Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Like the Night Before Christmas

Don sent us our cohort’s contact information a few hours ago and I was immediately reminded of my ILC journey thus far. The contact sheet was a part of the application and we’re already headed off to Chicago tomorrow morning! The moment that we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Since we leave so early, we all need to get our sleep, but at the same time, there’s so much excitement keeping us up.

So far, we’ve gone through the process of applying to the ILC, applying to the school, and making it to the different ILC events. In addition to that, the Hotel Management group had to read Four Season’s: The Story of a Business Philosophy. My first impression of the book was that we would be reading about how he was able to maximize profitability, but that wasn’t the case. It was about Isadore Sharp’s ethics, values, and the decisions he made that helped him become a hotelier. I learned that focusing on money isn’t always the solution to making money. The book also talked about the different charities that Mr. Sharp has supported, which emphasized the need to give back to the community. We also had to learn hotel terms and we’ll be receiving our course packets shortly. This is only the beginning of our learning experience.

After touring three different colleges, I hope to get a better understanding of how college works, what schools on the East Coast are like, and what makes each of those campuses unique. Most importantly, I’ll be able to feel what each campus is like and hopefully portray each university in a way that people reading my blogs will get a better picture of the school too. I’m exited to learn about the people who live in these areas or go to these schools too. What did they do in their high school careers? How has the move from their homes affected them? And from the dinners I’ll be given the chance to ask all these questions and hear about interesting aspects of each school.

From my course, I hope to learn all about the hotel business. After telling my friends and family about the course, they all had different visions of what the course was about. They wondered if I was learning to be that person standing in the hotel lobby ordering other employees around or whether it was how to be a CEO of some sort. They thought maybe she’s going to learn about what rugs to pick or how people in a hotel communicate. My understanding is that I’ll learn about how hotels make profit and participate in a simulation to test how much I’ve learned from the lectures and readings. I don’t think it’s so much of who to be or what to do, but how to do it. All of this will be answered soon!

And lastly, I hope to learn about myself. The ILC encourages us to venture out into East Coast schools and I’m glad that I have this opportunity to explore them before I start applying for colleges. I know that from this program, I’ll be able to exercise both my mind and body. I’ll no longer question whether I could realistically keep up at an Ivy League pace or survive the harsh weather. I’ll learn to be an independent person from living without my parents. I’ve never been apart from my family for so long, so it’ll be a good time to experience college and post-college life. I’ll realize what I am interested in and what I’m not interested in. There’s so much to learn from this experience and maybe I’ll come back learning even more than I thought I would.

All of my bags are packed and I’m ready for a productive summer. The trip will be about a month long, but I don’t even want to think about the day that I’m back in the Bay Area. Our first stop is Chicago! My cohort has already e-mailed each other regarding the places we want to visit so hopefully we’ll get to see them!

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