Some people look at the blog as just another place they need to go to get information, while other people will actively engage with blogs and online forums. Regardless I ask the questions – ‘why do it?’
One of the things you do not realise when you start blogging is the reach you can have in terms of making networks and reaching people you never thought possible.
An example of this – someone in America has been reading through this blog site for your unit……………..
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.
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
Based on some conversations and e-mails through the week it is apparent that attention has well and truly turned to the first assessment, the dossier. So what do you need to do?
Find those articles……………..
The first thing you need to review academic literature (use the UWS library or Google Scholar or similar). If you are having trouble finding literature you may be approaching the review from the wrong angle. For example, some students involved with project briefs around Clubs are looking for literature on clubs without much luck so I have suggested looking from an restaurant, service, experience or operations perspective may assist. Overall try and think what are the themes and sub themes of your brief and this may guide you. Best advice is that if you are having trouble with this aspect you may be looking too narrow, too broad or just need to look from a different angle.
I have asked you to look widely across the academic literature and select four articles which inform your project brief, the idea of four articles is that once your dossiers are handed in each group member will have four articles which may contribute to your project.
Ultimately, you only need to discuss two articles in your dossier (put the references and abstracts of the other articles as an appendix for the dossier).
Got my 2 articles, now what?
Look at the marking criteria and the key words for each of the criteria to give you clues of what you need to do;
- Summary and critical analysis
Essentially what I want to know is why you have chosen these articles out of all the articles you could have chosen. Critically tell me why this is useful and how it will apply to your project.
Have fun searching for the articles and do not forget submission is via turnitin – no hard copies required
Think about how this all ties in with assessment two.
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 with Karina (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 stuff do 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 Karina 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 Karina as we are happy to offer assistance over the next few weeks, but remember assistance only comes if you ask for it.
Have a look at the file titled Week 4 consultation for ideas to help you get the most out your Week 4 consultation
Just to make sure everyone is aware of when their consultation time is, I have listed the groups below;
- 9:00 UWS Connect
- 9:35 Wesley Lodge
- 10:10 Dooley’s – Bistro refurbishment
- 10:45 Sharks
- 11:20 Accor – Novotel
- 1:00 Australian Turf Club
- 1:35 Accor – Pullman
- 2:10 Dooley’s – Service
- 2:45 Sharks
- 3:20 Dooley’s Bistro refurbishment
Make sure you prepare for your consultations and remember the expectation is that your group will work on the project for the additional two and a half hours of the seminar time.
So we are into week 3 and you have now completed your site visits. I really hope you enjoyed meeting your industry partner and visiting the site of your industry project. Often seeing the space and having an industry partner talk to the space helps make sense of the brief. Well done on the professional attire and manner you have all displayed.
I had the pleasure of joining a number of groups on their site visit and feedback from the other industry partners has been positive.
If you have not done so already please have your industry liaison send the industry partner a thank you for them taking time to go through the briefs with you. Also use the correspondence as a way of requesting information or confirming what the industry partner indicated they would do for you.
So what is next? Hopefully each of the groups has had some sort of discussion about the site visit (I know many of the groups I accompanied stayed on site to discuss the site visit). What I want you to do now is have a look at the teaching schedule in the learning guide and have a look at Weeks 4 to 8. You are now moving into the consultation period and you will notice that each of the consultation weeks focuses on something different – this is designed to keep your project moving.
In week 4 all groups have a half hour consultation and part of the reason for this is that we want to make sure you all have a clear understanding of your project. It is also to make sure you have a plan for the coming weeks to keep your project moving. Make sure you bring questions to your consultations, have preliminary plan of what data you need to collect and generally prepare so you maximise your half hour.
So, week three already and this is when the fun begins.
Personally I think the site visits in Week 3 is one of the best parts of the unit. You get to go out and meet people in industry and often get to have a look at some great hospitality facilities and see areas of the business you do not often get to see. As well as getting to have a bit of a sticky beak, remember this is your chance to clarify aspects of the brief and set some boundaries for the project. Often you will also find that seeing the location makes the brief more understandable.
Make sure you take heaps of notes while you are on the site visit. Think about taking photos as well, this is a great way to remember what you saw and also may be useful to show Karina in the consultation sessions. Make sure before taking photos you ask permission and try and avoid getting other people in the photos if in public places.
With your clothing please remember that smart casual / business attire is suitable and also remember to wear closed in shoes in case you go behind the scenes.
Questions… you should have some. Make sure you ask heaps of questions on the site visit. It shows you are interested in the project and if you are asking questions relevant to the project then the project partner will be impressed. They are also usually impressed if you know stuff about them beyond the what they tell everybody on their website (this is a reminder to research your partner prior to the visit). Again, there is no point waiting until week four consultation and asking us if we know what they want – it is up to you to clarify.
If you need info from the industry partner make sure you ask for it and reconfirm you will be needing the information at the end of your meeting. I would confirm your request in an e-mail and I would also ask for the information no later than Thursday afternoon -that way you can look at it, think about it and discuss as part of your consultation in week 4.
Remember your industry partner has taken time out of their day to help this project become a reality si please have your industry liaison person send a thank you e-mail preferably on the same day of your site visit, the morning of the following day at the latest.
Finally, enjoy your site visits and the people you meet – you never know you might work with some of them one day.