Published: 01st May 2019
Lovely Professional University's in-house hotel is completely managed and maintained by its students
The Uni Hotel boasts of 40 rooms and has had several guests including the Dalai Lama, Shahrukh Khan and Akshay Kumar
A typical day for Yamini Chandrasekar starts early in the morning when she and her batchmates assemble in the lobby at Uni Hotel, Lovely Professional University's (LPU) in-house hotel that's completely run by students. The manager gives everyone instructions on how many occupants there are for the day, and what responsibilities each of them has to take on. Yamini is usually on the front desk or housekeeping duty.
The Uni Hotel, established in 2008 became fully functional in 2011 and is intended to give Hotel Management students the exposure and experience of everything that goes into running a hotel. There are about 120 students who run the hotel in two shifts, taking care of the front desk, housekeeping, kitchen, food and beverage, maintenance, finances and administration. Pratham Mittal, Head of New Initiatives at LPU says, "The university has a School of Hotel Management and we have about 1,200 students in it. We wanted to make sure that these students get hands-on experience. In normal Hotel Management classrooms, you have model hotel rooms, model kitchens and model restaurants. We wanted to see if we can go one step ahead because it's a large campus with about 35,000 students and every other day, you have corporates coming in for training or placements. So we decided to build a hotel on campus and see if students can take the responsibility of running it. We were spending so much money on booking hotels outside for our guests. It made sense to have our own."
Task force: There are about 120 students who run the hotel in two shifts
This Uni Hotel currently has 40 rooms which are completely managed, refurbished and maintained by students. Apart from the rooms, it also has restaurants and everything else that a hotel includes. In fact, the School of Hotel Management has been shifted to this building, so the classes happen here now. "It's been a good experience for the students," says Pratham, and adds, "Not only do they provide service, they also get to interact with the guests. They are also graded based on the feedback they get from their customers."
Opportunities at the hotel are not only reserved for Hotel Management students. If an engineering student wants to work there, they are welcome to. "There's a lot of flexibility. There are at least seven to eight students doing the shifts who are not Hotel Management students," says Pratham, and adds, "Hotel Management is a very hands-on course where you have to be able to do everything. The hotel is currently open only for university guests and parents."
With the obvious edge that LPU's students have in the Hotel industry, placements have never been that big a challenge. Pratham says, "We have a hundred per cent placement in the Hotel Management Department. Some of the major firms that our students have been placed in are Lemon Tree, Hyatt, JW Marriot, Accord Hotels, Aloft. There were recruiters from a hotel in Qatar who came to LPU and stayed at our hotel. They met a student who was serving them and gave him a job. There's a lot of exposure that way. Even our faculty members are mostly practitioners."