Alex Johnson, MMH ’15
Lexington, MA, USA
Originally from the Boston area, Alex has been living in the Finger Lakes Region of New York for the last 7 years. Originally drawn to this region where he attended Hobart College, Alex spent the interim between his undergraduate and graduate degree managing restaurants in Geneva, NY.
Why Cornell and why the Hotel School?
I had been keeping my eye on Cornell’s Hotel School for a while during my time working in food and beverage. I knew I wanted to go back to school, but I had to find the best way to get a business degree while leveraging my hospitality experience. Luckily there was the MMH program! It has been the best year of my life. I have met life-long friends, industry contacts and advisors who will always be there for me as I develop professionally. You won’t find a better program than this one.
What concentration did you pick and why?
I study revenue management. I am thrilled by the competitive, strategic and collaborative considerations that go into yielding hotel inventory. I believe in management by data-driven insights. Revenue management is precisely that!
What is your best advice for a prospective MMH candidate?
Take every opportunity to network. This includes not only visiting industry leaders, but also professors, classmates and students at other schools. There is a wealth of knowledge at Cornell University. Please take advantage of all of it! Also, don’t be intimidated. At times, I was overwhelmed by much of what was going on. The year goes quickly—don’t miss out.
What are your career plans after MMH?
As of now, it looks like I’ll be moving to Chicago to work for Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants in their revenue management division. Should be loads of fun!
What is your most memorable MMH moment?
During the hotel show in New York City, several of us went ice-skating at the Rockefeller Center. It was cliché, yes. However, it was so much fun! Seven hoteliers skating in suits… doesn’t get classier than that!
Favorite restaurant in Ithaca
Restaurant in Ithaca: Ithaca Ale House ($$)
Restaurant near Ithaca: Hazelnut Kitchen ($$$)
Bar in Ithaca: Da Westy ($$) or Argos ($$$)