Nicholas Smith | Squared Online Graduate | Hong Kong 2018
Squared Online grad, Nicholas Smith, is the General Manager of 5-star hotel brand Kerry Hotels, by Shangri-La. The impact that studying Squared Online had on the way he works is truly inspirational, so we wanted to share it with you!
“I really threw myself in. I remember celebrating the opening of our new Kerry Hotel in Hong Kong mid-way through Module 4 of my Squared Online journey. I even managed to attend the live class that night…
A few weeks later, I bought airline connectivity en route to a sales trip and ended up finishing the course flying across the pacific. It became addictive – I really wanted to do it.” – Nicholas Smith, General Manager, Kerry Hotels by Shangri-La.
What made you decide to study Squared Online?
There were a number of topics the team were discussing which I didn’t fully understand – I was concerned I’d get left behind and I wanted to be more effective.
I understood some of the basic terminology, but strongly felt that I needed to do something to improve how I approached strategic planning. It was then that I took a leap of faith in Squared Online as it had been recommended to me by a colleague.
What did you find most useful about Squared Online?
I benefited greatly from the collaborative aspects of Squared Online – working with a team of people who aren’t in front of you.
Coordinating times to work with a group based across different time zones also really opened my eyes to how life can really be changed. It was a great learning curve for me and really linked to the way we were doing business at the time I was studying.
How has studying Squared Online impacted the way you work?
Squared Online enabled me to take a step back and identify areas of our marketing strategy where we could improve and how we could cast a wider net to promote the presence of Kerry Hotels in Hong Kong. We ended up building a really strong strategy as a brand and are very present in Hong Kong digital media.
The intention was already there but learning on the course how we could re-target using budget in a much more cost-effective way, was priceless. We spent less money than we ever would have by drawing from what I learned on the course.
A lot of this came down to the way I changed how we were working with agencies. The way I did business became much easier as I understood what they were talking about. I used to just take agency recommendations, but our meetings are now much more meaningful. It’s like I learned a new language.
How did you find the experience of online learning?
I really threw myself in. I remember celebrating the opening of our new Kerry Hotel in Hong Kong mid-way through Module 4 of my Squared Online journey. I even managed to attend the live class that night.
A few weeks later, I bought airline connectivity enroute to a sales trip and ended up finishing the course flying across the pacific. It became addictive – I really wanted to do it.
Any anecdotes you’d like to share with anyone looking to study Squared Online?
Sometimes you lose the thirst for learning – you’re just asked to make decisions. You don’t always put time aside to sharpen up. What came out of this for me was the realisation that I should have started Squared Online before.
Now I’ve got more of an appetite to study something else. I’ve got a Harvard account, but this was a very different type of learning. There are some seriously cool people on there!
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