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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

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Student blogs


Summit, NJ
Hotel Operations Management
Summer College 2014
Hi my name is Patrick, and I am finishing my junior year at Summit High School. I was born and raised in Summit, NJ, where I spend my time playing varsity football, ultimate frisbee, and cheering for the Stanley Cup-bound New York Rangers. Last summer, I spent the month of July biking across the French countryside with eleven other high school students.

I am looking forward to an all new adventure at Cornell in the coming weeks. I will be attending the CUSC Hotel Operations Management program. After a year and a half of experience in the hospitality industry, working for the acclaimed Harvest Restaurant Group, I am looking forward to a rigorous study of the service industry and to meeting people with similar interests.


This first week at Cornell has not only met, but has far exceeded my expectations about the program. Every day on campus has been filled with new experiences and new friends.

Every morning, I meet up with fellow classmates at the Robert Purcell Community Center for a delicious breakfast. Then we walk down to class together passing all the scenic views of the gorges while we cross the bridge. When we arrive to class every morning, our wonderful professors Mark and Reneta McCarthy, who are ready and inspired to teach, welcome us. After a few lectures and computing tutorials, we are able to get most of our homework done during office hours. It is definitely helpful to have the teaching assistants there to guide us through the course work. The rest of the day is filled with exploration of Collegetown, the dorms, sports, and library.

With all of the sports, activities, new friends, projects, and classes that I have already thoroughly enjoyed, I look forward to seeing what is to come in the upcoming weeks.

Until next time.


I've just finished my second week at Summer College and it has been even better than the first. In class, we gave a presentation on different hotel companies and their histories. Additionally, we've had more lectures, quizzes and assignments. Although it seems like we are getting more work than ever, our professors and TA's have been really helpful and given us lots of time to work together. It's been really interesting so far and I'm excited to see what will happen in the last few days of Summer College.

When I'm not in classes and doing work, I like to hang out with friends on the quad, watch movies and TV in Robert Purcell Community Center, explore Collegetown, and attend some of the events that the RCA's plan. This past Friday was the fourth of July and we had the day off from classes. The RCA's held a cookout on the quad to celebrate. It was really great to spend a relaxing day off, seeing everyone dressed up for the holiday, and eating food with my friends.

Over the weekend, we also watched the nail-biting games of the World Cup. Everyone here has so much excitement and energy about whatever team they support; it's really fun to watch games in large lounges where everyone watches together. I also went to an open mic night at The Nines, a great pizza place in Collegetown. Two of my friends sung and played guitar at the event and it was incredible to see how talented they are! I've also explored Collegetown enough to find great places to eat. My favorite is definitely Collegetown Bagels (CTB), where everyone should eat at least once, but I also loved Collegetown Pizza, The Nines, and Insomnia Cookies.

For incoming students, the best advice I can give you is to value your time here. Time flies by here, so make every minute count. Even though three weeks might sound like a lot of time, incoming students should start exploring the very first weekend since time here is very limited. Also, don't underestimate Collegetown. When I first arrived, I thought that it seemed small and uneventful. However, I quickly found out that there's always something to do in Collegetown!


After a few weeks of needed rest, I have had an opportunity to look back on my three weeks spent at Cornell's Summer College through a reflective lens.

My time at Cornell really solidified my interest in the field of Hospitality Business Management, although the specific field under this broad spectrum of careers is still undecided. To anyone reading this with the same conundrum, please understand that it is completely fine and normal not to know what field you would like to pursue, whether it is under the hospitality umbrella, or something completely different. In fact, most of our TAs in the program did not know exactly what they wanted to pursue after their time at Cornell.

These were probably the single hardest academic three weeks ever, but they also came with an extreme sense of pride after the course was finished. Students in the program each had to create several official business documents pertaining to reform plans for our C.H.E.S.S. hotel, a report on the performance analysis after running the simulation, and many other items as well. These reports came in the form of memos, letters, Excel documents, and official report templates. Trust me, after the end of the course, you will know more about Word, Excel, and PowerPoint than you thought existed, and one of our professors, Mark McCarthy, did a stellar job in keeping all of the students on task and pushed our learning forward in so many ways. Mark's wife, Reneta McCarthy, was our other professor. Together they provided teaching experiences unlike any I have had in the past, nor do I think most of my fellow classmates have ever experienced.

Overall, I think the three weeks at Cornell were a very formative experience for everyone involved. It helped many not only solidify their career interests across all of the programs offered, but also gave many people several life-long friends and relationships that they will never forget.