As the finale and culminating course in the Global Hospitality Leadership program, the Capstone showcases a student’s mastery of subject in one, comprehensive research project.
This course gives the student the opportunity to focus on the particular subset of hospitality with which they identify and in which they are looking to specialize. The industry-based Capstone project will serve as a semester-long opportunity for students to produce a substantial piece of original work under the tutelage of an industry sponsor and program faculty. Students will partner with a Capstone Advisor, who—as an industry professional—will serve as a guide through the detailed development and execution of the actual project and related deliverables. Successful projects will reflect current and future industry challenges, partner with a brand or company within the industry, and produce a body of work that delivers recommendations, and practical, implementable, and innovative solutions.
As an individualized endeavor, the course provides the opportunity for students to synthesize the theoretical and practical content taught during the program while will also reviewing and examining the primary knowledge, skills, and learning goals of the MPS-GHL program. Special emphasis will be placed upon the leadership and ethical skills introduced early in the program, including verbal presentations, written assessments, research methodologies, decision-making, and strategic planning. Students must propose a thesis project, work with a dedicated Capstone Advisor to develop the project, author an in-depth research paper, supporting action plan, executive summary (“white paper”), create a visual presentation, and present and orally defend their work in front of a panel of faculty and experts at the semester’s end.
Enrollment in this course is through application and approval. A minimum grade of "B" (3.00) is required in the Capstone course to graduate regardless of the student's cumulative GPA.
Note: MPS degree core requirement. Minimum grade of "B" is needed to pass. If you are eligible for Capstone, please contact the GHL program administration as soon as possible to discuss the Capstone process and requirements.
Feasibility, Analytics, Valuations, and Business Intelligence for Hospitality Development
The hospitality industry abounds with new developments, transactions, and deals, all of which must be critically analyzed to fully understand each investment's feasibility and economic attractiveness. Accordingly, this course examines practical tools of investment analysis and valuation used by current market participants including owners, operators, and lenders to evaluate and analyze lodging investments. Students will develop an understanding of how to plan an investment or development; a procedure for determining the economic feasibility of the investment; and the critical valuation techniques required for acquiring and financing assets. The course evaluates the macro forces impacting feasibility and investment opportunities and focuses on the design of market and site analyses. Expertise is built around accurately forecasting occupancy, average rates, cash flows and real estate value based on a critical analysis of supply and demand to support investment and lending decisions. Students will learn how to build long-term cash flow models and perform analyses utilizing various commonly used valuation methodologies. With a focus on both new and existing hotels and the choice between franchise and management models, other topics include restaurant/F&B; valuation techniques, lending and financing basics, and investment sales/brokerage.
Global Studies in Hospitality: Intensive Learning Experience
Hospitality is a global business that is heavily influenced by the various regions in which it operates. Relationships among guests, associates, and ownership groups vary drastically, and only the most seasoned hospitality professionals can navigate the unwritten rules of this fluid international terrain. As a crucial part of this course, students will study various regions of the world in which hospitality is critically impacting the industry globally. This course requires students to develop and hone their cultural competencies and attributes found in service-oriented global citizens, better preparing them for an international career in the hospitality industry.
Note: This course meets on certain Fridays (8/27, 9/10, 10/1, 11/5, 12/10) and Saturdays (8/28, 10/2, 11/6, 12/11) during the semester.
Global Hospitality Leadership and Urban & Regional Planning students team up to engage in a cross disciplinary investigation focusing on destination development planning from a domestic and international perspective. A unique global studio environment poses participants with a design and management problem in select locations and cases, asking them to address key issues in planning, general management, and sustainability. The core question will center around place-based tourism: a focus on the distinct cultural, social, and historical characteristics to highlight and preserve in a particular location. The course surveys and connects broad areas from policy and investment, creation of infrastructure, labor and training, product design and marketing, to ecological and cultural sustainability, leveraging strategic thinking, cultural awareness, and leadership principles while managing the creation of a hospitality framework in an emerging destination.
The Integrated Practicum (internship) option is geared towards students who wish to gain experience in the hospitality industry and build a professional network while simultaneously studying. It is one of the most advantageous features of the MPS degree program, allowing students to earn three credits in place of one regular, three-credit Elective. The option is strongly encouraged for those students who are taking the program full-time, or for those students not currently employed within the hospitality industry.
Practical learning opportunities are available through our various hospitality partnerships, including hotel, restaurant, association, and convention placements. Internship opportunities have been reviewed and approved by the program and are offered to students each term. Students may also bring special opportunities to the Executive Director for vetting and approval. Students will document their weekly objectives, activities, network contacts, leadership / management observations, and assessment tools in a project portfolio, which is submitted to their internship advisor at the end of the term.
Note: Registration must be approved by MPHL program administration.
Sales & Marketing and Communications for Hospitality Management
Sales, marketing, and communications strategies are key to building brand perception and awareness, distinguishing a value proposition from competitors, and growing and retaining customers. Paralleling the hospitality industry’s evolving globalization, organizations have moved from a local to a global approach. Once largely sales-driven, hospitality has become a market-driven industry, where increasingly complex channels are required to target, reach, and convert diverse prospective audiences. Today, an integrated multi-channel marketing and communications strategy is the norm, authentic content and storytelling are king, and this mastery-level course explores why.
Creative and successful sales & marketing case studies are central in this foundational course, in which students learn the principles of marketing management at both the property and corporate level. Projects focus on the positioning and development of effective sales & marketing and communications plans, and the collection, tracking and analysis of data, metrics, and key performance indicators to drive strategy.
Particular emphasis is given to a variety of target customer segments including business and leisure travelers, travel agencies, meeting planners, and broader groups from baby boomers to millennials and beyond. Students will learn marketing methodologies across multiple media channels including traditional (print, direct mail, radio, outdoor, TV, etc.) and digital (email, display, search, social media, etc.,). Sample topics include: customer loyalty programs, guest response action plans, ethical and privacy issues, liability and risk, as well as creative models for design and visualization. Other topics include the changing value of ratings & review systems across the world with influencer sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc., and events and destination marketing.
Hospitality brands and operators are at a critical point in their history, facing a diverse cross-section of guests that have unique and sometimes divergent expectations. This course prepares for the impact of a shifting guest base from Baby Boomers to Millennials and emerging global markets that have redefined traditional group, business and leisure customer segmentation.
Understanding these unprecedented shifts in the overall landscape of travelers, and the transition from a Service and Product-based economy to an Experience Economy is critical to the future business of branding and hospitality. Complimentary to these new customer arenas, emerging technologies and trends are defining how these brands frame their guest experiences, define their marketing outreach, design their products, and enhance their service delivery.
This course offers an intensive evaluation and dialogue of technology’s impact on hospitality – ranging from hardware products to mobile applications – forecasting the trends that will shape the future of the industry.