Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Quiz Day!

Well this wasn't our first quiz, but it was definitely longer - we had matching quiz on all of the hotels presented yesterday, with a few extra questions involving Four Seasons. I studied my notes last night and this morning, but it was still hard to recall all of the information. Judging by the correct answers Reneta called out after collecting our quizzes, I probably got a B. I can live with that. We also talked about the good and bad points of the presentations yesterday, and I was commended for engaging my audience by questioning the efficiency of my company (sorry, Choice, but your profit margin is just average, and the experts don't recommend you). Overall, my group got an 89 (the highest score in the class was 96), so I think we did excellent! For the record, it seems that Frank, Eric, and my roommate (who is in Eric's group) also got good scores.

After the presentation feedback session and quiz, we broke up into two groups; Group B (my group) went with Mark first to learn how to make a business report template. Between note-taking and trying to follow his quick explanations and motions, I became lost within five minutes. This does not discourage me, though; I also struggled through the memo and letter templates, and seemed to do well despite my lacking computer prowess. Learning computer skills with Mark has confirmed that I will probably never go into computer science, or become a secretary. I'll stick to my nutrition and medicine.

During lunch, I tried the tuna melt, and the chef was obligingly substituted the regular bread for gluten-free. I had some trouble paying for my lunch though;  I lost my I.D. a few days ago, so I had a temporary voucher. The cashier thought I was a college student (that's the third time this week; I prefer to think that I look cool and mature, but perhaps most of the Cornell students actually are five feet tall and appear to be 17 years old instead), and entered my number in the wrong section. After a minute of this, she finally asked if I was a summer college student, and then input my number in the correct area. She was very annoyed with me; I think I will avoid her line for awhile. Fortunately, the sandwich was really good.

Back in class, we got to play with CHESS again. I had a 78% occupancy rate (the national average is around 60%), but my weekends were very slow. I will probably need to attract more leisure guests. When our computer work was done, Reneta gave the class a lecture on yield management and the unique characteristics of the hotel industry. During office hours, everyone finished their letter template and began working on their report template. Tomorrow we are doing something fun, but I can't write it on the blog tonight because the people involved don't know about it yet. I will tell all later!

Limitations of Technology

What company owns Comfort Inns? Choice Hotels. Is it a REIT? No, Host and Starwood are REITS.

That was an example of Frank and mine conversation as we made our way to class. Last night we stayed up late to finish our readings and we spent the morning quizzing each other from when we met in my room until we got to our classroom. Our heads were swimming with facts as we sat down ready to take our quiz on hotel brands. I felt like I got some of the brands and companies mixed up on the first half of the quiz but in the second page, I feel that I should have got only one or two wrong.

After the quiz we got our presentation grades back. My group got a 87 which isn't great. I'm pretty disappointed about our grade because our scores for how we presented were great, it was our actual PowerPoint grade that prevented us from receiving an A. It gave me more motivation to do better on the next activity we did: a full run through in CHESS using our expense setting strategy we outlined in our business memo.

This time around, my hotel did much better than last time. My average daily department revenue rose by $1,800 and I think I can reach the $10,000 daily profit goal if I lower my expenses and change my strategy about closing rates. I really wish CHESS would allow me to apply what I learned in class today. We learned about setting up fences which is basically making it so you have lower rates open to price conscious people but keeping people who are willing and capable of paying a higher rate from paying the lower rate. This is done by setting up fences. An example is making the lower rate only available to those who know they won't cancel or making a stipulation that a customer can't book at the lower rate unless the customer stays for three nights. I would really love to apply this to CHESS because I'm always conflicted when it comes to closing rates. I want to close the lower rates early so customers that would pay $100 for a room aren't paying $70. On the flip side, I don't want to be scaring price conscious clients away. If I could set up fences, I think my CHESS hotel would be much more profitable.

A Long but Ordinary Day

I woke up at 7 AM to get ready for class today. In the beginning of class, Mr. McCarthy reviewed the presentations from yesterday with us. He told us that overall, we did great, but each group had small errors that could be fixed. Later, he handed out the grades for each group. Our group received  a 89 out of 100. I thought that the grading was fairly reasonable because we all knew what we did wrong and what wasn't perfect. Though it would have been better for that extra percent to make it 90, I was pleasantly happy with it.

After we got our presentation grades, the class was split into two groups again: group A and B. Group B, which is us, went to the computer room to learn about business and letter memos. It was confusing at times because it was hard to follow Mr. McCarthy while taking notes. After an hour and half of rushing myself, it was finally time for lunch.

At lunch, the Hotelies met up with Mr. Chan-Law. We all discussed what we were going to do in the weekends. One of the few things we could do because of our tight schedule is watch a movie. I was especially excited  for Friday, because that was when all of us ILCers would go see Spider-man in 3D.

I was most excited to play the CHESS simulation today. It was like a video game, just without graphics. I thought I did well because I was close to the goal income. My average departmental income was around 9,200 dollars, and the goal was at least 10,000. Today was an ordinary day, but still, very exhausting.

Midterm Mania!

Sorry for the brevity of this blog due to the massive amounts of studying I did and will do for this upcoming midterm. 

Today, we were treated to three full lectures: one guest lecture, two class lecture. Professor Kramnick gave us helpful tips in how to study for our midterm tomorrow. In the afternoon, we talked about the beginnings of feminism.After class, I went to office hours to clear up some things in our lectures and readings. I highly encourage future ILCers to go to the TAs office hours to get one-on-one assistance, especially if you are shy during the discussion sessions. I then proceeded to study with a group of people in preparation for the midterm.

I have to do some more studying now. While everyone else (except for Hotelies) has thoughts of what to due with a day off, I will be burying my head in my notes. Well, at least we get Friday off. Here's to hoping I do well on the midterm.

An Academic Day

Today's blog will be short as I spent the whole day studying/in class and I want to get to sleep early to prepare for the Midterm Exam tomorrow.

We discussed the second part of Locke's theories, which included the reason for government, the idea of consent, and reasons which justify revolution. After lunch, a local judge, Judge Judith, came and spoke to us about two murder cases she had presided over. Then we had a second lecture to make up for Friday. Our second lecture introduced the topic of women's rights and their freedoms before and after the Industrial Revolution. We then went to office hours to get speak to Ulas about the midterm and ask any last minute questions. I spent the rest of the day studying with various people. I decided to stop a little before check in and take the last half an hour to relax. After I finish blogging I am going to shower and go right to sleep. I feel prepared for the midterm, but I am still nervous. Stay posted for a post quiz analysis tomorrow!

Study, Study, Study!

We resumed the instruction of John Locke today, finishing off the material for tomorrow's midterm. Our discussion focused on Locke's views in general to clean up for the test. After lunch we had two lectures: a guest lecture featuring Judge Judith Rossiter of the city of Ithaca, and then another lecture by Professor Kramnick about the origins of feminism.  After the particularly lengthy school day I went to Ulas's office hours with two classmates, Eric and Pranav, to clear up any clouded information we had about the midterm's material.  The rest of the evening was spent studying. We formed a Freedom and Justice study group in Donlon lounge to compare notes and ideas for tomorrow.  

I'll try explaining the day in better detail tomorrow, but we have been studying for the midterm since the end of the school day and there's not a minute to waste! Wish us luck!