SDVA Students in Miami

6 June, 2017
  • 6 min read
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“One dream, one team” Welcome to Strategy Development America! Eighteen selected students from Campus The Hague and Campus Amsterdam of Hotelschool The Hague embarked on a journey to Miami to participate in the Strategic Development Course and develop their strategic thinking. As part of the course the students will work with the management team of the Miami Biltmore Hotel. Four teams of students will present their final product to the management team of the hotel. This is an outstanding opportunity for the students to build their network and learn from experts in the Industry, running the leading hotels of Florida.

This capstone course is organised by students with the guidance and supervision of Mr Feigenbaum, Lecturer of Hotelschool The Hague who accompanies the students to Miami. Mr Feigenbaum shares his tremendous experience in the Hospitality Industry with the students during the coaching sessions, master classes and discussion groups in Amsterdam and The Hague, as well as during their time in Miami. Mr Feigenbaum’s expertise is derived from his experience as F&B Director of The Regency Hotel, General Manager of New York Playboy Club, General Manager of Playboy Club of Chicago, F&B Director of Essex House in New York City and F&B Director of Harvard Club of New York. He started his teaching career at Virginia Tech University and has also taught at Florida International University before he moved to Europe to teach at Hotelschool The Hague. The SDVA Programme was founded by students with the strong encouragement and support of Mr Feigenbaum.

The students are in a unique position as they will have the outstanding opportunity to learn from Dr Joseph J. West, author of ‘Strategic Management in the Hospitality Industry’. Dr West currently teaches at Florida International University and took the opportunity to coach the four teams of SDVA students to perfect their competitive methods and general understanding of strategy creation.

The selected SDVA Students

The students are divided into four teams all consisting of different nationalities and four or five members. Two teams were created out of students from The Hague and two teams from Amsterdam, in order to organise everything in a smooth way. Below you can see the members of each group:

  • TH#1: Brenda Baasbank, Cristina Geisler, Carmelle Jaski, Helen Petkewitz
  • TH#2: Willem Grefkens, Aniek Langendijk, Barbora Baroniakova, Sanne Tubée
  • AMS#1: Akiko van Dal, Ivana Carlizzi, Estelle Ijland, Lisa Löffler, Lili Horváth
  • AMS#2: Natalia Santolaya, Githa Langeweg, Eva Baas, Susanna Akselson, Elaine Beeren

The selection process of the students took place in November 2016. This gave plenty of time for the students to get to know each other, and utilise the time to ensure everything would run smoothly in Miami. The group decided to conduct fundraising in order to ease the burden of the student who might be in need of financial help. The students organised several Bake Sales, two networking workshops, Mystery box cooking events and Bar quizzes. Organising these events served as a great team building activity. It also allowed the team to help students in need of financial aid, and to participate in group activities in Miami.

The students were not only responsible for fundraising. Decision-making regarding every aspect of the course was put into their hands as well. Accommodation, transportation, events and marketing was all organised by the students participating in the course. The first four weeks of the course were spent in the Netherlands, to lay down the ground-work of the project by completing the external scan and the essential theories of the course. Students will spend the last six weeks in Miami and will work in close collaboration with the case company.

Even though this is the fifth time that student groups take the course in Miami, this is the first time The Biltmore Hotel Miami- Coral Gables is the case hotel.

Biltmore Miami is a five-star hotel with 273 rooms, which has won several prestigious awards. Some of them from last year are the following:

  • Ranked No 4 by Conde Nast in the Reader’s Choice Award 2016 for Top Hotels in Miami
  • Ranked No 3 as The Best Resort Hotels in Florida - Travel & Leisure 2016 
  • Ranked No 67 Of The Best Hotels in World - Travel & Leisure 2016 
  • Palme d’Or received Five Diamond Awards from AAA - January 2016
  • The Biltmore Hotel and Palme d’Or recognised with Forbes 4* Awards- January 2016
  • Trip Advisor Green Leaders Gold Award 2016
  • Top 10 of South Florida Golf Course by Golf Advisor 2016
  • Winner Of The 2016 Editors' Picks Awards - Best Hotel Wedding Venues.

Are you interested in what the SDVA students learn and do in Miami? Stay tuned! They have a surprise for you! Keep an eye on the Hotelschool The Hague Blog every Friday! Follow them on the SDVA Facebook and Instagram page, and on the Hotelschool The Hague Snapchat (hotelschool)!

About the author

Hotelschool The Hague

Hotelschool The Hague was founded and funded in 1929 by the hospitality industry to create a central place where industry partners could gain and share new insight, skills and knowledge. Since its foundation, the Hotelschool has become an international school specialised in hospitality management offering a 4-year Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Hospitality Management. This degree course is also available as the accelerated International Fast Track programme. Our 13 month Master Hospitality Management programme is designed to deliver the next generation of hospitality innovators.

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