Four MBA students had the chance to take on a challenging experiential learning project this fall as part of MGT 796.
Arthur Guslim, Jordan Lewis, Elizabeth Sivill and Meghan Wright worked with Hotel Nikko in San Francisco to develop a utilization plan for a 1,200 square foot retail space inside Hotel Nikko. The lease agreement for this space, currently occupied by Starbucks, expires in September 2017 and the management team of Hotel Nikko is exploring options to pursue when the lease expires.
To kick off the consulting project, Dr. Elizabeth Rozell, Director of the MBA Program, and Elizabeth Sivill, team leader, held a conference call with Jeanne Ferrari, Missouri State University alum and Director of Operations for Hotel Nikko. This discussion set the stage for the semester long project.
To gain firsthand knowledge of Hotel Nikko and the San Francisco area, the students and Rayanna Anderson, Entrepreneurship Coordinator and Community Liaison for the College of Business and project supervisor, traveled to San Francisco in September. During their visit, they toured all aspects of hotel operations and had the chance to interview Jeanne Ferrari and Anna Marie Presutti, Vice President and General Manager of Nikko Hotels Inc., and Hotel Nikko San Francisco. They also collected data in the area around the hotel to gain knowledge of the current market.
Upon returning to campus, the students utilized data provided by Hotel Nikko as well as industry reports from the Small Business Development Center; to compile a 100 plus page report offering five suggestions for the Hotel Nikko retail space.
In December the students returned to San Francisco to present their findings to nine members of the hotel executive board. Accompanying them to their final presentation was Dean of the College of Business Stephanie Bryant, Dr. Elizabeth Rozell and Rayanna Anderson.
After the final presentation, the management team of Hotel Nikko commended the students work. “It was not excellent, it was superb,” states Presutti.
Reflecting on her experience with The Hotel Nikko project, Elizabeth Sivill states, “This project has been the highlight of my master’s program. I have done several projects and internships, but this has been the most challenging and rewarding project I have faced. Even though we were only students, the Hotel Nikko San Francisco management team truly treated us like experts and valued our research and work.”