Friday, July 2, 2010

1 Down, 2 To Go!

As you all know, today is Friday. Which means we finished our first week and we are looking forward to another great two weeks! One down, two to go. I finally finished the business memo that described our strategy for running our CHESS hotel. I talked about ensuring customer satisfaction by appealing to all three customer segments – business, leisure, and group while maximizing profitability by lowering unnecessary expenses on certain days. This could be achieved by making decisions through rate planner, product planner, and group planner, which focus on different aspects within the segments, such as entertainment and advertisement.

We covered Monday’s expectations for our group reports. Through PowerPoint, we were to talk about a hotel we were assigned to. It didn’t help when Mark said we will be taped and then given criticism so we know how to improve next time. We then had two guest speakers. The first was Stephanie Robson, PhD and senior lecturer in the Hospitality Facility and Operations business. The presentation was titled “Design Matters,” and focused on creating effective hotels. She asked us what came to our minds when she said “design.” While most people shouted out “architecture,” “art,” and “colors,” she told us that the design for hotels is actually strategic, using the physical environment to communicate a brand. What influences hotel design are market, site, and brand. The greatest success will come from a combination of these. The two approaches to design are design as styling and design as strategy. It was very informative and I learned that design plays a very important role in the hotel business.

The second presentation was by Sean A. Way, also a PhD, and he talked to us about Human Resource Management. He was very engaging. He described that it is basically about people, and that there are two major aspects of HRM, competencies and motivation (which describes “can do” and “will do” attitudes) and behavior, which includes task performance, citizenship behavior, pro social service behavior, and withdrawal from behaviors. Some strategic Human Resource Management topics include workforce mixing, HR flexibility, organizational climates, and external/internal market orientations and performance.

From 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM we worked on our CHESS Memo, and although I stayed up until 4:00 AM working on it, I still used up every minute, right to the second I submitted the assignment online to Mark, at exactly 1:29:35 PM. Every minute was stressful, and I asked the TA’s to help me out. They were really helpful, as they agreed to look over my memo and made me realize I was being too vague in my explanation about customer segmentation. I further explained my ideas, and I hope that Reneta will like them and that Mark will find my format correct.

From then, we had office hours and research study until 3:30 PM. Unfortunately, I did not have time to eat lunch at 12:00, so I went alone to Trilium, where I had a cheeseburger. Then I walked back to the room, where my group was already working on the project. I didn’t even feel like it was unfair, I was used to assignments after assignments from high school. I just got down to business. Veronica started the layout of the presentation already, and we were done with researching.

After that, I felt confident enough that tomorrow we will finish the presentation and on Sunday rehearse like crazy. So I actually just hung out with the Freedom and Justice kids, Alex, Andrew x2, Dyana, and their friends. We first played with a football outside Mary Donlon and then we went to dinner, where for the first time I could enjoy sitting and not worrying about making it on time to office hours, for today we didn’t have the usual 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM session. So the F&J kids, Beilul, and I went bowling. I actually can’t even remember the last time I went bowling, probably in over 8 years, and it was loads of fun. My bowling ball had its fun in the gutter for the first 4 rounds, until I started to get the hang of it. Jacky, unfortunately, had to study and work on her PowerPoint, so she didn’t join us. Dyana came later with her friends, as there was some miscommunication and we weren’t able to come with her. Nonetheless, bowling was a great experience and it was fun to not worry about homework for once. And now, I am simply hanging out with everyone and waiting for check in, which as at 12:00 AM on Fridays. I can’t wait for Lake Cayuga tomorrow.

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