White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
More than ever, today’s hospitality industry seeks business-savvy employees capable of driving employer profitability by adeptly applying research, analytics and informed projections.
In response to recently emerging hospitality jobs and careers crucial to employer success, Purdue University Northwest has been aligning its hospitality and tourism management (HTM) curriculum with industry needs.
That includes providing an HTM baccalaureate experience linked with a PNW-offered Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Since 2016, 20 HTM graduates seeking to become more marketable have enrolled in the MBA program; five have earned the respected business graduate degree.
A partnership with White Lodging Services also is enhancing the HTM program.
Partnership And Business Vision
A longtime PNW friend and employer of university alumni, White Lodging is in the fourth year of a $1 million commitment that advances the HTM program. The commitment supports graduate assistantships, real estate development instruction and a campus teaching chef.
According to White Lodging School Professor and Director Mike Flannery, revenue management, business analytics and real estate development have become key drivers of hospitality profitability within the past five years.
In response, PNW’s White Lodging School has been encouraging students to approach their education with a business vision. Recent HTM and MBA alumna Carolyn Sandrick did just that.
Meet Alumna Carolyn Sandrick
Carolyn is a development analyst and part of the Investments and Development team for White Lodging. In her job—one she says, “I absolutely love!”—she conducts market research, performs financial analysis and produces profitability projections relative to prospective hotel development by White Lodging.
“The work of our team begins three years before a White Lodging hotel is built,” she said.
As a 2011 PNW freshman enrollee in HTM, Carolyn envisioned a career in fitness, restaurant or hotel management. She even landed a job with White Lodging’s food and beverage operations as an undergraduate.
But during her baccalaureate study, a Feasibility course for which she developed a case study piqued her interest in the analytics side of HTM.
To learn more, after earning her baccalaureate degree in 2015 she enrolled in PNW’s MBA program, graduating in 2017. Along the way, she served an internship with White Lodging, which evolved into the job she relishes today.
Her PNW Educational Experience
As for how Carolyn’s PNW educational experience prepared her, here’s what she said:
- Course work—“it prepares you for the outside world.”
- Professors—“They’re experienced, knowledgeableand so well connected; they take a real interest in their students, and they challenge you to do your best.”
- Experiential learning—Along with her White Lodging internship, she and five MBA classmates teamed to place first in the 2017 national STAR market analysis competition, sponsored by Smith Travel Research—“A great learning experience!”
- HTM + MBA—“The MBA is a perfect complement to the HTM degree.