LHM Hotels hosted our Hospitality and Hotel Management students last week for a full day of shadowing in their Westport Plaza properties. Managers in 6 departments at the Sheraton Westport Plaza, Sheraton Westport Chalet, and the Doubletree by Hilton St. Louis spent up to an hour showing our students the inner workings of their day to day operations. Students were able to shadow Front Desk Operations, Housekeeping, Food & Beverage, Events, Sales, and Human Resources. At the end of the day, students were invited to observe the weekly operations meeting in which the coming week’s business is discussed and coordinated.
Jim Grant, Human Resources Director for LHM and an advisory board member for North Tech’s program, made this visit possible. “We enjoyed being able to host the students as well as giving them the opportunity to shadow our managers in hopes of encouraging future hotel leaders,” he said. LHM owns 19 hotels in the St. Louis market, meaning our students have several options to consider. “This is a great local opportunity for our students with excellent job growth opportunities in the future,” said program instructor Chris Palladino.
Lexee Johnson, a Hospitality and Hotel Management student, enjoyed the experience saying “I felt like it really helped us gain more insight about the different departments of the hotel.” Student Adryanna Newsome may have found her department of interest through the visit noting that she most enjoyed shadowing the front desk operations. “What I liked most about what I observed is the front desk agents’ relationships with the guests. The front desk agents were able to joke, entertain, and please the guests just by sharing common opinions or interests,” she said.
Palladino plans to continue incorporating immersion activities like this into the curriculum. The hospitality industry includes event planning and event marketing, both of which are also incorporated into daily hotel operations. This was evident to Johnson when she noted the collaboration required among departments during the operations meeting. “I really enjoyed being able to sit in on the operations meeting as well. It was really neat to see how all of the different areas of the hotel were pulling together to make events as perfect for their guests as possible,” she said.
Students interested in applying for the Hospitality and Hotel Management program can do so here: http://northtechnical.org/application/.