Taking in Berlin with Professor Dan Quan
“The student challenge gave us the opportunity to showcase the skills we’ve learned in the classroom and put them to practical use,” David explained. “To do this on a world-class stage like IHIF made this an experience I’ll always remember.”
David, who is co-president of the Cornell Real Estate Club, credited the SHA curriculum, which “meshes intense finance training and hotel operations,” for the team’s success. He also recognized that the positive team dynamic and diverse internship experiences of the group played a major role in the win.
With that description, he could really be talking about any number of experiential-learning opportunities at SHA. When participating in competitions, working as a manager at the Statler Hotel, running a restaurant, or organizing an industry conference, students take the theory they learn in the classroom and apply it to real professional situations, where black-and-white answers are hard to come by and effective teamwork, previous experience, and the ability to think on one’s feet are what matter most.
In the IHIF competition, the students acted as consultants for a fictional investment firm, developing a strategy to reposition the hotel, calculating costs, and outlining prospective financial statements. Each team had just eight minutes to present their analysis and ten minutes to answer questions from the panel of seven judges, all senior-level industry executives (including SHA alumni Raj Chandnani ’95 and Nic Mayer ’98). Other competing teams were from Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences.