Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Which One?

I always have this huge urge to learn,to get better in doing things, to learn new things, to get myself busy all the time. Because only then will I feel productive,
and guilt free! Even now, I still have a check list on the things that I want to learn in the near future.

It just came to me that all these learning things are only beneficial for myself. These doesn't bring any good effects to other people!

When I'm studying, wherever it is, whether it's in the kitchen, campus, language institution or even in my own room, it's not about the money or the energy that I spent. But what matters most is the time that I've used up for studying by myself.
This means, automatically there will be lesser time allocation for me to spend with my family, friends and, sadly, for God.

Somebody said that I'm self-centered!
I agreed to it!

Other people said that I need to prioritize..
I know!
But the question is....
Which priority is good? Which one is the right thing to do?

I'm young, I have the energy, I have all the resources I need,
and above all I have the determination to do it, to learn!
Shall I continue with it while I'm still young?
Or in the contrary, while I'm still young, shall I spend my time with family, friends, and, of course, God?

So, which one?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We Call That Learning

Christmas is just around the edge and I can feel the atmosphere already!!
I just finished my exams, holidays are set and I started planning on Christmas pastry menu. This is the time of the year that I really like.

Last week, I finished baking my Gingerbread Men Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Hazelnut Crescent Cookies. I'll upload the pictures later! They're still in my sister's camera. Today, I got a day off and I baked Panettone, the Italian Christmas bread. I put lots of effort in it but the result was not satisfying!!! I think it did not get enough proofing time and the texture was very hard. I got a little bit sad since I spent lots of time baking it and hoped that it taste would taste like the one that I tasted last Christmas. But this one, not even close!!

It's not my first failure in baking breads and I can say that I'm not a good baker at all. I haven't learned much techniques on baking since I concentrated mostly in pastry making. Earlier, I thought I would just abandon it and practice on chocolate modelling instead. Then I realize that it is not the right attitude! If I wanna be a pastry chef then I have to know how to bake breads too! I have to persevere and strive for excellence. So I've decided to try baking Panettone again tomorrow!! Wish me luck, everyone!! Hahahaha..

For the last several days, I've been reading the book that I borrowed from campus library, it's entitled "Baking and Pastry: Mastering the arts and crafts" by Culinary Institute of America. I had a copy of "Professional Baking" by Wayne Gisslen from Le Cordon Bleu and I think that the latter is much better since there are lots of pictures on the mixing, shaping and other processes. From these books, I learned a lot about the chemistry behind the pastries and breads that I've made, what creates the flavor, texture and color of the products. I gotta keep on learning, practicing and improving my skills. It's not an easy process but if it's what it takes to reach my dream, then I'll do it no matter what!

There are still lots of things that I wanna bake for Christmas like Stollen, Christmas Pudding, Lebkuchen, Minced Pie, Beef Wellington and Turkey, but my entire family is on DIET and there will be no one to eat my foods!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Company Visit: Sheraton Hotel Surabaya

Today's marketing class was kinda different because we went for a company visit to Sheraton Hotel Surabaya. Finally!! We've been asking for a field trip and there were lots of obstacles but we finally made it. Yeaaa..

When we got there, we were welcomed by the Human Resources Manager, a cheerful and easy going, plump woman in a stunning batik top. Then we were divided into three smaller groups and had a tour of the hotel. The hotel has a total of 358 rooms with 8 different room types such as Deluxe, Premium, Deluxe Suite and Presidential Suite. We were not able to get a view of all the room types since the current hotel occupancy is 100%. We went to the meeting rooms, lounge, swimming pool, restaurants and health club.

Sheraton Surabaya is basically a business hotels. The events hold there are like business meetings, seminar, exhibition, conferences and wedding parties. Another property of the hotel is Pakuwon Golf and Family Club, just near my home, the place where my sister usually plays basketball. The hotel is under the Starwood hotels management, together with St. Regis (my favorite hotel in Bali), Westin and Le Meridien. All hotels under Starwood are focused differently with different customer segments, and therefore different brand positioning.

The last segment of our company visit was a lecture by the manager of Operational Excellence, a position that is uncommon in hospitality industry. His works are focused on ensuring operational excellence within the company by the use of Six Sigma theory. This theory is all about continuous efforts to achieve perfection (by defining the problem, measuring the current process, analyzing the data gathered, improving the current process and verifying the new design).

All in all, it's been a refreshing lecture and a new experience for us. I get to know that every hotel has its own personality. When I was sitting in the ballroom and listening to the speakers, I couldn't help but compare Sheraton and Grand Hyatt Bali (the hotel where I had my internship last year). Well, I will bear that in mind, that I have to establish my own hotel identity when I'm going to build my own hotel (hopefully someday).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Service Marketing Mix

For the last two semesters, we have been discussing a lot about the service industry. Of course we should, since hospitality and tourism are parts of service industry, that's what we are learning! However, it was my first time hearing a theory like "Service Marketing Mix". I studied Marketing Mix with the 4Ps elements, but not service marketing mix.

I found out that in service marketing mix, the elements like 'people, process and physical environment' are added to the traditional 4Ps. These elements are essential in the service industry because it's about how we treat people, how we impress people!
Gotta apply this theory more often in future strategies in any service business that I will encounter.

Today, we also discussed about the Massachusetts Audubon Society case study. The article was loooooong and very detailed. The answers were all there in the case, we only needed to compute. Overall, our group did pretty well in this case study. I didn't even know what a non-profit organization can be this big of a size! I thought, organization like this will only have office in a small house with small events and stuff. It's kinda amazing to understand more and get new things on non-profit organizations! They even compete with each other! That really amazed me!

It's just about time for us to do our final exam assignment! Time flies really quickly. Gotta make a schedule and practice time management from now on.. There's just sooooo much works to do!


Lately, everybody around me is either 'in love' OR 'in a relationship'!!
From my best friends, sisters and any other people!
GOOOOOSH!! Is it just me who's weird?? Am I too picky or something?
Currently, I'm NEITHER in love NOR in a relationship
I wanna be a part of the crowd too!!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Service Productivity

This week's case study was really interesting, it was about Starbucks. The brand is everywhere and it's probably a part of our lifestyle! Understanding how Starbucks markets its products was something new for me and I thought these guys are brilliant! Creating such mega brand and dominating the whole world should require endless hard works and determination, right?

Overall, my group's answers for the case study was right but all the answers lack depth in analysis. I should use all the diagrams given and answer based on the facts presented, that's how a bachelor degree student should work! On the next case study, I will make sure that all the data given are used properly.. Thanks for reminding us, Mr. Sandy!!! The way you analyze and answer all the questions really inspired me.

We then moved on to the day's theory and we learned about service productivity. I've known about productivity and the formula long time ago, but it was for production industry, not service industry. In hospitality, where everything is about service excellence, productivity is hard to measure! The way one person works and serves the guests might be slightly different from the others. One person might be good at speaking, one person might be fast in cleaning, which one is more productive? It's hard to determine!!

Basically, we cannot just judge the success of a business from the financial status. There are lots of other factors such as customer satisfaction, employee morale and productivity that need to be considered. What's important is that, when aiming for an improved productivity, quality should not be sacrificed! If that's the case, then everything will be wasted.

Mr. Sandy gave an example on TGIF and Hungrylicious restaurants. When giving the final mark, the lecturer cannot just look at the financial figures but he should be aware of the crew's productivity! Even though the restaurants will not be opened anymore, but this is a lesson for us so that we can apply it in our other projects.