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Hotel Management students win competition

November 7, 2012
Susan Down
Royal Roads University International Hotel Management students

Royal Roads students earned first place for the first time in a tourism case study competition, offering a new approach to solving the looming labour shortage in the industry.

The four-person group won first place in the degree-level category at the sixth annual LinkBC Student Case Competition. The competition was held in Vancouver Nov. 4 as part of the Host 2012 conference for the hospitality and tourism industry. The competition attracted 60 students from 11 colleges and universities in B.C.

The teams had a choice of two case studies: devising a recruitment strategy to attract 10,000 new workers to reduce the projected labour shortage in the B.C. tourism industry; or creating innovative hotel packages.  Students received their case challenges at 7 a.m. on Sunday and had five hours to strategize before presenting to a panel of judges.

The Royal Roads students – Jillian Fonteyne, Jake Lynch, Emily Maccannell and Jared Zuege – chose to work on the recruitment challenge, presenting a plan to attract young employees that judges called innovative and thought-provoking.  They recommended a more decentralized work environment rather than a top-down management approach. “Young people want to feel like they are part of the business,” said Lynch. “They want to be empowered and feel like they are performing a role not just a task.”

The four students are studying in the Bachelor of International Hotel Management (BAIHM) program at Royal Roads University, an accelerated one-year program for college graduates. “We are all very proud of the creative and professional level of both the research and presentation of our team,” said Royal Roads School of Hospitality and Tourism Management Director Brian White. “It was an excellent and inspiring effort.”

The team had never worked together before, and only Jared had previously participated in a case competition (his team from Selkirk College won an award last year). The students were coached by Assistant Professor Rebecca Wilson-Mah. 

Royal Roads University was established by the Province of British Columbia in 1995 specifically to deliver quality applied and professional programs to advance professionals in the workplace. The university blends online and on-campus learning with current, real-world relevance for doctorate, graduate and undergraduate degrees, certificates, diplomas, executive and custom education.