Hotelie Magazine

Hotelie Fall 2011 no class notes

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l Hotelies Clara Kim, Hannah Smith, Scrubs Ting, and Maxwell Rappaport (standing) race the clock to finish their final analysis By the time they married in 1998, Reneta, who specializes in hotel and casino operations, and Mark, an authori- ty on personal business computing, were teaching at the school. "We love the school," Reneta said. "It is our life. We don't have kids. We have students." In 2008, Reneta decided to join forces with Mark, who had already been teaching in Cornell's Summer College, to design a new version of the course offered by SHA. Collaborating together for the first time, they changed its focus from business communications to hotel operations. And they adopted a hotel management-simulation program devel- oped by Mark Talbert, senior lecturer in information systems, to afford the stu- dents a hands-on approach to operating a hotel. "We wanted students to have an excellent understanding of the hospitali- ty industry," Mark McCarthy said. "We wanted them to understand team dynamics and we wanted them to under- stand how you could utilize business computing. This was designed to be an exposure and a way to stretch them beyond what they had been asked to do in their high school curriculums and in most college curriculums." At the start of the session, the students were assigned to four-member groups and asked to produce two reports: a memo outlining a strategy for taking over an unprofitable hotel and a busi- ness report on how to manage the hotel successfully. While working on the computer program, the students learned to manage bookings from three market segments—business, leisure, and group—and to manipulate rate cate- gories for their hotel rooms, ranging from $70 to $110. Each day the students, who lived in dormitories on campus, attended lectures on the U.S. lodging industry, yield management, and hotel organiza- tional structure. They also worked in the Binenkorb Computer Center in Statler Hall several times a day, brush- ing up on their computer skills while learning how to close rates and juggle expenses for an imaginary 250-room downtown hotel that had been taken over by the Bank of Syracuse. "They keep it very intensive, which is a good thing—I love it," said Rebecca Hallac, a 17-year-old from Scarsdale, NewYork who was drawn to the course because of her interest in travel and hotels. "For me it's amazing—I get to stay in the lab and really learn." On Day 13 of the course, the students were hunched over computers, trying to figure out how to make their simulated Hotelie 39 Jason Koski, UPhoto

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