Graduate Team Places 3rd in STR Student Market Study Competition

November 30, 2020

     Each year, students from top hospitality programs around the world have an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and research ability in the Smith Travel Research (STR) Student Market Study Competition. Teams are tasked with conducting a market study on a city of their choice using STR data and presenting their findings to a panel of senior-level industry judges.
     This year, the competition was held virtually and attracted its largest turnout with 50 teams representing 44 colleges and universities across 17 countries. The Collins College was represented by both an undergraduate and graduate team, and its graduate team placed third in the nation after their first time competing.
     Irina Grigorian, Eric Le, Janelle Salem, and Patrick Su made up this year’s undergraduate team, and the graduate team included Chia-Ju (Kate) Ko, Yueheng (Shawn) Li, and Mingyu Wu.
     Associate Professor Linchi Kwok expertly coached the teams and credits their achievement to competitiveness, positive attitude, and help from the college community. The immense support was a winning strategy for the two 2020 teams who interpreted the data given the impact that COVID-19 has had on the hotel industry while providing guidance as to future hotel performance.
     Teams spent months practicing and training with a cadre of supporters from the college community including Board of Advisors members Bruce Baltin, Raj Chandnani, Bryan Churchill, Troy Jones, and Bill Reynolds. Board members and alumni shared best practices and expert knowledge to help set students up for success.
     Students start preparing long before the competition as CPP’s hospitality management curriculum requires several courses that ready students for the data-driven reality of today’s hospitality business. In addition, they must complete two STR industry-recognized certifications, the Certification of Hotel Industry Analytics and the Certification of Advanced Hospitality Industry Analytics. Each student on the two 2020 teams had to compete to secure their spot by creating and presenting hotel performance data on a city in their Market Analysis in the Lodging Industry course.
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