Graduate Student Team Brings Home the Gold

November 21, 2022

Master's students Bianca del Castillo, Heather Kingsbury, and Albert Sandoval placed first in the graduate division of the 2022 virtual STR Global Student Market Study Competition against leading hospitality and tourism schools from around the world.

They broadcasted their presentation on the Seattle, WA market live from MediaVision at CPP to a set of industry leading judges who applauded their creativity, entertaining performance, and informed preparedness.

In total, 62 teams participated representing 54 schools across 23 countries. Teams of three to six students, with the assistance of their faculty advisor, selected a market and were provided with a standard set of reports and data. Teams then analyzed the data, drew on outside resources and worked together to create a market study presentation, which was then presented to a panel of senior-level industry judges.

Guided and mentored by Dr. Linchi Kwok as part of his HRT 4880 Market Analysis in the Lodging and Tourism Industries course, the winning team has been preparing for the international competition since last spring with ongoing support from Kwok and multiple members of The Collins College community.

“I feel grateful for the opportunity provided to engage students beyond the classroom and prepare them for professional success, said Dr. Linchi Kwok, Cal Poly Pomona graduate team advisor. “We took the learn-by-doing approach, where students applied their knowledge from our curriculum to analyze the STR data. I enjoyed the learning experience with our students, particularly in teamwork, dedication, public speaking, synthesizing various sources of information, data visualization and analytical skills. Our team was fortunate to receive tremendous support from our industry partners, administrative personnel, faculty and staff at The Collins College of Hospitality Management and Cal Poly Pomona. We are all very proud of our students.”

The STR Student Market Study Competition is considered one of CPP's signature polytechnic experiences. It emphasizes teamwork, analytical expertise, critical thinking, and presentation skills as student teams from around the globe analyze and interpret real lodging market data based on STR insights to tell a story that enables others to make informed decisions.

The global competition is hosted by CoStar Group’s SHARE Center in its continued worldwide support of hospitality and tourism higher education. CoStar Group is the parent company of STR - the leading source for premium global lodging market data benchmarking, analysis, and marketplace insights.


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