Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Walking and Talking

Rentea lecture on the risks and rewards of overbooking a hotel. We learned that is it sometimes optimal to purposefully over book a hotel, as it can subsidize for the revenue lost from no-show guests. We also learned that if a hotel is oversold and there are still unserved guests will unfulfilled reservations, then the hotel must take its displaced guests and find them lodging at another hotel, whilst taking up all the costs, of course. Within the industry, this process is referred to as "walking." 

Today's afternoon session included yet another Excel lesson with Mark. We practiced "complex computing skills," and learned how to create and calculate payoff matrices in Excel. 

Later, the class had a conference call with Bob Lafleur, a equity research analyst who works in Manhattan, New York. Mr. Lafleur talked about the financial side of the hotel industry, namely its impact on the stock market. I found our conversation with Mr. Lafleur to be very informative and it helped to answer many of the questions I had about the hotel industry's fiscal situation. 

My group spent Office Hours working on our final CHESS Report. Together we drafted a new expenses sheet and began running our final game of CHESS. By the end of the simulation, we made a sizable profit of about  $8,500 per day, which was a quite good, but was still far from our goal of $10,000 a day. 

Instead of eating at Robert Purcell Community Center for dinner, we ate at Four Seasons, a small Korean restaurant in Collegetown. Accompanying us for our meal was Yuming Wang, a rising junior at Cornell University. Yuming was also a former ILCer, who took Hotel Operations in her first year and Constitutional Law her second, just like me, although in reverse order. Yuming was kind enough to detail her experiences as a Cornell student, describing dorm life and academic environment. Thanks to Yuming, I was able to learn about the aspects of Cornell University that I don't get to experience as a Summer College student, such as its GPA system (Did you know that at the university level, an A- is a 3.7 and not a 4.0, because I didn't.) and coed dorms. 

Although a lot happened today there was one small, recurring detail that stood out to me the most-I was constantly being reminded of the one thing that has been haunting me since my freshman year-my personal statement. The subject came up time and time again, from a random handout that Reneta passed out this morning to a brief speech from Mark  in the afternoon and to Yuming's anecdotes in the evening. A personal statement is one of the most important documents of a person's life, and knowing so brings me a lot of anxiety. I honestly think that the most difficult problem I have ever had to answer is "Tell me about yourself." The question is just too broad, too general to formulate a suitable answer, and I fear that I'll never be able to give a fully correct answer. What if my topic is boring or inadequate? What if I my writing isn't good enough? These questions and more have been looming over me since the beginning of junior year when my sister first asked "Have you started on your personal statement?" Initially, I brushed off her questions, stating that it's much too early to start working on it and that I've have plenty of time to worry about it later. I have come to realize that that time to worry about it is now. As such, I have resolved to face my fears and finally begin my essay. I plan to start the process off slow. First, I shall brainstorm a some few topics and once I accumulate enough I shall begin selecting a few ideas and begin writing from there. Hopefully, with this method, I will be able to overcome my personal statement phobia and churn out a few essays by the end of the month. 

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