Lessons on Life and Lodging
The other day I received a totally undeserved standing ovation as I spoke to students at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. I think the students just wanted to stretch their legs after 45 minutes of listening to my stories.
I was really surprised and stunned by the applause. But as I later thought about it, the clapping wasn’t for me but the incredible growth of our hospitality industry.
A big reason for that growth is the increasing number of colleges and universities that offer degrees in hotel management. Marriott works with Cornell and many other schools to develop and fund this course-work. And, of course, we hire as many of these graduates as we can.
And so, I was honored to share my experiences with these future hoteliers. The best part was my daughter, Debbie, who interviewed me on stage. She had probing, insider-type questions. She also interviewed her husband Ron Harrison who heads up Marriott’s Architecture and Construction department. She lobbed him some softball questions. I thought that was pretty smart. It was great family fun.
We’ve put together some excerpts (above) or you can watch the entire 45 minutes. I don’t know who’d want to do that.
After meeting many of the Cornell students, I’m excited about the future of our business. There’s something about being on a college campus that energizes me and leaves me very optimistic. As my college-aged grandchildren say, “I’m pumped!”
I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.