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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

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Student blogs


Albuquerque, NM
Hotel Operations Management
Summer College 2008
Hi. I'm Ruben and I'm a 17-year-old teenager currently living in Albuquerque, NM. I just finished off junior year at Eldorado HS. CLASS OF '09! I'm originally from El Paso, Texas, where I attended Eastwood HS for over a year. I currently volunteer with Equality New Mexico, Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG), Eldorado's Gay-Straight Alliance, and the Youth Council. I like riding my bike to work and love making a difference in the community. I'm basically a youth activist in my community.

I am so excited to attend Cornell's Summer College Hotel Operations Program! Ever since my childhood I have always been fascinated by the hotel industry. The minute I heard about Cornell's elite hotel program, I was fixated on getting myself there. I'm anxious as I'm counting the days to where I'll finally get to step foot on these unknown grounds!

Wow, my first week of school went by so fast! I'm loving it here at Cornell and the weather continues to surprise me. It was nice to settle in for the weekend and get to meet new people. I was just so fascinated by Cornell's beautiful campus and its gorges. The first thing I did was find the clock tower, because I find it so inspirational as it stands proudly on a hill. I must say I was very impressed with the food that is offered at Appel (on campus), because it not only has a wide-variety of food, but it's delicious! But sometimes I enjoy going to Collegetown when I want to try out new restauraunts. It was an adventure getting extra supplies and snacks at Target, which is in the mall. Then classes started Monday, and the work load was a huge suprise. I didn't know how much homework was involved when it came to the Hotel School. I love my two professors, Mark and Reneta McCarthy, because they make their class so fun and engaging. I was very suprised at how the Hotel School utilizes the internet and technology for homework assignments. But I did encounter a problem with my email not working properly and also my Cornell card wouldn't work at times when I would go for different meals of day. Those so far are the only complications I have encountered. But overall, even though the first week had many of us, hotelies, stressed out and we had late nights studying, I had a lot of fun doing this with my new friends I have made. We have been split up into teams of four and have a powerpoint presentation on different hotel companies, so as of right now I'm nervous on how well we will do. I can't wait to just get this presentation over with!

This second week went by so much faster than last week! I had so much adrenaline pumping through my veins when we gave our group presentation to the class on InterContinental Hotels Group. This vigorous class is non-stop with our time-consuming homework assignments and the mandatory office hours in the evening. As a hotelie, I feel that we are the group that works the longest hours and have the shortest leisure time, but I have been enjoying it along the way. Although at times I feel like I'm under so much pressure because of the competitive atmosphere. You are in an environment where every student wants to be the best and leave the greatest impression on the faculty. At times I feel like I'm constantly being watched by the teacher assistants and the faculty. I can feel the paranoia in the classroom as each student tries their hardest to avoid making any mistakes.

But through this stressful week, I was able to relax and enjoy Ithaca's mother-nature. It was very soothing to lie on the grass and watch the magnificent fireworks light up the night sky. What was interesting was that the firework show occurred on July 2nd instead of on July 4th. My friend Debby and I were able to enjoy the cloudy sky and the cool breeze while we dozed off in the grass, catching up on some sleep. We also got up early in the morning and walked to the grassy hill to watch the sunrise. It was such a beautiful sight to see the warm glow of the sun rise above the horizon and shine through the trees. The day before that, my friends and I all went to the Fuertes Observatory and star-gazed up at the night sky. The most fun I have had so far was at the dance they put on for us! Wow! Now that was so much fun, because I just got to jump around and shake off the stress! I can't wait for the boat cruise tomorrow! But after that, we will just have to see what will happen during the last week of school.

So I am now back home in Albuquerque, NM, and I must say this was quite an experience I will never forget. The last week of school was winding down as we all enjoyed the awesome boat cruise that Neoma Mullens put together for us. I personally liked the shrimp and delicious appetizers that were provided. After finally experiencing the Hotel School, I'm confident that this is the school I want to be attending. This program taught me new study habits and the importance of sleep, as well as the value of making relationships. The one thing I treasure about the faculty at the Hotel School is their dedication to assisting you in which ever way they can and creating that strong ongoing relationship with their students. Now that I got a taste of Cornell, I'm well prepared for college. I'm now readjusting to my life back home and I already miss all the fun people I encountered at Cornell. But if I do get accepted into Cornell, it will be interesting to see which of my classmates made it as well. In all, this was an awesome program and it was an honor to be able to attend. As frequently said by my professors, "It is not summer camp, it is Summer College!"

I would like to thank my professors, Reneta and Mark McCarthy. Thank you Mark for showing me tools on Microsoft Word, Excel, & PowerPoint that I didn't even know were there. Thank you Reneta for teaching me more in-depth about the hotel industry and all the new jargon I now know.

Thank you to Neoma Mullens for being so helpful and informative about the admissions process. Thank you for putting together the boat cruise and I appreciate your efforts in providing as much information of the Hotel School as possible.

Thank you to the teacher assistants for the ongoing efforts to keep us on track and assist us when we needed it.


Read Ruben's alumni profile.

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