SFU feedback is really important


The Applied project has been running for a number of years and each year we look to the students to provide feedback on how the unit may be delivered. For example, in the past I have run weekly meetings only and fortnightly meetings with varying feedback in which students felt the weekly meetings might have been too much and the fortnightly too far apart. What I have done this year is to try and get a balance of both at strategic points throughout the semester.

You will have recently received an e-mail requesting that you complete the Student Feedback on units (SFU) – I would encourage you to follow the link provided in the e-mail  and let us know what you liked and what we can improve within the unit as your feedback will influence the experience of future students.


Getting ready for your final presentations


OK, so you are almost near the end and now it is time to show the industry partner the work you have completed over the past few months. Remember, be confident as you are the expert in this project and the industry partner would not have agreed to participate if they did not want to know what you had to say.

Please see below for confirmations of times to date;

Tuesday 18th October

12:30 – Taronga Zoo @ Taronga

Wednesday 19th October

9:00 – UWS Connect @ BoilerHouse on Parramatta campus

10:00 – Wesley Lodge @ Wesley Lodge

10:30 – Mecure (M restaurant)@ Mecure

11:00 – Mecure (Customer satisfaction)@ Mecure

1:00 – Dooley’s Bistro @Dooleys

1:30 – Dooley’s customer journey @Dooleys

3:15 – Novotel 350 restaurant @Novotel

3:45 – Novotel NPS @ Novotel

For all groups please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to allow you sufficient time to set up

In advance you need think about the following;

  • Binding your report – how many do you need
  • Having a back up of your presentation
  • Appropriate attire

Any questions just let me know.

Presentation tips and feedback


Firstly, thank you to the groups for completing your practice presentations. The idea of the presentations was to offer students the ability to practice the delivery of the presentation (iron our some kinks), it was also an opportunity to see what your fellow students are up to. Below are some general comments from across the presentations for you to consider;

  • Introduce members of your team and the presentation you are going to do
  • Mention project brief, however do not spend too much time on this
  • Slides – be careful with selection of colours for background and text.
  • Slides – care with font size and amount on information on a slide
  • Be confident – you are the experts on your project. NO one else has spent 12 weeks investigating this topic
  • Think about how pictures and photos could enhance your presentation
  • Do you need hand outs to support presentation
  • If you experienced limitations in your project tell the partner what they were – do not use them as excuses
  • Do not apologise for your survey numbers
    Don’t look for me or your industry partner during presentation, look at all members present
  • Look above head level if you get nervous
  • Use your dossier references
  • Draw links between your research and the findings so industry partner can see how the research has informed the results
  • Think about your role in the presentation
  • Do not get in each other’s way during presentation.
  • Think about how you dress
    When other members of the group are presenting be interested
  • Be aware of personal habits such as the way you stand, touching your face and what you do with your hands
  • Be mindful of your speech – volume and speed

One of the biggest differences yesterday between the groups was that you could tell who had practiced and who had not – you all need to practice so you know who is saying what when, what slide needs to be on the screen and so you know how long it should take.

I hope these tips assist with your presentations next week

Practice presentations


OK, so tomorrow we have our practice presentations and the reason for this session is twofold;

  • It is an opportunity to practices
  • It is an opportunity to see what other groups have been up to (and critique their presentations)

So what sorts of things do you need to practice? Think about how you will present – will you use powerpoint, prezi, other presentation tools. Do you need access to the internet? Who will speak and when? Will there be a dedicated person who does the slides? Do you need props?

Essentially what I want you to do is cover the following;

  • Quick recap of the issue facing the organisation
  • Outline how you have collected information (qualitative, quantitative and the ways in which this was done – survey, observation, etc)
  • Recommendations and solutions to be presented to industry partners
  • Questions and feedback
  • We will need to stick fairly close to time as we have multiple group to present. To facilitate this I ask that everyone be on time as the first presentation will start right on 9:00am. Also I have asked that your slides be sent across to me prior so I can have them uploaded ready to go.

The order for presentations is as follows (yes a tight schedule), you have a total of 30 minutes for set up, presentation and questions:

9:00 UWS Connect
9:30 Wesley Lodge
10:00 Taronga Zoo
10:30 Mecure – customer satisfaction
11:00 Mecure – M restaurant
11:30 Careers discussion and SFU

1:00 Dooleys – Bistro
1:30 Novotel – 350 restaurant
2:00 Dooleys – touchpoint
2:30 Novotel – NPS data
3:00 Careers and SFU

What you do not have to do is to tell us everything that will be in your report. The idea is to provide the highlights and make the listener want to read your report.

Week 14 Presentations


I have been in contact with the industry partners regarding the presentations and we are starting to get a bit of a schedule with all presentations taking place on location.  Please see below the presentations astray stand at the moment.

Tuesday 18th October

  • 10:30am Taronga Zoo (To be confirmed)

Wednesday 19th October

  • 9:00am UWS Connect at the Boilerhouse in Parramatta campus
  • 10:00am Wesley Lodge at the Wesley Lodge
  • 10:30am Mecure groups (this time is to be confirmed and order of groups also be confirmed.  Will take place at the Mecure)


  • 1:00 – 1:45pm Dooleys Customer Journey group
  • 1:45 – 2:30pm Dooleys Bistro refurbishment group
  • 3:15pm Novotel groups (this time is to be confirmed and order of groups also be confirmed. Will take place at the Novotel)

I have arranged the times and locations, it will be up to each group to ensure that he required audio visual equipment will be available on the day.  Furthermore if for any reason you require access prior to the presentation you will also need arrange this yourself.

Keep pushing for best outcomes


Now you are over the half way mark for your project and you have completed a large amount of work and now more than ever the focus needs to be on a plan to completion. While each of the projects are unique I thought it might be useful to put down a few observations and thoughts for you to consider;



For me the key to these projects is momentum. You have been asked to do a fair bit in the first few weeks and by design and circumstance some of the projects have pushed groups to gather their data already. In these cases there is a natural momentum of the project and the key for these groups will be to maintain this momentum. For other groups it will be about creating the momentum through site visits, team meetings and consultations with myself. Regardless of which category you fall into the key is going to be to maintain momentum throughout the semester, especially as other assessments and considerations come into play.

Another key here is to make sure you are not held up by your industry partner waiting for information. Groups in the past have sat waiting for information to materialised and all it really does is cost you time and the all important momentum.

Data Collection


By now you should have either collected data or have a clear plan as to when this will be done (and how it will be collated).

Each of the groups have different methods of collecting data, with some being qualitative and others quantitative, some being observational and some being secondary. By now you should all know what data you are going to collect and that then needs to fit within a time frame which will suit the project, in short when do you need the data collection to be completed to allow time for analysis and write up of results. Remember to use your service industry studies learning to assist with this process.

Also for those who want to do interviews or surveys remember that I need to see them and they will also need to be approved

Push the envelope


For me this is a key time in your project, By now, as a group, your should have a clear understanding and interpretation of your project brief. You should have started your data collection and you will start to make assumptions around what the problems and how they can be addressed. At this point it is important to not let your initial impressions influence your interpretation of the data.

From previous experience what I have seen at this point is that groups will identify the broad issues, determine a way to address the issues and set on a path of recommendations without going into much more analysis. This often occurs with the need to submit other assessments and the like. My advice is to keep an open mind as you analyse the data and scan the environment for ideas which you have not yet investigated and push beyond the position of this will do to be able to provide an innovative solution.

Remember, if you are able to produce a report which is actually implemented by the organisation then it gives you something to talk about at job interviews.

Progress reports….


Just a reminder that in Week 7 you are to arrange a meeting with your industry partner to provide a progress report. Basically this is a chance to do a couple of things;

  • Discuss what you have done to date
  • Outline your plans for the remainder of the project
  • Ask more questions

You need to plan for this meeting so you get the most out of it. Have as much done before hand so the presentation is not just we are going to do ….”. You will get much more out of the meeting if your discussions are along the lines of “We have done this and would like to ask….”

Your industry partners are busy so I would recommend that you lock in meeting times with them now for week 7. If you would like any assistance in preparing for these meetings please do not hesitate to contact me.

Weeks 5 and 6 are done so what next


Over the past two weeks the groups have meet for a one hour consultation, with the aim of this consultation being to ensure your projects are on track and that you have a plan for the remainder of the semester. So now you should have a very clear understanding of what you need to do and by when – knowing the answers to these questions will be key in the success of your project.

So what are some of the lessons to come from your consultations….


Communication is key for the success of the project and this comes in three different ways and the first is communication with your industry partner. Some groups have indicated difficulties in contacting industry partners and delays – welcome to industry where there are multiple demands on people and organisations. Your job is to get your project to the top of the priorities list when required – remember the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Second form of communication is within the team and some groups have done this better than others and this is expected and will always be the case. You are a team and you need to communicate for the plan to come together – at the bottom of this all, you are in hospitality and communication skills are key so practice them know. The third form of communication is your personal communication with your group (verbal, meetings, e-mails) – think about how you are going personally.


You need to have a plan, monitor the plan and modify as required. Your plan also needs to factor in the fact that there are other pressures you need to factor in such as social life, other units, work, etc. The main advice I have here is plan early, I suggested back in week 2 that you lock in your progress report dates, some groups did and have a time and date that suits while others are scrambling to get a time which suits all group members and the industry partner – welcome to managing the calendar of many people.


For many of you it is becoming apparent that there is an extra layer to the group assessment and that extra layer is the responsibility of having to provide a report to an industry partner. Use this as a dress rehearsal for working in industry and use it as a chance to showcase your best work to prospective employers. Remember students have secured full time employment from these projects in the past.


Each group member has collected four articles for the dossier assessment, which makes a potential of 24 articles which can contribute toward the group assessment. Bring these together, share them and see how they can assist your project.

Overall, keep working on your projects and remember that momentum in this is your best friend

Progress reports in Week 7


Just a reminder that in Week 7 you are to arrange a meeting with your industry partner to provide a progress report. Basically this is a chance to do a couple of things;

  • Discuss what you have done to date;
  • Outline your plans for the remainder of the project; and
  • Ask more questions

You need to plan for this meeting so you get the most out of it. Have as much done before hand so the presentation is not just “we are going to do ….”. You will get much more out of the meeting if your discussions are along the lines of “We have done this and would like to ask….”

Your industry partners are busy so I would recommend that you lock in meeting times if you have not already done so.

Just to confirm you are not required in class for Week 7, rather it is expected that each of the group members attend the site visit.

Weeks 5 and 6 – building blocks for your project


OK, here comes weeks 5 and 6 and to me these weeks are key to ensuring your project has smooth sailing for the remainder of the project. In this regard you need to be prepared for your consultation (remember you have an hour this week), this is time to go over the plan for the project for the rest of the semester. So what sort of things should you anticipate you will cover?


One of the key areas you need to discuss this week is your methodology. By now you should have a clear understanding of what the project brief is requiring you to do and you should have also discussed how you think you will go about researching the project. For some groups this may be all secondary data collection, for others it may be surveys, interviews or working through idea which have come out of your discussion with the industry contacts. Remember any surveys or interview questions will need to be run past Glenn for approval and in most cases the industry partner as well (factor these approvals into your timeframes).


You need to work out a plan for completion. A good way to do this is list the key milestones you need to meet and then work backwards from your completion date (week 14) and plot when the milestones need to be completed. Once you have this sort of detail it makes it much easier to assign tasks to people and having timelines for completion is always good motivation.


I have had a few e-mails over the past week in which the industry liaison has requested information from the industry partner and it has not been received after a week and multiple e-mails have been sent. My response this dilemma has been why have you waited a week and why do you not ring them. Your project is one part of a busy working week and unfortunately you may not be priorities over the complaining guest or the bosses deadline for a report, so what that means is you need be persistent and keep asking and put deadlines on things. Most importantly if you do not get an answer using one form of communication, use another.


So weeks 5 and 6 you have one consultation of an hour and there are a total of 6 class hours for these two weeks. Our assumption is that you will use all of this time and probably more to keep your project on track. If you have any questions or need any assistance along the way please ensure that you keep in touch with myself and Glenn as we are happy to offer assistance over the next few weeks, but remember assistance only comes if you ask for it.