March 4th, 2012 by mdepaula under Uncategorized. No Comments.
After two rounds and a dozen hours working on one of the best power point presentations I have seen come together, we were headed to join Darden, GW, Georgetown, and Memphis at the Hilton headquarters in McClean, VA, a building itself as beautiful as any of their hotels.
Case competitions such as these prove their value as an excellent networking and exposure opportunity to executives – this was no different with the VP of Marketing and the Director of the HHonors loyalty program in attendance.
Presenting in a conference room, we were the third of five teams to go. We were confident in our pitch after watching our competition. It was a very intimate experience standing five feet from the executives who freely commented and interjected during our presentation. We felt we had solid idea when one of the directors said adamantly “Sign me up now!”
The other schools interestingly enough presented across the variety of the six topics we had to choose from, ranging in focus from the changing demographics of the traveling population to the high customization of the hotel stay experience.
As the judges debated, we received a tour of the executive floor featuring four model hotel rooms, each prototyping a different initiative ranging from high tech to eco friendliness.The awards presentation had us on the edge of our seats. The prizes, previously unannounced, were the highly coveted gold and platinum status in their loyalty program. Third place went to Tennessee, second place, Georgetown. At this point, we thought we were out. But sure enough, first place Smith!
I couldn’t feel more fortunate to have worked among such dedicated and talented teammates Marvin Yueh, Emmy Lang-Kennedy, Ting Yun Chang, and, the power oint master, Johnathan Lee. Johnathan, a second year, vowed to win this from the beginning, not allowing himself to graduate without taking home a case competition prize.
So I’m thinking of taking my 100,000 points and platinum status to China next winter for China Business Plan competition. Who else is in?