Monday, July 12, 2010

Last week!

I can’t believe today was the third Monday here at Cornell. I’ve gotten so used to this: waking up in the morning, occasionally going to breakfast, and spending mostly the entire day in class or in the lab. Mark and Reneta gave us evaluation sheets for our service learning project. We briefly described our experience, what we did, how we did, and most importantly, what we learned.

What was next was actually very interesting. We learned about the service mindset. This basically deals with service. What is quality service? How do you increase quality service and decrease expenses? How do you know that a particular service to one satisfied customer is not disgruntling to another? This was actually a very exciting topic to discuss, especially because we watched a 40 minute video on service at the Waldorf Astoria, an outstanding hotel. It wasn’t boring at all, it was fascinating. It covered every possible department at the hotel and how they offer service to their customers. The concierge at the Waldorf goes out of his way to find certain products for his customers, like a foreign lotion brand called Emergency for Nicky Hilton. By the way, the Waldorf Astoria has had every president stay there since Herbert Hoover, which was very impressive. We even saw Hillary Clinton in the video.

We learned a lot today, and we continue to learn every day. I am amazed that we have only 4 days left. I feel like I am in regular school and that we simply have a long vacation coming up soon. I grown accustomed to the class, the students, and the structure. I like that we are independent and that we can really focus on our work because we only have one class here. It’s not like there are too many distractions. You learn to be dedicated to completing your class-work because your teachers really care about you. Mark and Reneta constantly remind us to do our best, not to worry about trivial aspects (we can still get good grades even if we didn’t get A’s on everything). They are very re-assuring and informative. I started believing more and more that our 3 weeks here roughly translated into a full semester. I even did the math work for it. From my calculations,

High School semester: (5 months is 150 days x 50 minutes (0.83 hours)) = 125 hours

Summer college semester: 3 weeks is 15 days x 8 hours a day = 120 hours

Of course this discounts weekends, holidays, extra office hours and the like, but you get the picture.

This is the last week we have to be in class, and we have our very last assignment to work on – our individual hotel reports combined into one, cohesive group report. I can’t believe that that is our last huge assignment, but we have the whole week to work on it. Since my hotel actually exceeded the expectations (which is the double platinum rule by the way) of earning a weekly $70,000 by earning about a thousand more, we will focus our hotel on using my expenses, so there isn’t that much figuring out to do when it comes to expenses, variable costs, and such, although we started modifying a few things today at office hours, like cutting back a little on compensation rates. But after our practice run, our hotel was still profitable. Tomorrow we will run our hotel for the final time to determine how we will write our report. It is now 11:50 PM and I think I will head to sleep because tomorrow will be a long day.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chris,

    I've really enjoyed reading your blog and keeping up with the HMHS students. I'm also really glad you got to have this wonderful experience. It sounds as if all in this Cornell group bonded and became friends. Ms. KIaplan too.

    See you at school in August.