Entrepreneurial Hospitality to launch as Freeman’s first online graduate degree program

Entrepreneurial Hospitality seminar

Guest instructor James Geier of 555 Design briefs students about an assignment to create a business plan during a January 2020 Entrepreneurial Hospitality intensive class.

The Freeman School will begin its first online graduate degree program in January 2021. The Master of Management in Entrepreneurial Hospitality teaches students how to craft extraordinary customer experiences through the joint lenses of hospitality and entrepreneurship, fulfilling a need for companies in all industries to face challenges in the current business landscape.

Chief executives across industries have been adding a chief experience officer, or other related title, as companies and organizations continue to deepen their relationship with consumers and drive sales through experience. Developing an outstanding customer experience drives growth as consumers are more likely to feel loyalty and ultimately become brand advocates.

“While most traditional hospitality programs are rooted within the management discipline, our program is focused on entrepreneurship,” says A.J. Brooks, assistant director of the Freeman School’s Greenbaum Family Program in Entrepreneurial Hospitality. “Entrepreneurship is about innovation and how to meet customer needs in new ways. This program is designed to facilitate and incubate the next generation of ideas and business models in relation to a customer’s interactions and experiences with an organization.”

The Entrepreneurial Hospitality specialization was originally offered as part of a traditional in-person master’s degree program, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Freeman School reorganized the program to make it more accessible to students from around the country. It will now be offered in an innovative format that includes bothvirtual and optional on-the-ground elements. While the majority of the coursework for the 12-month program will be delivered remotely, students will also have the option to attend in-person seminars in New Orleans that will provide immersion in the hands-on action learning experiences for which Freeman is known.

The degree is designed to provide a master’s-level education to professionals looking to advance their career as well as recent college graduates seeking to bolster their business credentials. Students will learn critical business skills and develop specialized knowledge in Entrepreneurial Hospitality through courses covering topics including new product development, new venture planning and hospitality real estate development. Over the course of the program, students will conceptualize, plan and ultimately present their own new and innovative hospitality venture to a panel of industry professionals.

“In our rapidly changing world, innovation in how organizations relate to customers is more critical than ever,” says Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “Right now, all industries are ripe for disruption. The Greenbaum Family Program in Entrepreneurial Hospitality takes customer-centric principles from the hospitality industry and teaches students how to apply
them in innovative, entrepreneurial ways to new or existing ventures in any industry. It’s an unprecedented way of thinking about customer experience, and a truly first-of-its-kind program.”

The Greenbaum Family Program in Entrepreneurial Hospitality is named in honor of Barbara (NC ’63) and Jerry Greenbaum (BBA ’62). An emeritus member of the Board of Tulane and a member of the Business School Council, Greenbaum is a successful hospitality entrepreneur whose businesses include beverage alcohol stores, commercial warehouses and more than a dozen upscale casual restaurants across the Southeast.

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