Earlier this month, IE University was delighted to join forces with the Radisson Hotel Group for the delivery of the first-ever Summer Campus on Revenue Management. Hosted by Radisson’s Club of Revenue Management in their newly established Center of Excellence in downtown Madrid, the initiative was brought to life with a twofold objective. For Radisson, the Summer Campus promised to attract and train talent from all over the world, helping to build a culture of excellence. For IE University, it offered students a week of sector-oriented, practical learning—as well as the chance to make an impression in the second-largest hotel group in the world.
Designed to provide a deep dive into revenue management in the hospitality industry, an international group of students from the Bachelor in Business Administration, as well as the Master in Management, were invited to take part in this unique experience. Participants hailed from all over the globe, including Germany, Chile, Colombia, and Côte d’Ivoire, to name but a few. Such richness of diversity and the combined knowledge from two IE Business School programs made for varied and stimulating discussion throughout the week, a win-win situation for both IE University and Radisson Hotel Group.
As a central player in the hospitality industry, there couldn’t have been a better place for students to gain industry-specific business insights. With over 1,500 hotels in operation and development in 120 countries and territories, Radisson’s Madrid center is a melting pot of international business, ensuring the breadth of nationalities that students brought to the table was matched by the hotel group’s global offering. Plus, as the biggest upscale brand in Europe and largest upscale pipeline in Africa, the executives at Radisson had some invaluable insights to offer in the areas of business growth and scalability.
Hitting the ground running in hospitality
The unique opportunity offered in the Revenue Management Summer Course reflects another of Radisson’s future-forward commitments: bringing together the best talent from all over the world. Seeing an opportunity to leverage local synergies with a global outlook, the hotel group called upon IE University’s pool of creative business students to cultivate a renewed focus on strategy and operations. With specialized training on offer, students were able to get a feel for the forces at play in the hospitality industry, as well as for working life at a major hotel group.
What’s more, Madrid is a great place to break into the sector. As a thriving marketplace for hoteliers and multinational hotel groups, the hospitality industry is a staple of business in the Spanish capital. From Michelin-starred dining experiences to world-class museums, Madrid is one of Europe’s most sought-after stays. As a hub of tourism, Madrid-based connections to industry giants like Radisson are some of the most valuable networks available to business graduates with their eye on hospitality.
To give aspiring managers a head start, at the Summer Course experts from the Club of Revenue Management took the time to share their expertise by presenting a range of classes and exercises. In these engaging sessions, participants got to the heart of real-time issues such as big data, distribution, inventory management, and pricing. Through analysis and case studies, students rapidly deepened their knowledge of financial disciplines with direct reference to hospitality, transforming them into ready-made sector experts should they wish to follow the career path.
Of course, takeaways from the experience were not strictly limited to one sector. Students also heard some more general tips from top executives in Radisson’s revenue management team, focused on individual performance and building a fulfilling career. From finding the right company to finding a niche, participants in the Summer Course walked away with inspiring new lenses to apply to their business careers no matter which industry they pursue.
Facing up to industry challenges
While the learnings from the Summer Course were broad, the practical nature of the project also meant facing up to real-world challenges in the industry. As part of the team in Radisson’s operations center, students had to grapple with the optimization of revenue flows and marketing on a global level. With the Club of Revenue Management as the central point of a larger operation, students had to develop a strategic radar that could keep up with the pace of business in international markets. Plus, Radisson’s revenue management department is spread over three offices in Madrid, Saint Petersburg, and Dubai. To manage the distance, powerful communication skills also proved to be a necessity.
Of course, another challenging set of demands has arisen from the impact of the ongoing pandemic. As one of the worst-hit industries of all, the project brought participants face to face with the difficulties that the global situation has introduced for hotel revenue management—as well as the steps being taken to recover. Now ready to come out stronger and move forward, students received a firsthand introduction to industry and organization at a critical point in their history.
Applying knowledge from their studies and the IE University spirit of innovation, participants showed great promise in the field of revenue management. They were a testament to the caliber of our institution, having made an impression throughout the Summer Campus. IE University is delighted that 3 students will be internship positions by Radisson Hotel Group, where they will continue to expand upon the great work completed throughout the project. We look forward to continued collaboration with Radisson Hotel Group, working together to empower the brightest young talent for the future of the industry.