of work done with six hours of sleep while many only got three or four.
We were presented with two different presentations in class today. The first one was by Barbara Lang who focused on teaching us what etiquette really means. Before this presentation, I would have thought it was just a fancy way of saying "pretentious formalities." I have strong opinions on the subject of how someone can easily lose touch with themselves in the struggle between being professional and being themselves. I feel many people fail to see the point that acting professional is not an outlet in which you can stow away all of your flaws and problems into a drawer and keep it locked so others may not judge you negatively. Humans are an undeniably flawed species and it almost sickens me when people become fake and plastic in the name of "professionalism." It also disappoints me when people fail to see the point that you are never going to find that perfect "Million Dollar Man." However, Barbara Lang's presentation truly resonated with me as it wasn't about hiding your flaws or masking your defects, but to bring out what is truly the best in you. While she didn't say it directly, the way she came off in her presentation gave the feeling that professionalism isn't about formalities, but about traditions. It is tradition during Christmas to give gifts to your loved ones. It is tradition to dress formally at a wedding. And in the case of the business world, it is tradition to do things like a proper greeting, sitting in a specific manner, and writing straight-to-the-point and grammatically correct letters.
We also had a presentation via Skype with Robert La Fleur, a financial analyzer who has a background in the travel industry. He re-enforced the fact that the recent economic downturn easily damaged the trade, but that businesses are steadily recuperating. He also went into detail about not only hotels, but the cruise ship and airline industries. Things that makes cruise ships and airlines better in a way is that when the market they are currently operating in isn't doing well, they can easily transfer to different markets altogether. He also pointed out that a successful hotel business will have several properties in existing markets like North America and Europe and will have developments in emerging markets like Asia.
It was a nice touch to be able to get a different perspective on the elements within our course. We were also assigned a group experiment in which we will try our best at some point throughout the weekend to be of service to someone in a way that responds to their needs. While many ideas have popped into my mind, I think it would be nice to be a kind of elevator bellhop for people so that we can direct them in the shafts. While the most obvious location would be our Mary Donlon dorm as it is one of the most frequented elevators by Summer College students, I want to go out of the box and visit a public building that office workers, customers, and employees visit. We were told to keep track of the different responses we get from people, and I am curious to see how a no-frills adult would react to teenagers who are randomly asking which floor they would like to go to.