Casinos and Integrated Resorts to Host CNI Masters Students in Macau and Hong Kong

The Venetian Macau, MGM Grand Macau, Macau Studio City, The Wynn Macau, Grand Lisboa, and Hong Kong Disneyland recently participated in a four-day immersion course with the Master of Management in Hospitality (MMH) students from the Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management (CNI).

This Master Class gave students a first-hand appreciation of the casino and entertainment industries in Macau and Hong Kong, and was led by Dr. Sheryl Kimes, holder of the Singapore Tourism Board’s first professorship in Asian Hospitality Management.

“As part of the course, students had the opportunity to understand Macau as a destination, study the profile of the Macau consumer, and grapple with issues such as managing human capital and hotel development and financing,” said Professor Kimes. “By travelling to Hong Kong and Macau, the students were privileged to see in practice, case studies about Macao Studio City, Wynn Macau and Hong Kong Disneyland.”

Daniel Shim, SVP of Human Resources for The Venetian Macau added “It is great that an international educational program brings its students to Macau to help the world understand the area. Also, bringing in prospective talent helps show them the opportunities that exist in Macau.”

The program gave students insights into issues such as typical consumers, hotel development and financing, managing human capital through a series of lectures led by notable industry leaders such as Dr Leonardo Dioko, Professor and Director of Research at the Institute for Tourism Studies Macao (IFT) and Dr Robert Kirby, President of Kirby Leadership. Dr. Dioko was impressed with the caliber of the students, commenting that “the CNI students posed insightful questions,” and were “excellent students, quite mature.”

Throughout the four day event, students socialized with and garnered perspectives from senior executive management of the hotels. The students met and interacted with senior executives including Nicholas Naples, Chief Operating Officer for Macau Studio City, Pete Wu, Director of Business Development for Macau Studio City, Wendy Yu, VP of Human Resources for Wynn Resorts (Macau) and Gabe Hunterton, Vice President of Casino Operations for MGM Grand in Macau.

Naples observed that introducing senior executives to the students during the Master Class seemed to achieve the important objective of providing a real-time forum for graduate students to have direct access to industry professionals representing a range of functional areas within the hospitality industry. He said, “This helps to build a bridge between the classroom and the workplace, as well as provide challenging opportunities to students who are making a serious commitment to our industry.”

“The students really impressed me. They quickly grasped the business issues for our company and asked intelligent questions to dig deeper. I would be happy to have these students working for me some day!” added Joe Gavigan, Vice President, Business Insight & Improvement for Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.

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