Monday, June 24, 2013

All for One and One for All

The thought of an eight-hour class is really tedious right? Not if you're taking the class with Professors Reneta and Mark McCarthy! Our breakfast selection was limited again, so it was easy to leave and walk to Statler Hall. Statler Hall is dedicated to the Hotel School and it's a 15-20 minute walk from the dorms. The ILCers and a few other girls arrived at 8:15, fifteen minutes before the class started and the room was practically filled. We didn't have and option to choose where we sat because each chair had a name tag in front of it. The professors made a one-hour speech about basic hotel terms such as bottom line, top line, extended stay, limited service and full service. Bottom line means profits and top line means revenues or sales. The main way to tell the difference between a limited service and full service is by asking yourself if you can walk into the hotel and buy food without actually staying there. Extended stays are where you live in a hotel for more than just a few days. I remember this my think of the Suite Life of Zack and Cody because they were long-term "guests" at the Tipton.
A statue of Heracles(Perseus's grandson)  outside of Statler Hotel. We passed this on our way to class.
After the first lecture was over, we broke into Groups A and B. I'm in Group A so I went to the computer lab first. I sat between Arthur and Adam. Arthur is a student from Hong Kong who has interned at hotels before and Adam is a student from Long Island. We were given individual tasks of writing a small letter to the professors and taking a survey to determine our behavioral styles. My style ended up being controller-persuader. As a controller persuader, I'm able to accept challenges and overcome obstacles. My weaknesses are inability to be patient and inability to express my emotions. The survey was scary accurate! The two groups switched and then we all introduced a neighbor in front of the class.

For lunch, we had a different experience. Instead of eating at a far away buffet-styled dining common, we went to a closer dining common that had booths with different types of food. I'm not sure, but I think you can't go over the limit of $10 with your ID or else you have to pay the rest. I ate a chicken quesadilla and green tea. Our one hour to eat flew by so quickly!

When class resumed, we discussed major hotels. I've always thought of The Four Seasons, The Mariott, The Hilton, and The Holiday Inn as the largest hotels. They were, but there were other companies such as IHG and Wyndham that I've never heard of. We looked at the different ways they're ranked by service, price, and size. There wasn't one company that just blew all the others out of the water in all categories, each company swapped rankings. Lastly, we learned about how websites like Expedia work and how to calculate profit and revenue. Hotels prefer that you book from them as opposed to through Expedia because Expedia takes 25% of that sale. If Expedia does offer a better deal though, you should try calling the hotel and letting them know because they'd rather give you that deal and not share, as opposed to sharing with Expedia or Calculating profit and revenue is fairly easy, it's just simple division.
My name tag,  assignment sheet, course packet, and Cornell USB! 
Our six hours of class ended, but wait! The hotel course mandates two hours of office hours! This is where we are in a room with the professors and TAs. They are ready to help us and we utilize this time by getting homework done. Our CHESS groups were actually given earlier, so I sat with my new team mates. Their names are Irene, Ellis, and Bhavesh. Irene and Ellis are from America while Bhavesh is a student from India, studying in China. They helped me when I got stuck on a homework problem and we completed our first group task swiftly. There was still an hour left, so I was able to finish some reading by Donald Trump.

I've learned so much today and I've been given a better perspective of how hotels work. They're much more complicated then what the naked eye of a traveler sees and you have to appeal to different customers. Some customers value price and others value service. Anything from shampoo to bed sheets can make or break the quality of your hotel. And above all, I'm learning about team work. In our groups, if one person is late to class or absent, the whole group is absent. There are no excuses. My group just happens to be 1A so we'll always be the first during roll call. We only played around with CHESS today, but when it starts, we'll all have to learn a sense of trust and reliability. One person can ruin four grades or all of us can improve the whole group's grades.

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