Texas Tech University

STR Student Market Study Competition

By Ashley Ryan, College of Human Sciences Marketing and Communications 

STR's SHARE Center crowns Texas Tech's Graduate RHIM team in New York, NY

TTU STR Market Study Competition The Supporting Hotel-related Academic Research and Education (SHARE) Center of STR (Smith Travel Research) has named Texas Tech's Restaurant, Hospitality, and Institutional Management (RHIM) graduate student team as the winner of the 2016 STR Market Study Competition.

Over the past few months, five RHIM students from the College of Human Sciences' Hospitality and Retail Management (HRM) department have tirelessly been working to prepare for the STR Market Study competition under the direct supervision of Jingxue (Jessica) Yuan, Ph.D. The students on the triumphant team are Alhussain Alhamid, Daegeun (Dan) Kim, Joe Kleypas, John Palabiyik, and Martha Rush.

TTU STR Market Study CompetitionRHIM graduate students who elect to enroll in the Market Research Analysis course devote their time in class to the preparation of the STR Market Study competition through the means of a Power Point presentation and a paired video of the students presenting their work.

Dr. Yuan describes the role of the course in relation to the competition.

"The learning objectives of the course were to conduct in-depth analyses of STR data on the Washington DC-MD-VA market, identify how this market is affected by the political, social, and economic factors, and to develop a presentation depicting the characteristics and trends of this hotel market."

TTU STR Market Study CompetitionDr. Yuan explains that STR data tracks the supply and demand for the hotel industry in a given market and provides a market analysis for international hotel chains, regional hotel chains, and independent hotels.

"This project provides an enriching learning experience for the students. They have learned to analyze real industry data at an advanced level to conduct standard market research analysis on a real market, namely Washington DC, and to develop analytical and presentation skills. Students were able to apply knowledge of a market study to real-world situations."

During recent months, the five graduate students met several times a week in order to reach their goals. After many hours, the RHIM graduate students created what would soon be their winning presentation titled, "It Is A Story About Politics: A Market Study on Washington DC."

Beginning in the fall, the class worked day and night to complete their parts of the project before the competition's deadline in October.

The graduate students' dedication paid off on October 26 when they were selected among Columbia University, DePaul University, Kansas State University, Purdue University Northwest, and the University of Missouri as finalists.

"When the class heard that our team was named one of the finalists in the graduate section, everyone felt very proud. They are so glad to be members of this team."

On November 13, the team presented their 30-minute market analysis presentation to a panel of judges at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. Later that same day, the RHIM finalists received the best news anyone could ask for.

TTU STR Market Study CompetitionThe RHIM graduate team had been unanimously selected as the winner of the 2016 STR Market Study competition. This victory comes as the first of its kind in the history of the HRM department at Texas Tech.

Amanda, Hite, President and CEO of STR presented the team at the award ceremony with their first place plaque and a cash prize of $1,000 for their win.

An award ceremony was held on November 28 in the College of Human Sciences. Department Chairperson Dr. Shane Blum introduced Dr. Yuan and her team to the college. Pie Five Pizza Co. made a $1,000 donation to the HRM department in support of the team and their success. The students were presented with a plaque before a reception was held in honor of their victory.

Dr. Yuan describes her students' dedication.

"Our hard work and long hours of preparation paid off the best way. We were excited to take home first prize, a well-deserved victory. I am very proud of these students and appreciate their devotion and motivation."