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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 opportunities.”

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 procedures.

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.




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