Through WCCUSD’s Ivy League Connection program, Hercules High School Students Justine Betschart, Stacy Chan, Ramiah Davis-Shephard, Louisa Man, Julia Maniquiz, and Yueming Wang will be attending Cornell University to either study Freedom and Justice or Hotel Operations Management during the summer of 2009.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
It was very nice to see Mrs. Kronenberg today. It is always nice to see her. Unfortunately our visit was cut short because we had to run along to discussion. We finished up Locke and preparation for the preliminary test we have tomorrow. Although we also have a lecture tomorrow on new readings, Professor Kramnick instructed us to spend our time studying, rather than reading. He told us that we can read over the weekend. (It is really rather obvious that he is accustomed to dealing with nervous college students.)
As always on Tuesdays we had a guest lecturer today. This gentleman, Mr. AlanMittman, is a lawyer who once represented Häagen·Dazs in a court case. The man who invented this ice cream was upset when the people who distributed his product came up with a competing brand. His only concern was how similarly the two products were packaged. The name of the second was Frusen Glädjè. The judge ruled so everyone got something. Frusen Glädjè had to change their packaging, but not their name. In the end, however, Häagen·Dazs has outlasted Frusen Glädjè significantly.
I studied for the first time in a “Harry Potter room” today. I was in Uris Library which is very close to our lecture hall. I really wish I could post pictures because the room was amazing. “Harry Potter” is definitely the best way to describe them.
Julia, Justine, and I also studied together after dinner. I really hope that we all do well on the exam tomorrow.
After that, the class dispersed with some students, including, myself, heading to the lab where we had the opportunity to play CHESS for the second time. With CHESS, I could adjust my expenses accordingly based on the occupancy level, and the groups that I would be targetting.
Moving on to the other lab, I was then under the instruction of Mr. McCarthy. He showed us the ins and the outs to a report template, giving us examples of what are acceptable and what are not in the real business world. Most importantly, he emphasized the multitude of tools or applications to apply to any report document.
Lastly, to finish the day, Mrs. McCarthy highlighted the essentials of yield management. If I were to apply that concept to CHESS, it would mean that I had to allocate the right room to the right customer for the right price. This would all build up to the level of demand, either making business profitable or not, depending on how much demand increases.
As soon as the Hotelies exited the Statler Hall building, I saw Ms. Kronenberg and Mr. Grossley outside, waiting for us. It was incredibly refreshing to see Ms. Kronenberg. She was all smiles. All of us chatted for about an hour, talking about yield management and "The Hotel Inspector," a BBC show hosted by Ruth Watson who was ready to whip struggling hotel owners into shape. Most importantly, we all talked about the hotel management class, Cornell University, and New York City, in general.
In the midst of talking, a once-Ithaca resident decided to come forth to us, presenting us The Ithaca Times. A passionate individual who was concerned with the species of deer, she told us to read the article and to write to the newspaper, addressing the cons of killing deers in Cayuga Heights.
This may sound irrelevant, but it just shows that many people are passionate about various issues, whether they are related to animals or not. Some people, or anyone, as a matter-of-factly, are willing to go the extra mile to convey their messages. At the end of the day, that's what matters, right?
...doing what you do best, what you are passionate about.
Today was a very simple day. We began working on report templates. This time, I was able to take lots of notes. Normally, when we work in the computer lab with Mr. McCarthy, he goes through every step of how to set a template up really quickly. You are watching the projection of what he is doing on the computer and if you blink once, it seems like you just missed two steps. He tries to slow down if many of the students are lost, but most times he doesn't. If you need help, the TA's normally come to you and get you up to speed. I was glad I was able to take lots of notes though. I feel much more informed and prepared with the steps in my notebook.
After working with Mr. McCarthy, my group worked with Mrs. McCarthy and started our second attempt at the CHESS hotel simulation game. I read through the comments she wrote on my memo and began making the adjusts she suggested. I thought I would do much better. In the game, the speed is set to one minute per day, so it goes pretty quickly. We have to go through a seven-week duration in the game. My goal was $10,000 by the end of those 7 weeks. I started off well, but then for some reason, my revenue and the percent of occupancy declined. I was trying so hard to figure out why. I changed various expenses and played with the rate planner. In the end, I ended up with about a 74% occupancy and around $9600. I was so angry that I didn't reach $10,000. I wanted it so much!
Next week, we will get to work with CHESS again, but this time as a group project. With four brains put together and all our ideas, I am sure we will be able to reach a revenue beyond $10,000.
After class, we met up with Ms. Kronenberg and Mr. Crossley. It was quite lovely to see her again. We discussed a little about the class, Cornell, and being in Ithaca. Everyone was all smiles and laughs. Our short meeting together was very enjoyable. In the midst of our talks, a little old lady approached us with an article in The Ithaca Times about saving the deers that live in Ithaca. She expressed how she felt about the atrocity of the decreasing populations of deer. She had so much determination to make everyone aware of the issue. Determination is something I always admire.
"You learn something every day if you pay attention." -Ray LeBlond
Today we covered a lot about the financial management aspect of the hotel industry. The topics included operating leverage and restriction/segmentation. Operating leverage is the measurement of how revenue growth turns into earnings growth. For example, the sales from room nights contribute 2/3rds of a full-service hotel (one with food and beverage). The departmental profit of the sale, the money that goes to the bottom line after deducting expenses, is roughly 75% of the original sales revenue. This shows that the word "revenue" can be easily misinterpreted.
The gross revenue is how much money the company makes. The actual profit is calculated after deducting money from the gross revenue that is spent on expenses, taxes, staffing, etc. By understanding this, the hotelies were able to better assess our performance in our second CHESS trial. I will describe two extremas.
- X hotel company has 100% occupancy rate, meaning they have their rooms completely sold out. However, their profit only came out to be around $8,000.
- Y hotel company has 50% occupancy rate, meaning they have their rooms half sold out. However, their profit came out to be a stunning $10,000.
So what does this all mean? X hotel company definitely attracts more customers than Y hotel but Y hotel is more profitable. There are several explanations to why it is like this. 1). X hotel stresses quality more than Y hotel and therefore invests much more money on acquiring the best supplies, employees, services, etc. As a result, much of X hotel's gross revenue goes to paying off the huge expenses spent. 2). X hotel is a economy and caters to customers who are only willing to pay the lowest rates while Y hotel targets more of the upper-end customers.
Even though Y hotel is more profitable right now, it does not mean that Y hotel necessarily has the best business strategy. X hotel's occupancy rate definitely hints customer satisfaction and possibly customer loyalty to the brand. What I enjoy most about the hotel industry and business in general is that there is no right way to be successful. What I am aiming for in my CHESS game is a healthy of the X and Y companies I made up. Market segmentation data from my first trial showed that my virtual hotel catered mostly to business customers. After making some changes in terms of cutting down unnecessary expenses (such as paying 3% or 4% commissions rather than an outrageous 10% as the game preset), I realized that a significant growth in terms of revenue contributed by leisure customers. By cutting down on the quality of the hotel, I lost some of my business customers but I was able to gain a few more leisure customers. I am still trying to work on a better balance that will help my CHESS hotel operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.
I love how everything we learn from the Hotel program ties together in the end, and how the applications do not only apply to the hotel industry, but gives us basic knowledge regarding how business in general is managed and operated. I also love the fact that learning in this program comes from various sources, whether it be published papers by Cornell Hotelies or current news articles from hotelnewsnow.com.
I became even more aware of this as Louisa, Stacy, and I had our pleasant conversation with Ms. Kronenburg and Mr. Crossley. Ms. Kronenburg mentioned a BBC television program called "The Hotel Inspector" that taught viewers the same financial basics we had learned in class. It shows that learning comes from all portals.
As Ray LeBlond said, you really can learn something everyday if you allow yourself to pay attention to them. I also know that whatever I take away with me this summer, I will be able to apply what I learned in the future. And these application will continue to teach me more and more. Learning is truly timeless.
P.S. Speaking of our conversation this afternoon, I was very impressed by a lady who approached us with two copies of the Ithaca Times and insisted that we read an article about saving the deer in Cayuga Heights. Her determination to spread the word about something she felt would benefit the residents in Ithaca showed what this city is about -- a close knit community where everyone becomes involved to improve the quality of life. I am just happy to be a part of this community, even if it is only for 3 weeks!
The most interesting topic, to me, brought up during our hour and half long lecture was the idea that we are all, in some way, liberal. There are two categories of rights that distinguish our liberality: economic rights and human rights. Modern-day liberals are considered liberal because they believe that government and state should have no dictation over human rights. Modern-day conservatives are unknowingly liberal because they believe that government and state should stay out of the economy. If you happen to believe that there should be little to no government intervention, then you are undoubtedly a libertarian. Being from one of the most liberal states in the country, I found this idea intriguing.
After the end of my favorite lecture thus far, our groups retreated to our discussion sections, where I was excited to channel my input on today's lecture. We discussed how we start in the state of nature and make our way through the state of war to the need for government. I'm finding these flow charts and ideas absolutely fascinating. After discussing Lockean ideas, we spent the remainder of our discussion asking questions regarding tomorrow's preliminary (or mid-term). I'm happy we had our qualms cleared up and now know the best way to go about studying.
Following another wonderful meal at Trillium, we headed back to McGraw Hall for our bi-weekly guest lecturer, who today was Alan Mittman, an attorney specializing in social issues and business. His lecture surrounded around a case he took on involving two ice cream companies with similar trademarks and tré dress (that is, overall appearance in product). Although it took awhile for Mr. Mittman to bring up the case, I was excited once it came. The two companies, Häagen-Dazs and Frusen Glädjé, went to court due to the latter company infringing upon the former's trademark and signature style. Look at the pictures of these two companies' products! Virtually the same! The case resulted in a mutual ruling due to the fact that Frusen Glädjé quickly changed their product's appearance before the trial. Smart move Frusen Glädjé. In the end, Frusen Glädjé ultimately failed when they eventually went out of business. As we know, Häagen-Dazs is still thriving.
While we would usually resort back to our dorms after guest lectures, a portion of the class stayed in McGraw Hall to have a quick discussion with Professor Kramnick in regards to the preliminary. From St. Thomas Aquinas to St. Augustine to Locke, all of our questions were answered and we left the hall feeling prepared and ready to review. Julia, Ramiah and I have decided to each focus on two philosophers (mine being Christ & Locke) and bring our information to a study session after dinner. This way, we are capable of answering ALL questions on ALL of the philosophers. Now, I must leave my great readers and begin my portion of our review. Wish me luck!
Monday, June 29, 2009
Honestly speaking, I was not nervous about the presentation until after I listened to a few of the morning groups deliver their powerpoints. And then it hit me. All of the what-ifs came popping into my head. What if I didn't include the right information for our audience? What if I make a huge mistake during a slide? What if the professors ask tough analytical questions I am unable to answer? What if...
After our group learned that we will be presenting in the afternoon, I felt more relieved yet more anxious. Fortunately, we now have more time to rehearse our delivery to make sure we do not exceed the 10 minute time limit. Unfortunately, I was so nervous that I could not eat lunch at all. I ended up skipping lunch entirely but thanks to Louisa and her kindness, I was able to consume some snacks as well as half of a fajita after class was dismissed.
When it came time for my group to take the floor and present our information on Host Hotels and Resorts, I felt confident. Confidence is key to any presentation. After all, one may be able to memorize 10 pages of research or just understand the basics about the topic, but if one is assertive and believes in oneself, the difference in preparation will not matter much in the actual presentation.
I am proud of my entire group for pulling it together. Sure there were areas we should improve on, but taking into consideration of our limited time for group preparations, we did well! I look forward the seeing how the rest of the week turns out!
Until next time!
When we reached the Binenkorb Computer Lab, my group and I had to make final adjustments to our slideshow and correct all the mechanical errors we found while rehearsing last night in the dorms. Every single group was in a rush to finalize and perfect everything. It was to the point where we were all almost late to class.
Once I walked into the main classroom, I was relieved we had our Powerpoint slideshow done. Although, all my nerves rushed towards me as it was time for presentations to start. I am in group 5B, and there are a total of 19 groups that went today. Mr. Crossley was there to watch us present too. Earlier this week, Mr. McCarthy mentioned to Mr. Crossley that Yueming and I would present after lunch. I was looking forward to that. I thought I would have more time to prepare myself and practice my part. However, the plans switched gears. Groups 1A through 5B went in the morning and groups 6A through 10 went in the afternoon. I was literally shaking in my seat when Mr. McCarthy announced this to the class. I needed and wanted that lunch break. I didn't feel I was sincerely ready. I had all sorts of questions running through my head. What if i freeze up? What if I forget a word? What if I couldn't answer the questions the audience may ask? I was panicking.
I told myself to breathe. As the groups went one by one, it finally reached 5A. That group has the same hotel company as us. It was nice to see how the other group approached the same topic as us, but it sucked to have to go right after them. They were really good! Their presentation skills were beyond my expectations from any student in the course. I was definitely worried now. I just tried to breathe and convince myself it will be alright.
When my group reached to the front of the room, I could do nothing but place a confident front and just do the best I could. It turned out that I wasn't that bad. Our presentation went a lot smoother than what it had been during rehearsal the previous night at office hours. I was so proud of all of us. I thought I did much better than when I was practicing the night before. I think next time, I should relax a little more and stop second guessing myself.
At the end of all the presentations, Mr. McCarthy identified all the mistakes that the groups made as a whole. One of those were not smiling. I hadn't realized it before, but it was true. No one that went up smiled. I must keep that in mind for next time.
I must acknowledge the fact that staying at Cornell has been an odyssey of discovery for me, personally as well as intellectually. Everyday I pick up a new tool or idea. This program has taught me to become more courageous to take a challenge. Most importantly, it is crucial to challenge oneself and to see if you have the capability and drive to be on par with other talented individuals.
To conclude, I want to clearly emphasize the fact that everyday is a growing experience for me. I may not pick up a tool right away, but with a dose of effort and passion, it'll eventually manifest. Today, particularly, I have noticed that one of the best alternatives to learning is to sit back and to observe. Observe who, you might ask? Look no further--my classmates, of course.
I would definitely say that I am getting the hang of things here. Today, everything seemed pretty normal. We met for breakfast after printing our essays at Appel, and then walked across campus to McGraw Hall for lecture. John Locke is the philosopher we are now dealing with, and was therefore the topic of Professor Kramnick’s lecture. After that we went to Goldwin Smith Hall for discussion. I think that considering how much Locke’s ideals have shaped the politics of our country, almost all of the students are generally more comfortable with this information. These theories do not seem as new. Lunch was, as always, at trillium - which is actually a very good dining hall.
Our Plato essay was due today in our writing workshop. Little did we know we were going to be peer editing in class. Our TA said he did this so we will all realize that everyone has some struggles when it comes to writing. Mr. Desmond also gave us the study guide for the Prelim we have on Wednesday. Overall it was a very good day. Nothing too exciting, but I think everyone needs days like these every once in a while.
One exciting thing for tomorrow is that Mrs. Kronenberg will be here and will be sitting in on our classes. I am looking forward to seeing her.
Just as our schedules suggest, we strolled back to Goldwin-Smith for our writing workshop with our TA. During the session, we peer-edited our classmates' papers and provided critiques, insights, and suggestions. Because I have a knack for editing and the paper I had to read was decently written, I was among the first to finish. This is where the title of my blog comes in. When picking up my corrected papers, my TA, Des, takes my papers, gives me a little swat with them and says, "Don't stress. You always looked stressed." I couldn't help but laugh and shake off any signs of nervousness that he claimed to see. Overall, today was an informative day. It's really hitting me that next week is our last week here, and it's a tad bittersweet. I'll definitely absorb what's left of the time I have at Cornell University.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
It is currently 1:36 am in Ithaca. I have just returned from finishing my group's powerpoint presentation about Host Hotels and Resorts. Everyone in my group had miscalculated the amount of time we needed to put into constructing this powerpoint. Although we had already completely formatted everything we planned on including by 7 pm, we found ourselves changing every slide after our rehearsals. Cram time? Yes indeed.
But if you look on the bright side, at least the presentation is complete. We have already practiced the presentation at least 5 times in full length. Everyone is clear about what information we are incorporating and who will be delivering each slide. My group is ready to go!
Before all the hecktic last-minute edits of my group project, the Hotelies were able to catch up with the F & J students by going to Collegetown for a nice (but hot) stroll. Afterwards, we found ourselves steering towards the direction of Dairy Bar, a student-runned dairy shop. Unfortunately, we did not know the directions to get there so we had to stop and ask the campus police by using the Blue Light. After all the hassle, we learned that the Dairy Bar is closed on Sundays, apparently even on extremely hot Sundays. Luckily, Mr. Crossley was generous enough to give us a ride back to our Mary Donlon dorm. Thus concludes our first campus exploration. Hopefully we will have better luck on the next one.
Now I will go and quickly review the 4 slides I am responsible to deliver tomorrow before I climb into bed. Second week of Hotel Operations Management (whoo-hoo!), here I come!
By the way, I have to say, I really think that the Appel Commons leaves the good food for weekend brunch. What is served during the week isn't that great at all. I also finally decided to try having my first bowl of cereal here. I normally have cereal every morning for breakfast at home, but I am afraid of drinking any kind of milk that is not from home. Last time I had milk from somewhere else, I caught the stomach flu. However, I am alive and well. I can now go back to my daily breakfast staple and that is cereal. I love cereal so much. I could literally live off of it.
When I returned to the dorms, I went straight to work on my part of the Powerpoint presentation for tomorrow. I was still incredibly confused about how I should structure my part. Once I set everything up and included all the content, I was really not satisfied. I thought that my part looked too boring. I wanted to add as many awesome effects as I could and for it to have as much pizzazz as possible, but it would've looked too cluttered and I was not sure how to put those effects into my slides anyways. At that point, I wished Mr. McCarthy had gone over the Advanced Powerpoint lesson. That lesson, however, will not be taught until next week. I do want to master Powerpoint. I want to show everyone at home my skill! Wouldn't it be great if during next school year I could produce a presentation that amazed everyone because it would contain so many features that no one exactly knew about?
Once I got to office hours, my groupmates and I put everything into place and looked at the entire thing. I was still a bit upset at my part. I tried to add to it as much as I could. I wanted it to be perfect. The thing about me is I always second guess myself. When someone thinks something is fine, I don't. I need to stop and just accept things, like a Powerpoint slideshow, the way they are. What a challenge for me!
I must say being selected into the Ivy League Connection program has allowed me to become more comfortable with speaking in front of a large crowd or in a public setting. Back in Hercules, I am only exposed to a limited amount of public speaking, but nothing compares with what ILC students have to do in front of the masses. This preparation has well-suited me over these past few months, and I strongly believe I will be more at ease as time goes by.
Tomorrow marks my first school day for the second week here at Cornell University. Ms. Kronenberg will soon join our class to observe the rigorous curriculum. I cannot wait!
By noon, the majority of us met at Appel for brunch. We decided that it would be fun to take a quick trip to Collegetown before some of our group needed to return to projects, essays and reading. Upon arriving at Collegetown, our group gravitated towards a small store where everything was plastered with a Cornell logo. We really enjoyed this store because it seemed to have much more variety than the Cornell Store on campus. A few of us plan on returning to grab gifts and miscellanea for ourselves and loved ones before we leave. After walking around Collegetown for a little while, we decided to make the trek to the Cornell Dairy Bar, a notorious spot for ice cream. After spending 30 minutes walking in the sun, we found the Dairy Bar, but also found it was closed! Disappointed and tired, we got a hold of Mr.Crossley, who graciously gave us a ride back to Mary Donlon. Although the walk to the Dairy Bar was brutal, we enjoyed the scenery and have many photos to contribute to our future Cornell scrapbooks. It was a great way to see the parts of campus most of us had previously not seen.
As of right now, everyone is in their dorms or meeting with groups to finish up the weekend's homework. I am gearing up to attack my reading assignment: John Locke. I'm excited to read, for I have also been exposed to this philosopher thanks to my AP Language & Composition course. I'm looking forward to this week's classes because we are covering some of my favorite philosophers, which include Locke, de Gouges & Wollstonecraft. This week also marks our class' mid-term. I'm up for the challenge and can only be prepared.
After brunch at the Appel Commons dining hall, the group took a cab to college town. We did a little bit of shopping, but not too much. I was fortunate enough to find a Starbucks, and simply had to get my caramel frappuccino. I am glad that I did so because we then embarked on a rather long walk in search of the Cornell Dairy Bar. This subsequently became the first time we had to use the “blue light” system which connects you directly to the Cornell Police. Do not worry, nothing serious happened, we only needed directions. During orientation they explained to us that these can be used to get directions, escorts in the event one is feeling unsafe, and also if anything goes wrong and police assistance is needed. They look like light poles, but the lights are blue and they have a yellow box on the pole in which there is a button and a speaker. Unfortunately our efforts were in vain because upon arrival at the ice cream shop we discovered that it is closed on Sundays.
This discovery led to our check in with Mr. Crossley for today. We did not know how to get back to the dorms, so he came and escorted us back. (Thank you again Mr. Crossley.)
Now it is time to finish my essay. We will be meeting for dinner at six o’clock.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I have to agree, it is a wonderful school. However, the only thing I was skeptical about was it would not be strong in my studies. During the tour, I brought up to the tour guide about the studies I am interested in, journalism and Asian studies. He was not sure of how strong the two studies at University of Rochester or even whether the institution carries those studies. I checked the website earlier and the two majors were not listed in its database. I really like the environment of the school, the flexibility it offers in terms of schedules and courses to take, and its study abroad program, but if the university does not have my studies, that is quite a problem.
Casino Night was pretty fun. I didn't think that it would be as good as it is because I do not know how to play most of the games they had. I ended up playing several rounds of Blackjack. I got a lot of chips and won blackjack twice during the night. With the chips, I was able to purchase 21 tickets for the raffle. The prizes included an iPod Shuffle, an "Ithaca is Gorges" T-shirt every 15 minutes, and Urban Outfitters VIP tickets for the new store opening on Wednesday in Ithaca. I was definitely going for the VIP tickets. I put all of my raffle tickets in that particular bucket. I was disappointed I did not win. However, I am not sure how I would even be able to get there since it is during my mandatory office hours. It was just not meant to be.
Thanks to the wonderful Ms. Sue Kim the seven of us traveled to the far away city of Rochester and were given a private tour of the university campus. To be honest, I really liked Rochester. I will definitely be looking further into it, and very possibly be applying there this fall. Our private tour took us through the main quad, the library, the fraternity quad, and to a sample dorm. The campus was not quite as beautiful as Cornell or Syracuse, but it was still very nice. We topped the Rochester University experience off with lunch at Pellegrino’s Deli. Our tour guide John Junig and his friend joined us. I think Mr. Crossley’s ride home was rather lonely because we all fell asleep in the car.
We had our first college experience of washing laundry. Although washing laundry in and of itself is nothing new to me, this was first time doing so on a trip away from home. Tonight’s schedule includes a casino night for all summer college students. It will have games, food, and prizes. However, I’m not sure how much time I will be spending there because I want to get started on my Plato essay tonight.
I am most impressed by the 5 year masters program for business and medicine. Usually an 8-year program, students who are interested in getting a masters degree in medicine have the option of applying for the Rochester Early Medical Scholars (REMS) program. Likewise, the typical 6-year business program can be shortened to a 5-year program. Both are highly competitive to get into; for example, the REMS program accepts only 10 student applicants each year.
In addition to that, I found the collaboration between University of Rochester and Eastman School of Music intriguing. Students attending Rochester have the chance to use facilities at the Eastman School of Music to complete courses that satisfy their music major requirements.
Like other schools, Rochester also provides students with opportunities to study abroad. For me, studying abroad must be offered by the schools I am interested in attending. I believe the experience of living o another continent for a semester will provide me enough resources to learn about different cultures. In addition, the school has a need-based, need-blind admission program and provides those in need many scholarships, loans, and work-study options.
After our group's 1-hr campus tour of the University of Rochester convinced me that I should consider it as a possible college option.
Among many other aspects, this institution, which is smaller compared with Cornell University, grasps my attention with its Writing Fellows program. Having a wealth of resources available have always been an important facet for me. Another neat factor to the school is its Rochester Curriculum. Since the school believes that students should only take courses in whatever subjects of interest to them, they do not have a standard set of required classes for students to take, hence the flexibility of this university.
If students cannot find a club that meets their expectations or appeals to their leisure life, they can always write up an amendment, as long as they have five other people who are willing to join the group.
The impression of this school I left with is its amazing campus life, but most importantly, its rigor in the classroom and its well-respected school faculty.
Now, my group and I are wrapping up the slides for our Powerpoint presentation. Tomorrow, we will put the final touch to it.
This weekend began with a trip to the University of Rochester with all 6 Herculean girls and Mr. Crossley. After a super quick breakfast at Appel Commons, we all piled into our van and took off for a two hour car ride to Rochester. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by our tour guide, Jon Junig, and his close friend. Before our the beginning of our tour, Jon graciously gave all 7 of us University of Rochester shirts, bags, and folders containing useful information. The gesture was extremely unexpected and appreciated. What a way to make us love Rochester from the beginning!
During our tour, we visited some of the momentous points of the beautiful campus, which included the school's library, a sample dorm, the residence halls, the fraternity row, and the very nice quad. Unfortunately, I cannot post any pictures due to my camera's decision to die on me the minute I arrived at Rochester. Although, I am sure that my fellow Cornellians will take the duty of posting their amazing pictures. After the hour long tour, all 7 of us felt hunger rumbles in our tummies and decided that it was due time for lunch. With Jon and his friend, we took a short drive to Pellegrino's Deli Cafe for sandwiches and smoothies. On the way home, most of the car riders fell asleep.
Right now, I'm waiting for my laundary to dry, so that I can head over to Appel for dinner. After dinner, there is going to be Casino Night in our dorm where we can win prizes! After Casino Night, I'm going to crack open my reader to get a head start on Locke.
I did spend some time with the rest of the gang – and of course Julia, Justine, and I still ate lunch together. However, after that I went back to my dorm and ended up falling asleep. (Yes, you can laugh if you want to, I certainly did.) I got some much needed rest. After my nap, nonetheless Justine, Louisa, Yueming, and I spent some quality girl time together. (I think that by this time a few others had also retired for the night.) I feel like we Lady Titans are truly bonding like never before. Although we’ve known each other for a long time, this is the first substantial amount of time we have gotten to spend together. It is really nice to know that our trip to Cornell has benefits in so many aspects.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Today was mainly a day of office hours. We all were just productively working on our Powerpoint presentations. I love working with my group. We always contribute different inputs and when one person does not like something, we modify that idea. We like to come to a full agreement on something. I think our presentation will take a different direction compared to all the other groups. I am really excited for Monday.
After voluntary office hours, many of the students on campus decided to go to the Cornell Mall. A lot them, including me, went to the movies and watched Transformers 2. That made my day. I have been wanting to watch that since I first saw the preview weeks ago. I even got to go shopping. Mr. Crossley, I have followed your orders. I finally was able to do something for myself, something I truly needed after a long week.
9:15 – 10:15 am Guest Lecture: “Design Matters!” by Stephanie Robson
10:15 am – 12:30 pm Office Hours/Research Study
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm CHESS Individual Memo due!!!
1:30 – 3:30 pm Office Hours/Group Presentations
There could not have been a more appropriate ending to the first week of school.
The lecture delivered by Stephanie Robson included an insider's scoop on how various designs of a hotel affects the overall success. Although we had briefly touched bases on that with Professor Reneta, Miss Robson included specific examples of how companies use design to set itself apart from competitors. I particularly enjoyed learning more about the Indigo brand. Indigo incorporates its modern technologies to attract customers, providing each client with unique products. In addition to its special designs, Indigo uses this as a competitive advantage because furnitures come in various colors, shapes, and sizes which makes duplicating similar rooms more difficult.
The last part of the morning and all of the afternoon was dedicated to finishing up our individual CHESS memos and working on group presentations. My group will focus on deliverig a powerpoint presentation of Host Hotel and Resorts which is an REIT hotel company. All of the group presentations will be on Monday. I am relieved to have been assigned in a group where everyone is willing to contribute and practice.
And to do something that would set today apart from the other school days, the Hotelies and J&Fs went out to the Ithaca Mall to shop and watch Transformers. Since we had differet schedules, it was the first time we got together since the start of the program and it was entertaining to listen to everyone's new adventures.
After today's discussion sessions and lunch, Julia, Stacy, Louisa, Yueming and I decided that it was time for a little fun! We took the TCAT to the local mall, and did what girls do: SHOP. While I'm not the biggest shopper, I enjoyed getting off campus for a few hours and seeing my Hotelie friends! After hitting the main stores, we rushed to the movie theater to catch the 7:30 showing of Transformers 2. Because I hadn't seen the first Transformers movie, I was a smidge lost. Oh well, I had a great time. (By the way, tonight's outing explains the late blogging!) Now I must bid goodbye, for our University of Rochester tour is tomorrow morning! I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes!
Today, class started 45 minutes later than the normal time. Unlike the last four days where the class started off with a lecture from Ms. McCarthy, we had a guest speaker, Stephanie Robson, a senior lecturer who gave a presentation entitled "Design Matters: Creating Effective Hotels" in the morning. To maximize and to achieve the greatest success, market, site, and brand must be needed in order to see growth. Marketers promote their products solely based on psychographic and demographic needs.
Through a Powerpoint presentation, she presented information on what hotels look for. She utilized many examples of hotels, one of which was called ACE Hotels that primarily targetted the 16-year-old to 28-year-old demographic range. Hearing her lecture was refreshing because it was nice to hear from another Cornell speaker who was well-respected by other school faculty members and her colleagues.
Lecture hall was from 1:30-3:30 pm today, and within that framework of time, I was researching for my Powerpoint presentation on Interstate Hotel and Resorts. I certainly felt I accomplished a great deal today, especially since Ms. McCarthy and Mr. McCarthy were available during office hours to provide us personalized feedback and guidance. Score!
Tomorrow, I will post up photos of University of Rochester and provide an overview that highlights the special points of the school.