H&T Management Students Learn to Pivot, Change, and Turn in Business

For the aspiring entrepreneurs in Seton’s Year Two Hospitality & Tourism Management program, the pandemic-related lockdown offered a real-life lesson in the in the critical need to “pivot, change, and turn” in business. Those were the words the programs director, Angela Rakis, used to describe their culmination of their year-long experience in starting their own small businesses.
For the aspiring entrepreneurs in Seton’s Year Two Hospitality & Tourism Management program, the pandemic-related lockdown offered a real-life lesson in the in the critical need to “pivot, change, and turn” in business. Those were the words the programs director, Angela Rakis, used to describe their culmination of their year-long experience in starting their own small businesses.
 
Over the course of the 2019-2020 school year, the Year Two H&T Management students built small businesses from the ground up. They developed market-based solutions to deliver products or services, established brand identities, and strived to deliver to target demographics. With the help of $50 in seed money provided by a board of “investors” from Southern Management Consultants, the three student teams started small businesses to offer healthy meals (VCR Foodies, Valeria, Crystal, and Rebeca); provide babysitting services (Hoot! Hoot! Babysitting, Courtney, Karizma, and Princesse), and sell baked goods (M.E.T. Bakery, Maddie, Erika, and Tyler). Their ultimate goal was to launch their businesses this spring, and then to deliver pop-up presentations to Ms. Rakis and the board.
 
Like thousands of other businesses, the coronavirus interfered with their plans. But the students rose to the occasion, pivoting from on-campus pop-ups to “Shark Tank”-style pitch deck presentations to the board. These were completed this past week, with the three-student teams virtually delivering their pitches to the investors and getting vital feedback.
 
The Hospitality and Tourism Management program is designed in partnership with the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute to prepare students to enter and succeed in the hospitality and tourism industry through classroom learning and work experience. 
 
The academic component includes two year-long courses and 100 hours of work experience in industry internships. Students who successfully complete the program will be eligible for globally-recognized certifications with industry credentials.
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