Since April 2016, Coursera for Governments & Nonprofits has partnered with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) to provide transitioning U.S. servicemembers and military spouses with learning experiences that prepare them for civilian career success. Through IVMF’s Onward to Opportunity job placement and training program, servicemembers and spouses can take online courses in topics like web development, business analytics, and hospitality management, all at no personal cost.
Brenda Eatough is an Onward to Opportunity program participant living in Orange Park, Florida. Onward to Opportunity helped her find her current job as a Reservations Agent with Hilton Hotels and encouraged her to complete courses from ESSEC Business School’s Hotel Management Specialization on Coursera. She’s taken three courses so far, and is currently in the process of completing her final Capstone Project for the Specialization. Here’s what Brenda told us about her experience:
Taking these courses has helped me show my supervisor that I am serious about advancing my knowledge of the hospitality industry outside of my Hilton training and work. Hilton believes in an environment of continual professional development and learning, so demonstrating that I’m invested in learning is a great thing for my career growth.
The Specialization courses have also helped me navigate challenges that I face in my job every day. For example, as a Reservations Agent I often have to explain to guests why a particular length of stay is not available at a hotel, or why the rate they got last week is not available this week. Both of these issues can result in an upset guest and potential loss of business. My Hotel Management coursework, combined with my Hilton training, has helped me explain to guests why a hotel might place a minimum length of stay restriction or why rates might fluctuate. This has helped me defuse upset callers, and sometimes I’m able to book them into another Hilton property nearby – resulting in a happier guest and a saved room booking for Hilton.
More broadly, my Coursera courses have given me a deeper understanding of hotel management. Hilton has done an outstanding job training me as a reservations agent, and my coursework with Coursera and ESSEC has enabled me to understand why decisions are made and how hotels can maximize bookings and revenue. I’m learning about the big picture, and that’s helping me become a better resource for our guests and our business.
If you’re interested in Coursera for Business, please contact us.