College of Business and Management Announces Internship Partnership with the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau for Fall 2021

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Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on May 13, 2021, No Comments

This fall, six students from East Stroudsburg University’s hotel, restaurant and tourism management (HRTM) program will have the opportunity to take a closer look inside the industry thanks to a partnership forged with the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB). The PMVB, a private, non-profit membership organization, is the official destination marketing organization for the four counties of Wayne, Pike, Monroe, and Carbon in Northeastern Pennsylvania. According to Sylvester Williams, J.D., dean of ESU’s College of Business and Management, the University will select six upperclassmen to participate in internships at the PMVB membership locations, focusing on data analytics and the use of data science.

“These internships are a great way to provide our students with real-world experience, especially the business side of the HRTM industry,” said Dr. Williams. “They’ll actually take the material they learn in the classroom and couple it with course content that will developed by the PMVB and participating properties based on prevailing market conditions. This on-the-job training will come with a paycheck or stipend and the interns will assess and report their findings to their internship mentors as well as PMVB leadership, ESU faculty and their classmates.”

Interns for this experience must be in their junior or senior year with an understanding of analytics, a background in statistics, and knowledge of the hospitality industry. Each will receive a two-week orientation and a tour of their selected PMVB property prior to the start of the experience. According to Chris Barrett, president and CEO of PMVB, each internship will be structured similar to a “manager trainee” position for at least part of the experience in order for the students to understand the roles and responsibilities of personnel within various departments at each property including front desk, housekeeping, operations, sales and marketing, finance and business, and coordination.

“Our goal is to provide every ESU student intern with a well-rounded experience,” added Barrett. “This is a great opportunity for member properties of the PMVB to mentor select students who may one day step into a role within their organization. This is just one way we are invested in the future of our community that has such a deep and rich history of tourism and entertainment.”

Among the expected outcomes, the ESU students will learn: practical use of delivery predictive insights; deployment, management and monitoring of analytic models; selection and reliance on platforms that support the end-to-end analytics lifecycle; how to dissect data from the property’s reservation or scheduling systems in order to identify the development of ongoing trending models; ability to solve (and resolve) complex problems in order to ensure that predictive findings turn into optimal outcomes; familiarity with artificial intelligence within existing software platforms; and, ability to analyze current market share in order to propose new products or services to enhance current or ongoing profitability.

According to Barrett, the PMVB will provide a funding source that will enable ESU students to receive an hourly rate or a stipend while on the job. Members will also be responsible for oversight of the program’s coordination, including daily logistics.

“We are looking forward to great success during our first year of this partnership,” said Stanley Li-Ming Chiang, chair and professor of ESU’s HRTM program. “It offers great promise and opportunity for us to grow the number of internships within the Pocono region in years to come and to provide our students with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to master their future.”