ALTA, Norway—Ten students at the University College of Finnmark, Norway’s northernmost county, have received a head start in the job hunting queue upon completing training in the professional hotel management software suite PMI.
Since 26 October, ten students at the University College of Finnmark managed their own hotel using the online computer programme PMI. Today 65 percent of all hotels in Norway are using PMI, but it’s the first time that an educational programme in Norway offers this training to students. PMI keeps tabs on room bookings, budgeting, forecasting, accounting, staffing, procurement of food and beverages and everything else that the hotel management must keep track of to operate as efficiently as possible.
Impressed with the students
“It has been very educational and informative,” says student Lana Stock (21). She and her fellow students were first trained, then ran their own hotel for two weeks.
“In fact, they managed a real hotel, currently in full operation. We collected data from five hotels in Europe, including Norwegian chains Rica, Thon and two other chain hotels, as well as individual hotels. Students were told which hotel they ran,” says Chief Education Officer at d2o, Mr Kjell Gangdal, whose daily occupation is to educate hotel managers around the world in the use of PMI. He is impressed with the students’ efforts.
“They have been very clever and have operated hotels exceeding all expectations,” he continues. To motivate students to use PMI, the school had a competition where the best “Hotel Manager” among students receive a trip to a big hotel in Brussels to see how PMI is used to organise the operation.
“It has been a close competition and the students have really worked hard,” Gangdal adds. But it was tourism student Trine Møller (24) from London who drew the longest straw. “It has been incredibly exciting to get an insight into hotel management,” she says. In the months of January–February she is going to Brussels. “It is very exciting,” she adds, looking forward to the journey. Text continued below photograph.
Valuable addition to the resume
“To teach students PMI is a really good initiative from the school,” continues Møller. This spring she finished her bachelor’s degree in tourism. She will be applying for jobs, and has plans to use the course diploma actively in the job application process. The same scenario with Lana Stock, which will receive a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration.
“This course will be added to my resume. I am very proud to know PMI. It is a boost for us that these students entered the programme,” she says. Silje Kjellmo Johansson (24) from Kirkenes currently works at Thon Hotel in Alta, also in Finnmark, at the front desk while studying. She sees only benefits of being able to use and understand PMI, as the hotel industry job competition is extremely tough. “Today there are only two persons at Thon in Alta who know PMI, and now I do, too,” she smiles, thinking it will give her a head start in her career.
Will continue the scheme
Associated professor Arild Røkenes, department head at the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Media Studies, is pleased to hear of the positive feedback from students. “Experiences so far are entirely positive – the students have demonstrated that theoretical knowledge can be translated into practical skills and they have also been tested in their leadership skills. It has been gratifying to observe such high commitment from the students and, but not least, that the we can take pride in the results.”
“Teachers at the course have a clear goal to continue the scheme, which is also an expressed industry demand, to utilise this knowledge. We thank Rica hotels Finnmark, who have made the pilot project possible through financial support,” said Røkenes.
“I hope that the college will continue to provide this service to students. This is one of the most practice-oriented courses I have had over the years I have studied here,” says Lana Stock, from St. Petersburg, Russia. Now she focuses on a career in the hotel industry. “I have already hung my diploma on the wall,” she boasts proudly.
This article was originally published at the Finnmark University College website. Text (later translated) and all photographs by Ms Inger Elin Utsi.
Editorial disclosure: The company d20, appearing in the article, and HSMAI Europe currently maintains a partnership, while the article itself complies with our ethical standards, independently pre-published by the University College of Finnmark.
Top photo: Lana Stock (left) and Silje Kjellmo Johansen are studying for a bachelors degree in Hotel Management. This spring they completed their studies. Now they have learned to use the hotel management tool PMI, providing an advantage in their job search. PMI courses are only offered at the University College of Finnmark.
Middle photo: Kjell R. Gangdal giving lectures in the use of PMI. PMI is the computer programme most hotels in Norway use in the hotel administration.
Bottom photo: For the first time students in Norway received training in the professional hotel management utility of PMI. The students have provided feedback to the college that this is a very good measure.