The Power of Advice
5/3/2012 | Student Perspective
I am wrapping up my final week as a graduate student, which is great because by next Thursday, I will know everything necessary to be successful in the hospitality industry and will be significantly more competent than anyone without a Master’s Degree. Life should be smooth sailing from now on, make sure you contact me if you need any of my expertise. Once you get a degree, what else do you need to learn?
I’m sorry, but I couldn’t even finish writing that opening without laughing. Although I absolutely mean that as a joke, I have met graduate and undergraduate students across many disciplines that think that way. However, I don’t believe that mindset could be further from the truth. And this fact applies universally to students, recent graduates, and industry professionals. Regardless of what you achieve, the degrees you earn, promotions you receive, and awards you win, there is always room for growth and development.
I am very excited to begin my post-graduate career with HVS Executive Search and there couldn’t be a more fitting topic to transition from a student perspective into a young professional perspective than the “Power of Advice." HVS Executive Search interviewed and filmed several leaders in the hospitality industry; including executives from MGM Hospitality, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Wyndham Hotel Group, Loews Hotels, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, and many more. They were asked to discuss “What is the power of advice?” and what they look for when they seek and give advice. Below is the film of their responses:
There are some great takeaways from this film and one topic that always interests me is the diversity of paths to success in this industry (See my first blog: You’re Getting a Master’s Degree in What?). As I mentioned earlier, my generation may be a little resistant to receiving advice because we have degrees in hospitality and, as you can see from the video, many executives have worked their way from front-line positions to the top. There are two competing perspectives and both must be open to listening to and learning from each other.
I just had a debriefing call with my alumni contact, Jim O’Donnell, at Caesars Entertainment to discuss the long term results from the student sales blitz (See my last blog: Doubling Down on Student Potential). And while I was very pleased to hear the potential business that the event generated, I was even more pleased to hear that Jim implemented student feedback into the corporate sales blitz that he coordinated last week. It was great to hear that the student comments had an impact on the corporate event and it shows that useful advice can come from a variety of sources, even outside of the industry experts.
Stephen Alden, the CEO of Maybourne Hotel Group, mentioned in the film that he has an “eclectic group of advisors” and that there is nothing wrong with taking advice from “a fashion designer, a banker, a journalist and a horse trainer” in order to get a different perspective and insight. Len Vermillion’s recent blog (Let's Get Crazy) discussed innovation (or sometimes lack-there-of) in the hospitality industry. He mentioned Ian Shrager listed Apple as one of his top inspirations and also quoted Schrager:
“We all know that the hotel industry has been slow throughout its history to adapt to new ways of doing things.'One of the things I've noticed is that the hotel industry is in exactly the same place as it was 30 years ago when I entered it,' Schrager told the audience at HEC (Hotel Ezra Cornell). That may be a slight exaggeration, but the point is well taken.”
I hope that my generation will take note that there is room for us in the industry if we are open to learning, listening, and taking innovative risks. A bit of powerful advice helped me make the decision to leave the farm in North Dakota where I grew up and come to the city of Philadelphia. Although I was reluctant at first, I am so thankful for the decision I made. I look forward to growing my career in hospitality and ending my blog from the perspective of a student and continuing to blog from the perspective of a young professional.
Monday, March 04, 2013 by amazing site
aa2lrm Very informative blog post.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 by Jess
Well written and I like that your personality and voice is able to speak to the reader in each sentence. Congrats on graduating, Lacey! I am proud of you and am excited to see the next great chapter.