Revenue Management Faculty Discuss Perspectives on Hospitality Student Engagement

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At the recent Hospitality School Revenue Management Faculty Forum, hosted by the HSMAI Foundation, participants from CUNY Hospitality Schools – NYC College of Technology, Missouri State University, Penn State, Red River College Polytech, Ryerson University and University of Nevada, Las Vegas discussed various topics related to the perception that students have of the industry. The following describes the ideas gleaned from this group during the forum.

What is the lasting impact of the global pandemic on student morale and motivation?

  • Students are cautiously optimistic but worried about job security.
  • There are fears that the industry no longer matches their ambitions.
  • Students are less focused on career growth and more on job security.
  • There’s a feeling that there aren’t many income management opportunities after graduation.

What are students’ perceptions of earning career opportunities when they start your class?

  • They don’t know what it really is and what their career would look like.
  • Students initially think it will be similar to a finance course and only applicable to hotels.
  • Many have not even thought of it. They think GM – nothing about revenue management.
  • Once they start to understand it, they can find income management in everyday life and feel like they have a unique understanding of the world.

What do you say to the students in your class that excites them about this career path?

  • It is a global subject with many opportunities.
  • Based on personal experience, sharing dynamic revenue manager roles.
  • The field is tough and you can see real impact.
  • This is a fast-paced and dynamic field that provides an excellent opportunity to drive an organization’s strategy.

What recent changes have you observed in students’ career interests?

  • They have more uncertainty, but some understand that opportunities return.
  • Some turn to revenue management as an option after completing the course, as a more stable alternative to operations.
  • There are more students who want to take the path of entrepreneurship.

What is the best practice for increasing student interest in income classes?

  • Simulations and certifications
  • Teach it as a skill set not just a job
  • Discipline awareness at the start of the program
  • Get involved in HSMAI
  • Use of guest speakers in industry

What resources would help you develop or improve your program? (Listed in order of interest.)

  1. Faculty internships
  2. Case studies and additional documents
  3. Digital assets (videos, podcasts, etc.)
  4. Faculty development opportunities or certifications
  5. Access to industry professionals as guest speakers
  6. Plug-and-play curriculum

HSMAI Foundation Perspective

During the forum, revenue faculty officials also ranked internships, mentoring, and career planning and placement resources as the best ways to encourage students to pursue careers in revenue. Across the revenue, sales and marketing forums, internships and mentoring were ranked highest in this regard. For this reason, professionals in the hotel industry and hospitality companies would benefit from reaching out to schools in their area, meeting with faculty, and finding ways to engage students. This can be done by helping with a class project, volunteering to speak during a class, or hosting a side day with your team members. You can also mobilize students for short-term or summer projects. Share the post about your professional background and the breadth of career opportunities that exist in areas that generate revenue for hotels and the industry.

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