When Stuart asked me to be his Instructional Assistant for a course on Innovation in Services at Disney World, I didn't hesitate to say yes--I don't think he even got to finish his metaphorical breath (it was via email after all). As I prepared for the trip I began to get to know the students via their online discussion posts, and realized that there was a good chance I would end up learning as much from them as they learned in the course. With trepidation, I boarded my flight and Magic Express shuttle from Orlando airport to Port Orleans French Quarter resort on property--and met the students that night over ten frames of bowling at Splittsville in Downtown Disney.
|Dr Stuart Levy speaking with the students at Downtown Disney|
|Rasul showing style|
Our group is extremely diverse, with 17 MBA, PMBA and MTA (Master of Tourism Administration) students from The George Washington University. They have backgrounds in healthcare administration, small business management and digital marketing, among other things. Some own their own companies, and others are starting out in their careers. What each bring are unique perspectives on marketing and the customer experience.
|Conference room at the beautiful Yacht & Beach Club Resort at Disney|
The first day was an all-day classroom exercise to get an overview of the program, present mystery shopping experiences done while at home, discuss the group project, and take a short quiz. While at the beautiful Yacht & Beach Club Convention Center, the students drank gallons of coffee and laid the framework for how they were going to approach their group project--an evaluation of My Magic+, a Disney theme park of their choosing, and innovation at Disney at large.
|Brett T discussing the emotional journey of waiting|
|Brett E talking about the customer journey at the Boathouse restaurant|
|Jessica reviewing social media scores for her chosen restaurant|
I'm very much looking forward to seeing what the students come up with for metrics and evaluations of their parks--this is going to be an exciting week!