The majority of class time today was dedicated to editing and re-editing our business memos. Our wonderful TAs patiently read over our memos and made suggestions and answered questions. I personally got mine looked over from three different TAs before I turned it in. After this, I worked with my group on our class project for a few hours, and then I actually had free time! Jobel and Dylan, our Hotelie friend from Ohio, taught me how to play Banana Grams. After a few rounds, the Hercules Hotelies and Dylan took a bus to the Ithaca Commons for dinner.
Me playing Banana Grams with Dylan
We walked up and down streets lined with artsy shops. There was a barefoot harp player and a cross-legged woman wearing a multi-colored turban. We made our way to a used book store, where I bought a Paul Gauguin art book. Taylor, Joe, Nick, Vivi, and some of their other friends met up with us and headed over to a pizzeria with Kelly, but Kevin, Jobel, Dylan and I wanted anything but pizza, so we ate at the famous Collegetown Bagels instead.
My Cayuga Croissant
Collegetown Bagels was very impressive. The croissant I ordered was delicious, and the eatery is also very environmentally conscious. There were separate containers for trash, compostables, and recyclables, just like there are at the Trillium dining hall at Cornell. I want to set up this kind of waste system at Hercules High School. There was also a book swap in the back of the store. The sense of community here is just so very strong.
Most of the stores were independent and the people were very warm. A man on the bus kindly corrected us when he overheard us talking about getting off at the wrong stop, and a family whose car was being ticketed by an officer let me hold and play with their dog Tickles.
Me, Kelly, and Tickles
Kevin, Jobel, Dylan, and me in front of the Cornell Daily Sun Headquarters
Tomorrow we won’t have class, which will probably be very disorienting for me. I will, however, be meeting with my group to work on our PowerPoint presentation on Starwood Hotels and Resorts. In five days, I have learned:
· how to make memo and letter templates on Microsoft Word
· how to make Power Point templates
· how to identify different types of business models
· hotel managing strategies
· public speaking skills
· how to write an effective business memo
· how to calculate occupancy rates, average daily rates, and revenue per available room
· different types of hotels
· how an effective team functions
· how the Waldorf=Astoria employees contribute to their hotel
· the benefits and shortcomings of franchising, managing or owning hotels
· what different types of guests (business, leisure, and group) tend to expect from hotels and why they expect what they do
This is just what I remember learning off of the top of my head. We definitely have learned more than this. Talk about making the most of one’s week.
In addition to these academic lessons, I have also learned to set two alarms in the morning just in case one fails to wake me up, to shower in the afternoon because that’s when no one else showers, to check for important items (keys, ID, money, cellphone) every time I leave to go to a new place, to properly balance my meals and to effectively and openly talk about problems within a group.
I am having a blast, and I feel guilty for saying this, but today I don't really want to go home.