Monday, June 24, 2013

Teeming with Excitement

This morning I woke up at 7:10 this morning, intent on being ready and on time for class. After eating a quick breakfast, I walked to class with Michelle, Rochelle, and my newest friend, Jazmin. 

Class began with the introductions of our two professors--Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy, or as they liked to be called "Mark," and "Reneta." This was then subsequented by the introduction of a various teaching assistants as well overview of the course and the grading system. We learned that we were being graded on several categories, including our homework, group projects, and professionalism, which represent 15%, 10%, and 40% of our grade, respectively. 

With the brunt of the explanations over, we split into two groups, Group A and Group. As a member of Group B, I spend the first half of class with Mrs. Reneta. Mrs. Reneta went onto have the class begin with student introductions, albeit with a a twist-students were meant to introduce their neighbors, not themselves. I interviewed Eva Eriodone, who is incidentally Tamilyn's roommate. Criteria for the interview included grade, favorite hotel, and a clever pneumatic device to help remember the interviewee's name. By the end of the session, I was known as "Tomi, whose name you can remember by pointing your toes and then pointing to yourself." 

To kick off the second half of class, we proceeded to the computer lab to take a personality assessment in order to deduce our individual behavioral styles. Using the Champoux Model, I discovered that I was a Stabilizer-Analyzer, a person who prefers to work by themselves rather than others due to their belief that other people will fail to meet deadlines and or the Stabilizer-Analyzer's personal expectations. A Stabilizer-Analyzer is likely to compulsively obsess over doing things the correct way as well as get overly emotional when others fail to do so. However, they tend to internalize these feelings rather than verbalize them. I closely identify with my behavioral style, as I prefer to work alone rather than with a group whenever possible. This is due to the fact that I have had multiple past experiences wherein after I trusted a group member, I was often met with a sense of disappointment due to their inability to complete the assignment on time and or to my personal standards. When complementing assignments, I also take great care to do so in the correct way, so as to prevent mishaps or failure. I found the behavioral styles assessment to be very beneficial as it helped me to identify and rectify my weaknesses, such as my inability to completely trust others. 

After the assessment came our first assignment-we were to write a business memo to Mark and Reneta where we described why we selected Hotel Operations, what we thought of our behavioral style results, and finally and interesting fact about ourselves. Luckily, I was one of the students who finished their work on time. Going through this experience taught me two things, one the importance of both managing one's time and asking questions, as I'm sure that if I failed to do either of those things, I would have been one of the few students who had the displease of being able to submit their on time. 

After lunch came the beginning of our first lecture. Reneta went onto to cover a large array of topics including hospitality industry jargon like bottom line (revenue) and bottom line (net income); key figures in the indsursty like Hilton and Starwood; and the various hotel classification systems in use, such as the star rating and the diamond rating. In addition to that, we also did some mathematical and computational problems whilst learninf about hotels' Average Daily Rate (ADR) and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR). 

Later in the class period, Mark rearranged the class into preassigned groups of four. I was placed in group 2B, alongside my fellow classmates Maya, Kaya, and Arnold. Although I wasn't particularly eager to work in a group, I've come to realize that in the real world team work is a vital component for success; interpersonal partnerships have a tendency to encourage individuals to engage in discourse and discussion, thus allowing the group to simultaneously improve their efficiency, productivity, functionality, and creativity. In the end, group projects aren't about getting along, they're about getting work done both precisely and effectively. I'm still somewhat nervous about groups due the fact that if one member of the group is arrives late or does something incorrectly, then the entire group is punished for it. While this method does enforce communication  and unification amongst group members, it also runs the risk of possibility creating resentment and other points of contention amongst students. Nevertheless once the groups were finalized, we continued of the lecture  as per usual and until the end of class at 3:30 PM. 

4:00 PM marked the beginning of our mandatory office hours. I sat with my group in the front row, where we proceeded to exchange contact information. Afterwords, we set to work on completing our homework assignments, which including ADR and RevPAR application problems and required reading. Over the next one and a half hours, my group spent the time working on our assignment, helping each other as needed. Thanks to our cooperation, were we able to get tour work done, sans a minor portion of the reading. We spent the remaining half hour fiddling around with the CHESS Program. 

Today was a very interesting day full off a lot information and a lot of new experiences. Compared to my experiences with college courses at Middle College, Hotel Operations is on par in terms of difficulty level and workload, but a lot faster in terms of pacing. I hope that I'll soon be able to adjust to the difference so that I may be prepared once I move onto higher levels of education.

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