Hospitality Leadership Through Learning

Hotel Leadership Development Program

The School of Hotel Administration’s Hotel Leadership Development Program (HLDP) has established a benchmark of excellence that students, industry, faculty, alumni, and Statler Hotel management recognize as challenging, worthwhile, and professionally rewarding. HLDP provides students with their first opportunity to gain management experience and professional growth through experiential learning within the framework of an academic environment. Exposure to hotel operations offers meaningful learning opportunities, challenging a student’s ability to apply critical thinking and management theory to personal experience. Interactions with hospitality leaders enable students to establish professional relationships that facilitate and help define their professional path prior to graduation.


HLDP participants progress through several paid employment phases, from entry-level positions to supervisor, manager, or director. Each phase requires approximately 200-300 hours of paid employment and is completed through a certification process. Students are tested and must meet certain requirements to advance to the next level in the program.


At the beginning of the fall semester, a member of the Statler Hotel’s management team is assigned to serve as a mentor to each student. With their mentors, students can discuss goals, interests, and challenges related to progress in HLDP

HLDP Class

In the first fall semester of HLDP, students will participate in H ADM 2170.  This 1-credit course is taught by SHA faculty members and Statler Hotel management staff. It is designed to complement core SHA courses while enhancing necessary supervisory skills. Successful completion of the course is a required component of HLDP. In subsequent semesters, students will participate in H ADM 4100 Hospitality Management Seminar and H ADM 4170 Hospitality Leadership.

HLDP Seminars

After completing H ADM 2170 , HLDP students continue to build their knowledge of applied management topics through the HLDP II Seminar Series. These seminars are noncredit management-training sessions that are facilitated by Statler Hotel management staff members and industry guest speakers.

Statler Fellows Industry Study Trip

Statler Fellows are the pinnacle of HLDP. Students who reach this level are ready to be promoted to management positions in the Statler Hotel. During winter break, Statler Fellows will participate in a five-day industry experience. Previous trips have been to Dallas, Orlando, and Los Angeles.

The Weisz Family Statler Hotel Operations Fellowship Award

This fellowship will be awarded to graduating students who successfully attain the level of Statler Fellow and demonstrate exemplary performance and achievement during their terms as student employees in the hotel. The fellowship allows graduating students to continue through an advanced experiential exploration of hotel operations management. The award consists of a one-year term position as a manager for the Statler Hotel and a $10,000 cash award.

Getting Started in HLDP

To be eligible to apply for HLDP, the student must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a registered SHA student or a Cornell student transferring into the SHA.
  • Must currently work at The Statler Hotel.
  • Must have worked at least 200 hours in a front-line operations position.
  • Must have completed or be currently enrolled in H ADM 1350 and H ADM 1360.
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better.

To Apply

The HLDP application process begins early in the spring semester. Announcements and calls for applications take place in February. If the eligibility requirements have been met, the student should:

  • Pick up an HLDP Application Form at the Statler Human Resources and Payroll office (135 Statler Hall).
  • Inform his/her supervisor of intent to apply for HLDP and request a performance appraisal.
  • Complete the HLDP Application Form and attach the completed supervisor's Performance Appraisal Form.
  • Submit the application packet to the Statler Human Resources and Payroll office by the announced deadline.