A team of three LSUS MBA students won the 7th Annual STR Market Study Competition earning a $1,000 cash prize. The international event was hosted by the STR SHARE Center in early November 2021.
Competing in the graduate division, the LSUS team had three online graduate students from different states: Stephen Bickel, Derek McCrory, and Holden Murray. Dr. Minsun Kim, an LSUS Assistant Professor of Management and Marketing, was the faculty advisor and coach.
Competitors included 26 undergraduate and 11 graduate teams representing 35 schools from 11 countries. Each team was asked to analyze various live data and information from the hospitality and tourism industries to then present findings to a panel of senior-level industry judges. LSUS’s presentation focused on Los Angeles, California.
“I am thrilled that LSUS graduate teams performed so well last year (2nd place) and this year (1st place),” Dr. Kim said. “I am very proud of our students who converted the live hotel data into meaningful and fantastic presentations. We have had many discussions via Zoom and email. It was indeed challenging but enjoyable. I was very fortunate to work with these talented MBA students. I am thankful for LSUS’s support.”
LSUS won second place last year in its first appearance in the competition, and it included 37 undergraduate and 13 graduate teams representing 44 colleges and universities across 17 countries. Brandi Chambless, Ryan Dickerson, and Nicole McVey were the inaugural team with a presentation focused on Tokyo hospitality amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the anticipated 2020 Olympics.
Dr. Kim and her teams spend months practicing and training for the competition. The event serves as the next step after completing the Hospitality Analytics course, which provides an opportunity to earn two industry certifications— Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) and Certification in Advanced Hotel and Tourism Analytics (CAHTA).
“We’ve received feedback that the experience was overwhelmingly positive for the students,” STR Vice President, Duane Vinson, said. “They learned so much while analyzing data and working together as a team on their presentations.”