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Nataly Sint Jago


My name is Nataly Sint Jago. The first time I had attended Cornell University was in 2009. All the knowledge I gained with the courses Leading and Motivating in the real world and Customer Attitudes and Behaviors was very useful in my career and helped me to become Front Office Manager since April 2012.

I am very proud of what I accomplished and was even more proud when I won this scholarship. This seemed a miracle to me and I never expected to win the award for the second time. However when I was chosen, it was the best feeling because I knew I put a lot of hard work and effort into my work.

Hotel Revenue Management

Teacher and class information

This course was given through Professor Chris Anderson. He researches revenue management and service pricing and has been funded by several governmental agencies. He actively works with various types of industry, in the application and development of RM. He has a calm, sympathetic, self confident and professional personality.

We were a group of 30 participants from several countries like Dubai, Japan, China, Ghana, Spain, Brazil and France.
Two weeks prior to the class, I had received a pre-course assignment through the internet. This assignment consisted out of several reading materials which would serve as a preparation for the course.

The classes started from 08.30 till 17.00 every day including some coffee and lunch break. During the classes we had group and individual assignments. We received as assignments to create several price packages for a cruise in the Caribbean and being sure that your revenue will increase, making decisions how you will filled up your hotel to 90% occupancy and calculating of average room rate in an Excel sheet.

Topics that were discussed:

  • The basics of Yield Management; for example why we would say yes to get this revenue and why we might say no.
  • Revenue Management forecasting; by using completed arrivals, reservations on hands or combining the two, pick-ups.
  • Through allocation exercise to determine rate and length of stay availability.
  • Forecasting for Revenue Management; Classical style, Sales v/s Demand, Advanced techniques.
  • Handle overbooking system v/s to control Cancellations, No Shows, Short/Over stays.
  • Group and pricing management decisions on capacity and demand.

This course has helped me to get a better view of understanding on the Yield Management. Furthermore I have a better view on the importance of several techniques to determine rates and making decisions on revenue level. I plan start using the several of the above mentioned points stated above when necessary in my current position.

Strategic Leadership in Turbulent Times

Teacher and class information

This course was given by Mr Ali Kasikci, the Regional Managing Director for North America, Mexico and the Caribbean for Orient Express Hotels. Orient Express owns and manages a unique collection of 49 luxury hotels and travel experiences. Mr Kasikci is a sympathetic, self-confident gentleman with a lot of sense for humor.

We were a group of 25 participants from several different countries; Places like Germany, South Africa, Philippines, Norway, China, Sweden, USA ( Boston, Chicago). The most remarkable of this group was the number of participant who works for Holland American Line cruise.

Two weeks prior to the class, I had received a pre-course assignment through the internet. This assignment consisted of reading materials as exercise to help identify management `orthodoxies` that may limit your creativity as management innovator. Furthermore I needed to choose 5 management challenge issue that my firm is facing.

My choices were:

  • Strategic planning
  • Training & Development
  • Hiring & Promotion
  • Performance Reviews
  • Budgeting

The classes started from 08.30 till 17.00 every day including some coffee breaks and lunch break. On the first day after introduction ourselves we went through the program of the up-coming three days it was very clear that it will be a combination of a lot of theory, class discussions, a small group assignment and a lot of case reading for the evening time to be discussed next day in the class.

The three main focus of Mr Ali Kasikci was:

  • Identifying fundamental challenges and what problems they pose
  • Focusing on make or break leadership challenges for the 21st century
  • Developing new management principles, processes and practices that will drive success in the years to come

Topics that were discussed:

  • Challenges and people of the 21st Century
  • Fundamental challenges for the General Managers
  • Fundamental challenges of the 21st Century
  • Core aspect of leadership respect
  • Reinventing your strategy, understanding your competitors and customers
  • Changing the way we do business
  • Prevent irreconcilable Individual-Organizational Misfits
  • Strategic- Generate Leadership
  • Several factors to keep employees motivated and engaged to work

I was part of the Training & Development group assignment. What I had learned through this section is that the western countries are very familiar with E-learning programs for their employees.

The hospitality industry is going through difficult periods with a lot competition between the hotels. Even more recruitment of serious and motivated employee within tourism is difficult. What I have learned during these course is that being and become a leader is a choice. Furthermore of what I have learned is if you want to be successful in this new century, it is important to adjust strategy by making changes, create mind changes and start thinking  out of the box.

As Front Office Manager it is important to be updated on all several development and practices. With all of the above being mentioned, I started this course very excited to gain answers for my curiosity on this material. Even more I was looking forward to gain answers and help how to deal with the several challenges within my department, such as demotivation, negative attitudes and behavioral problems.

Since I have followed both courses, I realized my status within the Avila Hotel and my department. I have gained a more clear view of my responsibilities and of what I want to achieve. Naturally through following this course I realize that this is not just the responsibility of just one specific person or department, but it is a collaboration of all employees in various department working together as a whole by thinking as a business person.

This course has also taught me that it is important to be able to place yourself in the situation of the costumer and employees, pinpointing why he or she may have such an attitude or behavior. All guests and employees have expectations which they would like the hotel to fulfill, whether it is business employees, guest or leisure guest, they all have expectations. Furthermore it is also important for a hotel that all front line employees and reservations department can participate frequently at trainings such as quality service workshops.

Nataly Sint Jago