By Kalamalama staff
|Some of the organizations that have partnered with
Alarcon include Central Pacific Bank, Hawai‘i state government,
the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, the Hawai‘i Chamber
of Commerce, the Honolulu Office of Economic Development, and
the Aston, Outrigger, and Sheraton resorts and hotels.
These organizations graciously open their doors and provide students
insight into their real-life business operations,” Alarcon
explained. “The activities usually include a tour of the
facilities; meetings and discussions with management, staff,
and customers; presentation by management; and hands-on participation
in mock sessions.
In addition to an enriched learning platform,” Alarcon
added, “students find these trips to be great networking
This past spring, HPU’s Weekend MBA program established
an even more direct classroom connection to the business community,
according to Alarcon. The students in her Human Resource Management
class were able to present their HRM analysis to a 12-member
panel consisting of active senior business leaders and received
no-holds-barred criticism, Alarcon explained.
The presentation was held at the oceanfront Executive Conference
Room of Aston Waikiki Hotel,” Alarcon recounted. Participating
executives included Aston’s Sr. Vice President of Operations,
Gary Ettinger and Hotel Manager Lynette Pan McDonald as well
as officers of the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, Central Pacific
Bank, Kahala Mandarin, JW Ihilani Marriott, Bank of Hawai‘i,
Outrigger Hotels, Easter Seals, and Starwood Hotels.
Senior management of Aston Resorts is a regular partner in this
academic endeavor,” Alarcon explained. “They conduct
regular speaking engagements in the Business in Society classes
and discuss topics ranging from business-government relationship
to ethical dilemmas in the hotel industry.”
Last year, about 60 of Alarcon’s students visited Central
Pacific Bank’s main office in downtown Honolulu, where
they were treated to a breakfast buffet and a talk from CPB CEO
Clint Arnoldus, who at the time was in the middle of his company’s
aggressive pursuit of a merger with City Bank.
The government sector is a key player in business management,
and in order to allow her students to see how government affects
business decisions, she regularly takes them to the state capitol,
where they can witness firsthand how legislation is made and
how businesses can lobby for their interests.
In past semesters, students have experienced a presentation by
Ms. Park Kaleiwahea on “How a Bill becomes Law,” and
they have worked step by step through the legislative process
under the guidance of State Representative Alex Sonson.
Students expressed a whole new awareness and appreciation for
this area,” said Alarcon after the field trip. “Student
feedback boasts of heightened awareness and appreciation of the
legislative process and its effect on business,” she added.
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel and the Sheraton Hotel were venues for
another semester’s field trip. “Ms. Nona Tamanaha
and her staff in the Sheraton HR department accommodated about
90 students in three different sessions,” said Alarcon.
She and her staff presented Sheraton’s company history,
background, mission, values, and HR practices, policies, and
This past spring, Alarcon partnered with several organizations
including the Outrigger Hotels, Easter Seals of Hawai‘i,
and the Hawaiian Community Foundation to provide hands-on experience
for the HRM students.
These organizations agreed to take on students who met their
qualifications, Alarcon said. “Students competed for project
positions and experienced the actual selection process.” And
they received course credit for their efforts, Alarcon added.