Visit of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Syracuse

Yesterday, students in my Hotel & Resort Operations class and I toured the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Syracuse. In addition, we met with the General Manager, Director of HR, Director of Sales & Marketing, Director of Operations, and Director of Engineering. We all enjoyed our visit as well as the conversations with the managers. These managers share a diverse background and have distinguished career paths. Yet, it seems that they all agreed on at least three points.

First, hospitality is an exciting field. The managers in Crowne Plaza are passionate about what they are doing. They feel that “every day is different, and there is no a typical work day.” New guests are coming every day. Employees and guests raise different questions every day as well. It is the excitement of dealing with new challenges on a daily basis that makes these managers love their jobs.

Second, knowledge in F&B (food and beverage) is critical in hotel operations. Many managers we met today have extensive experience in F&B. They appreciate this experience because they have to know F&B in order to do a good job in their current positions. Students who do not like classes about restaurant operations may need to think again --- even if they only want to work in hotels or event management firms, they still need the F&B knowledge. Meanwhile, students who fall in love with restaurant management and/or culinary arts may also want to consider the alternative of working in hotels.

Last, being flexible in terms of jobs and location could also be very important in career advancement. Opportunities do not always come for the same job or from the same location. Being flexible allows a manager to move up the ladder much faster than those who are not.  

What do you learn from this tour? If hotel managers face new challenges every day, what are those transferable skills that may help them solve problems?

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