Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts signs on to sponsor HLDP

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts recently entered into a three-year agreement to become the premier supporter of Cornell University’s Hotel Leadership Development Program (HLDP). The company has committed to provide $50,000 annually to help fund the program between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2020.

In addition to monetary support, Four Seasons will provide the students in the program with regular access to company executives. Beyond hosting student site visits to Four Seasons properties and serving as guest presenters for the HLDP Seminar Series, the company’s subject-matter experts will be involved in HLDP as “coaches and champions,” in the words of Ed Evans ’74, MBA ’75, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, who can help the students make career connections throughout the industry.

“The Hotel Leadership Development Program is a natural partnership for Four Seasons and the Hotel School. E. M. Statler’s motto was ‘life is service,’ and the Four Seasons culture and global brand have been built on service excellence,” said Evans.

“Hotel School students who make the commitment to the academic and professional requirements of HLDP demonstrate an appreciation for—and an understanding of—operations as the cornerstone of our industry,” continued Evans. “The hands-on leadership-experience requirements and industry engagement provided by HLDP build a strong foundation for successful careers. Students coming through HLDP gain both a perspective and skill set that are impossible to develop in a classroom-only setting.”

HLDP is a partnership between School of Hotel Administration faculty, Statler Hotel management, and hospitality executives, who together teach and guide operations-minded students to become leaders in the hospitality industry. The program fast-tracks students’ career development by providing them with opportunities to apply the hospitality management theory learned in the classroom to the day-to-day operation of the Statler Hotel and the experience of hiring, training, and leading people. Interactions with industry executives help students shape their professional goals and facilitate their job search.

HLDP participants progress through several paid employment phases, from entry-level positions to supervisor, manager, and then director. Each phase requires approximately 200-300 hours of paid employment and is completed through a certification process.

HLDP students at Cornell Outdoor Education ropes course
New HLDP students at the Cornell Outdoor Education ropes course, September 2016

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