Monday, July 11, 2011

Would You Like a Drink With Your Application?

The final week has approached us and to me it just feels like any other day in class. We debriefed on our service projects and did a write-up on it and how it made us feel. Luckily for me, a lot of the ideas I conceived for the writing assignment came up in my blog! So all I had to do is simply extract what I wrote last night and apply the same concepts onto paper! We were also able to hear the experiences of groups I was not aware of including one that offered a pool party and Slip 'N Slide to the public and another that offered a concierge service. And again, we broke into discussion behind the philosophy of service. In particular, we discussed how sincerity or an appearance of it can affect how it impacts a patron. We also talked about how the value of the service will also affect the way the patron responds to it.

Our day, for the most part, consisted of guest speakers going in to talk to the class. The first one was Greg Mazzi, the Food & Beverage Director at the connected Statler Hotel. He assisted Mark McCarthy in organizing a layout of how leadeship and division of tasks are separated and organized within a hotel's employee base. While this was mostly based on the organization of the Statler Hotel, which is a 100-something room property, the final diagram looked incredibly intimidating and I will admit that I sometimes got lost, mixed up, and confused at times. After learning so much about the industry in the past two weeks, I almost felt I was ready to operate a hotel for myself!

How wrong I was.
The final diagram on the board.

After lunch, Lisa Schafer, the Assistant Dean of the Hospitality School at Cornell, came to talk about admittance into the institution. Because of the many resources we have had throughout this trip including admissions officer meetings, campus tours, and presentations, she re-inforced many ideas that people before her have shared about applying to a college. I now know that the pool of resources is expected to repeat the same things over and over again, and many friends that have done college tours and similar ventures in the past tend to get the same impression each time. However, that doesn't go without saying that without that repetition, you will never be able to find out the things that stand out or that makes the school absolutely unique. For instance, I was shocked to hear that the number of students in the 2014 class is less than 200! While the hotel school makes up a small portion of Cornell, I was surprised to hear that the admissions office actually allocates how many freshmen can be accepted into which schools. When I first heard about that, a whirlwind of questions and ideas swished through my mind as I can imagine that conflicts and frustrations can or have possibly brewed from this particular idea. It would be interesting to research this bit a little more as I am sure that other schools have run into a similar concept before and I would like to know how staff and students have managed and been impacted by this.

The one final hurdle that everyone in class knows is lurking behind everyone's backs is the final group report. This report will analyze data in a similar way we performed our individual report, but we will be managing the hotel as a single entity and turn in the assignment as a single group. From the beginning of office hours, I knew we would have differences of opinion as we had separate ideas for how we wanted to cover our expenses. Then again, we all managed to pull through it and reaches a consensus, and after doing a small test run, we discovered that minor tweaks can make this an extremely profitable simulation property that may actually reach our original goal of income! While it feels like we have so much time to finish this, I know that the pressure will hit us in a few days to come.

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