Skip to main content

New Reality Hospitality Team Challenge

First, we went global with HC3. Now, we’re going local to help area hospitality businesses get back on their feet from the impact of COVID-19. This competition was designed especially for Hilton College juniors and seniors to hone their leadership and critical thinking skills, while being part of the equation to provide real solutions to real businesses facing real-time challenges. It’s also a valuable opportunity for students to boost their resumes – all win-wins for them and our industry!

To register for this team competition, students can RSVP on HILTON COLLEGE ENGAGE. One team member should be designated as the primary contact and others can be listed under the “guest” field on the RSVP form. Once teams have been approved, the main contact will receive information about submitting the initial 90-second video needed to qualify them for the team challenge.

Important Deadlines

  • Team Registration – Monday, Sept. 21 @ 11:59 p.m.
  • Initial Video Submission – Friday, Sept. 25 @ 11:59 p.m.
  • Announcement of Selected Teams – Monday, Sept. 28
  • Mandatory Team Meeting – Wednesday, Sept. 30 @ 10 a.m.
  • Final Presentations – Friday, Nov. 13 @ 11:59 p.m.

Here are the answers to questions about this challenge created to help our community.

What is The New Reality Hospitality Team Challenge?
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have severely impacted the hospitality, travel and tourism industry. Many ventures, especially small and mid-sized businesses, are in need of innovation that can help them get back on track. With that in mind, the objective of this competition is to produce initiatives for local businesses that can be easily implemented and that will address the effects of the coronavirus on their operations. The initiatives will focus on creative and innovative ways to increase revenues and profitability without, necessarily, requiring a significant capital investment. 

Do students have to come up with their own initiative?
Yes and no. The first step is to select five (5) teams from all submissions. To be selected, teams must submit a 90-second video that addresses an assigned scenario. The chosen teams will then work with a local Houston or Texas-based business to find a solution for a challenge confronting that business. This first video needs to reflect the team’s innovative spirit. The final presentation in November will focus on finding solutions to the challenge a business is actually dealing with now.

How will the winners be selected?
Each selected team will create and submit a 3-minute video presenting the situation they were assigned, the solutions they developed, and how it was or will be implemented by the business. The faculty members organizing this team challenge will also obtain feedback from the businesses on each proposed solution. A panel of local business professionals will judge the video presentations and this, along with the comments from individual business owners, will be used to rank the teams and announce the first-, second- and third-place winners. The rubric that will be used by the judges will be provided to the final five teams at the outset.

 Will the winning teams receive prizes?
Yes! The top three teams will receive either a Visa, Mastercard or American Express cash gift card.

  • First-place team members will each receive a $500 gift card
  • Second-place team members will each receive a $400 gift card
  • Third-place team members will each receive a $300 gift card

How will students benefit from participating in this team challenge?
Once the final five (5) student teams are selected, they will be working closely with the project team members (faculty) and industry mentors to develop their initiative and successfully present it for future implementation. Students will be working outside the classroom – either visiting the local business in person or meeting with their industry mentor via Zoom/Teams or in person to discuss their proposal and how best to work effectively to communicate and develop the idea.

 This opportunity will allow students to:

  • Further develop their skill sets that will be necessary to succeed in this new 21st century reality
  • Stretch their critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Learn how to be flexible and adaptable in a changing environment
  • Experience the importance of teamwork
  • Design a concept that could become a deliverable tool for their industry partner
  • Strengthen their communication skills necessary to articulate a strategy/concept
  • Adapt their skills learned in the classroom and directly apply what they’ve learned to a real scenario while engaging with the community to affect change
  • Implement project management software and apply it to a real-world situation

Are there any prerequisites necessary to qualify for a team?
The New Reality Hospitality Team Challenge is open to HRM juniors and seniors in good standing. These undergraduate students should have taken, or be currently enrolled in, a minimum of two of the following courses:

  • HRMA 2343 Hospitality Cost Controls
  • HRMA 2350 Management Principles in Hospitality
  • HRMA 3341 Hospitality Managerial Accounting
  • HRMA 3358 Hospitality Industry Law
  • HRMA 3361 Hospitality Marketing

What is the maximum size of a team?
Teams are limited to a minimum of two (2) and a maximum of five (5) members.

Is this a class?
No. This challenge is a voluntary student activity and a GREAT opportunity to build your confidence and leadership skills for a successful career in the industry.