Collins College Graduate team takes first place at international student market study competition

By Christie Counts, Jan. 24, 2023

A group of graduate students from the Collins College of Hospitality Management won first place in the CoStar Group SHARE Center’s annual international student market study competition. The competition, which brings together teams from universities around the world, tasked participants with conducting market research and presenting their findings on a specific industry or product.

Held Nov. 19 to 20, 2022 the CoStar Group Supporting Hospitality and Real Estate Education Center, otherwise known as the SHARE Center, aimed to bring data driven decision making and analysis from the hospitality and real estate industries from the world’s top business schools and place them into a global competition. Teams of three to six people, mentored by professors, were required to collect and analyze hotel data from a selected city then present a market analysis to a board of global hospitality industry leaders.

“When we thought about what we needed to do, because it was the same market we chose in 2019 (Seattle), needed to do something a little bit different and go above and beyond,” said Heather E. Kingsbury, hospitality master’s student. “We all mutually agreed we need to give ourselves a different edge in order to win.”

Collin’s college student graduate team, comprised of Kingsbury, Bianca Louise Del Castillo, Hospitality masters student and Albert Scott Sandoval, hospitality master’s student, focused their research on analyzing and discussing hotel performance data in the Seattle market to identify and recommend investments opportunities. Together they identified key trends and opportunities within the Seattle field.

Having competed previously in 2019, earning second place and 2020, earning third place, the Collins College team adjusted their approach for the 2022 competition. After a 6 six to 8 eight month period of critiquing and analyzing data, they were able to create a presentation they wanted to present to the panel of judges in the final round.

Image courtesy of Heather Kingsbury

The Collins College Graduate trio chose the Seattle market and each individual took on professional responsibilities. Sandoval was a hotelier, a person who owns or manages a hotel, Del Castillo was a tourism development officer and Kingsbury was the developer and investor. Each character gave the presentation a real world and professional perspective. The responsibilities each character represented in the trio and the data displayed in front of the judges allowed them to clinch the international title.

“I am grateful that our team won. This competition was an accomplishment for us as we got to put in a lot of effort and apply our learning from the classes,” said Del Castillo. “For me personally it was a great opportunity for me to enhance my skills and to get out of my comfort zone.”

The win is a testament to the strong mentorship and education offered at CPP and the hard work and dedication of the team. One of the mentors and professor of the graduate team was Linchi Kwok, professor for The Collins College who offered constructive criticism and encouragement as the team paved their way to the finals.

Kwok presented his students with real world experience in the classroom with assistance from Signature Polytechnic Experience.

Kwok explained how they were able to bring in real industry reports from CoStar and present students with real time data. Students were then able to look through what is coming into the market, historical key points and analyze the market level data to comprise a recommendation to the key state holders.

“Having the support of our school was definitely comforting to us, very motivational,” said Sandoval. “Collins College was a big part of us gettingfirst place.”

Kingsbury explained without the help, support and learning experiences from the Collins College staff and team that they would not have made it as far as they did, they provided them the advice to go above and beyond in order to win and gain profitable experience to benefit each of the students futures.

The win is a major achievement for The Collins College and the graduate team. Each team member expressed their gratitude for the support provided by The Collins College and their professors and mentors while preparing for the competition.

The team is now on their way to The Americas Lodging Investment Summit with their international title in order to network and utilize new opportunities.

“You don’t have to be a hospitality student to participate in the competition. We are always open to anyone joining us, you never know what kind of opportunities are going to rise from participating,” said Kingsbury. “We got the opportunity to meet all our board of advisors, we got invited to the ALIS conference, as well as many other opportunities because we have this achievement and are considered student ambassadors for this program because we did so well.”

Feature image courtesy of Heather Kingsbury

Verified by MonsterInsights