Resume design: 5 creative ways to improve yours

IT leaders know how little time a hiring manager has to spend skimming CVs when filling a role. The same rule of thumb applies to your own resume. “Let’s face it, your resume is going to get no more than about 30 seconds of the reviewer’s time on the initial pass,” says Stephen Van Vreede, a resume writer and career adviser for IT executives, “so make it count. Ensure that they read the information on your resume that matters most for the role in question.”

That means IT leaders should not only carefully consider the information they include in their resume but also how they deliver that information. That’s where design comes in. Smart use of options like color, typeface, shading, or even infographics can catch the attention of a resume reader and get them to engage longer with the document.

So you’re not an artist? No problem. The Enterprisers Project talked to some IT resume and career experts about some simple but effectual design tips to help your resume stand out in the stack.

1. Inject some color

One measured way to add some color to a resume is with borders or shading. “IT leaders and people hiring IT leaders do not like things to be really different, typically, but using subtle borders and shading functions for color that can help move the eye through the document more easily is recommended,” says Lisa Rangel, founder of resume writing and job search consultancy Chameleon Resumes. “A subtle use of color can make one’s resume pop alongside others.”

IT leaders might even consider using a colored font in moderation. “Evidence suggests that although executives don’t always like resumes with color, they actually spend about twice as long reviewing resumes that use color professionally,” Van Vreede says. “The key here is to be strategic and consistent about when and where the colored font is used. I suggest sticking with blue.”

2. Find a new font

Sure, you probably know to avoid the aptly named Comic Sans, but your CV can also get lost in a sea of Times New Roman. “Make your resume visually distinctive by avoiding overused fonts,” says Charlotte Weeks, career coach and past president of The National Resume Writers’ Association. “Some great alternatives are Tahoma and Verdana.”

3. Be bold

Wanda Kiser, president and CEO of Elite Resume Writing, advises her clients to include a branding statement near the top of their resume that defines their unique value and signature strengths. Van Vreede suggests using bold fonts to highlight key points in the resume that define that brand and help them jump out. Another option is to embolden keywords or core competencies in a list of accomplishments, says Kiser.

4. Chart your wins

The use of an infographic or two will grab attention – and more importantly, communicate the business value IT leaders can deliver. “Try the use of a chart or graph to depict a financial win – the implementation of an application that saved money or increased productivity, for example – to convey a subliminal impression of being an overall business leader and not just an IT person,” suggests Rangel.

5. But try to stick to two pages

What about the bottom-line design question: How many pages should you use? 

“You only have a minute – or sometimes just a few seconds – to stand apart from the competition,” says Kelly Doyle, managing director at Heller Search Associates, a recruiting firm specializing in CIOs, CTOs, CISOs, and other senior technology executives. “So keep it easy to read and to the point.”

For those with less than a decade of experience, a one-page resume will probably work. Three pages is the absolute max. For most IT leaders, a two-pager equals the sweet spot, says Rangel.

By: Stephanie Overby – Source:

Tourist critically hurt by falling tree limb in Washington Square Park

A tourist was critically injured when a 30-foot tree branch fell on her while she was walking in Washington Square Park on Monday evening, law enforcement sources told The Post.

Washington Square Park

The woman, a 55-year-old from Virginia, was with her teenage son when the giant limb crashed down on her at about 8:50 p.m., the sources said.

She was rushed to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition, law enforcement sources added.

Police are investigating the injury but believe it was an accident, the sources said.

A Parks Department spokesperson said in an email they would inspect the tree’s condition first thing Tuesday morning.


Tourism employees demand 320% salary increase

Employees in the Tourism industry are demanding a 320% salary increase iin the ongoing salary negotiations in Harare.

Clement Mukwasi‚ the president of the Employers Association for Tourism and Safari Operators said the negotiations are moving towards a deadlock.

“Salary negotiations for the tourism industry underway in Harare . What do the employees representatives want ? A 320% increase,” Mukwasi said. “The employers have offered an inflation based adjustment as a cost of living allowance. These two are leading towards a deadlock.”

Analysts have argued that the tourism companies should pay the employees in forex since they charge most of their services in forex. 

In March  the tourism companies awarded their employees a 55% cost of living adjustment across the board, after the National Employment Council (Nec) for the tourism sector signed a collective bargaining agreement.

“Employees and Nec settled for 55% for all sectors and this will run from March 1 to June 30. Within that period, we will be monitoring performance of the economy and see whether we would adjust the allowance upwards or downwards, “Mkwasi told the media then.


How to Turn Google BigQuery Into A Powerful Marketing Data Warehouse

The Martech 5000 supergraphic highlights the big challenge facing marketers. As more products, tools, and platforms arise, so too does the amount of data marketers need to gather, monitor, and analyze.

To further compound this challenge, Scott Brinker, the man behind marketing’s most famous infographic, recently said that, “In some ways, forget about martech 5,000. Welcome to martech 50,000.”

This means it’s those companies and marketing teams who can better leverage the available data that will gain a competitive advantage over their competition.

Typically, spreadsheets have been the go-to option for marketers when it comes to gathering data in one place, but even they have their limits.

So, what’s the next option marketers have when it comes to gathering big data in a large repository?

The answer is a data warehouse.

What Is BigQuery & Why Should I Care?

Google BigQuery is a fast, scalable, and fully managed data warehouse that enables large-scale analytics.

There are multiple reasons why marketers should store their data in Google BigQuery.

Limitless Data

If you’ve used Google Sheets or Excel for marketing data analysis, you’ll know that spreadsheets have a limited capacity.

But in BigQuery, you can store an unlimited amount of data, which means you can transfer literally all your marketing data from every platform into one centralized place.

Access All Your Historical Data

Many native platforms limit the amount of historical data you can access. For example, Google Search Console offers six months of historical data within its native interface.

And while applications built on top of its API increases that figure to 16 months, you still don’t have a full overview of your past performance.

But with BigQuery you can use it to store all your past data, giving a complete overview of your historical performance.

Data From Different Platforms

As we saw in Brinker’s supergraphic, marketers have a lot of data on a lot of platforms.

Gathering all that together in one centralized repository is the only way to create a single source of truth for your marketing performance.

Analyze on a Granular Level

Within each marketing platform, you have a number of metrics and dimensions you can dig into.

However, when exporting your data into BigQuery you’ll often be able to have your data at a higher granularity than what is possible within these native interfaces.

For example, when transferring data from Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics into BigQuery, you be able to get granularity on an event or user level.

So say you run an ecommerce site, this lets you perform a deep path analysis to identify which are the most common page paths of your website visitors and how those paths differ between those who purchased and those who were just browsing.

This analysis would not be possible within native UIs as they don’t provide raw events data.

With BigQuery, it provides a whole new opportunity to really dig into your data and achieve levels of granularity not offered within native interfaces.

How Can I Easily Pull My Data Into BigQuery?

So how can you actually get your data in BigQuery?

Well, that’s exactly why we built Supermetrics for BigQuery.

Quite simply, it’s the first native BigQuery Data Transfer Service app that lets you move data from all your non-Google marketing platforms (including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Bing, and more) into BigQuery.

In addition, you can also move data from Google platforms that haven’t been integrated with BigQuery, such as Google Search Console and Google My Business, whilst also getting Google Analytics without the needing to pay for GA 360.

At Supermetrics, our mission is pure and simple: to let marketers easily move their data from wherever it is to wherever they want.

All our products are made by marketers, for marketers, and that’s why we wanted to make it super simple to transfer your data into BigQuery.

We eliminated the need to know the technical details of how to move your data and understand the basics of SQL. Instead, you just select what data you’d like to move into BigQuery and Supermetrics takes care of the rest.

Being able to extract the depth of data from your marketing platforms is also a vital component of conducting sophisticated analyses.

That’s why we spent a lot of time and effort to ensure our connectors provide marketers with more metrics and dimensions than any other BigQuery application available.

Furthermore, the data is also pre-transformed by our predefined schemas. This basically means that once your data is in BigQuery, you don’t need to do anything to it and it will be presented in the format marketers need.

How Can I Visualize My Data That’s in BigQuery?

Once you have your data in BigQuery, then comes the fun part: exporting it to visualization and BI tools.

Products like Tableau, Looker, and PowerBI provide robust platforms to turn your data into charts so you can monitor, analyze, and report on your marketing performance.

And in order to create a full end-to-end solution for marketers, we also built a dedicated connector to Google Data Studio so you can take all your data through BigQuery and into Data Studio using Supermetrics.

There are several benefits to the Data Studio connector that comes baked into Supermetrics for BigQuery, as it:

  • Automatically merges data from multiple sources without needing to write SQL.
  • Sets data types for all your fields with friendly naming structures (For example, “Account name” instead of “account_name”).
  • Adds calculated metrics like CTR, eliminating the need to manually define formulas.
  • Automatically includes time fields like week, month and year, which you would normally need to configure.

BigQuery: Common Use Cases for Marketers

There are endless scenarios for which marketers can use BigQuery, but here are three common ones to help get you started.

Cross-Channel PPC Analysis

Gather data from your PPC campaigns that run across multiple channels to identify which platforms are performing best for each campaign.

With Supermetrics for BigQuery, you can now pull data from heavily used paid marketing platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Bing Ads into BigQuery so you’re able to do this.

This means you’ll have all of your data in a central location and can create all-inclusive visual reports of your blended data.

This, in turn, will ensure smarter allocation of your performance marketing budgets and improved ROI.

Web Analytics + CRM

It’s vital that digital marketers understand visitor behavior before and after conversion. Prospects often interact with several pages and content pieces across multiple visits before they do convert.

Pre-conversion, all this user data will be tied into a unique and anonymous cookie ID, which can be sent to Google BigQuery.

Once a prospect converts, they’d then have a CRM record ID, which in turn can be associated with their anonymous cookie ID by sending the cookie ID to the CRM upon conversion.

With Supermetrics for BigQuery, you can track both pre- and post-conversion on-site activity from Google Analytics and combine it with enriched data from your CRM to generate an in-depth understanding of your prospective customers.

Attribution Analysis

Modern buying behavior makes attribution challenging.

As we discussed in the previous use case, it’s difficult to attribute every conversion to just one specific channel or touchpoint.

So gathering all the touchpoints someone has with you, across different channels, via multiple sources, and both pre- and post-conversion lets you not only gain a better understanding of your marketing funnel, but also – and more importantly – your customer journey.


62% of hospitality staff think sector doesn’t take care of employees

RSPH also advises Improved enforcement of employment rights and for further research into what hospitality can learn from best practice in workplace wellbeing within other sectors

Almost two thirds of hospitality staff think that the sector does not take good care of its employees, new research has found.

Research from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has found that mental health and wellbeing is “under significant strain” amongst hospitality employees.

In its latest report, ‘Service With(out) a Smile’, over four out of five (84%) hospitality workers reported increased stress which was believed to be a direct consequence of their job. As a result, almost half (45%) of respondents said they would not recommend working in hospitality.

Other key findings from the RSPH research include:

  • Around one quarter (24%) of hospitality staff have reported seeking psychological support or medication
  • Three quarters (74%) have experienced verbal abuse from a customer
  • Almost a quarter (24%) required medical or psychological help
  • Only around one in ten (10%) had received training to support health and wellbeing, or access to mentoring, health champions or mental health first aiders

The report highlights a number of initiatives which have been introduced to address concerns around staff health and wellbeing such as Hospitality Action’s Employee Assistance Programme and Me, Myself in Mind’s classes on mental health awareness for the hospitality industry.

RSPH also revealed that recommendations that emerged from the research includes employers putting in place a package of support which protects the mental health and wellbeing of staff including sick leave, regular one-to-ones between managers and employees, health champions and mental health first aiders.

It also advises Improved enforcement of employment rights and for further research into what hospitality can learn from best practice in workplace wellbeing within other sectors.

The survey results and recommendations will be discussed at an event in London, held in collaboration with The Springboard Charity today ( 20 May). The event aims to encourage employers to “proactively consider” how to look after mental health in the workplace.

Chief executive of RSPH, Shirley Cramer, said: “At some point in our lives many of us will have experienced working in the hospitality industry, so we understand how demanding this working environment can be. Having access to good mental health support is essential for workplaces, and we are pleased that there are a number of initiatives being rolled out across the sector. However, it is clear from our research that this support is not reaching everyone, with two-thirds of hospitality workers reporting that they don’t believe the sector does enough to look after its staff.

“It is also concerning that around a quarter of staff have had to resort to psychological intervention or medication to deal with work-related stress. Investing in staff health and wellbeing is not just the right thing to do for individuals, but it will ultimately benefit the hospitality sector in the long term.”

By: Lewis Catchpole – Source:

Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing industry update – Company profiles, market forecast, market size 2019-2025

The report provides insightful details – how clients enhance their basic leadership capacity within the worldwide Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing Market business. Utilizing figures and flowcharts are brief in this report, the specialists represented to the analyzed information in a superior acceptable manner. This report identifies that rapidly changing market trends and competitive landscape with growth significant CAGR during Forecast. Along, with latest marketing factors those are essential to monitor market performance and crucial decisions for progress and profitability.

According to this study, the next Y-o-Y (year over year) Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing market will register a XX% CAGR in terms of revenue, the Astonishing Growth market size will reach US$ XX million by 2024, from US$ XX million in 2019. In particular, this report presents the global market share (sales and revenue) of key companies in the Market New Research Study.A

The prominent players covered in this report:

  • Aquamarijn Micro Filtration BV
  • fluXXion BV
  • Polymem
  • Siemens
  • 3M Membranes
  • Donaldson Co. Inc.
  • Dow Liquid Separations/Filmtec Corp.
  • GE Water Treatment & Process Technologies
  • Graver Technologies
  • Koch Membranes Systems Inc.
  • Meissner
  • Filtration Products Inc.
  • Pore technology Inc.
  • Xylem
  • Hyflux Ltd.
  • Asahi Kasei Corp.
  • Mitsubishi Rayon
  • Toray industries Inc.

Market Segment by Type, covers:

  • Reverse Osmosis (RO)
  • Nanofiltration (NF)
  • Ultrafiltration (UF)
  • Microfiltration (MF)

Market Segment by Applications can be divided into:

  • Food Industry
  • Beverage Industry

Regional Analysis: The report analysis developed regions along with developing regions:

North America (United States, Canada, and Mexico)

Europe (Germany, France, UK, Russia, and Italy)

Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia)

South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia etc.)

Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa)

Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing Market Research Report provides in-depth information and professional study for the period 2019-2024. Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing market report shares details of upstream raw materials, downstream demand, and production value with some important factor that can lead to market growth. Also, the Report is segmented into Manufactures, Types, Applications, and Regions.

Market Segments:

The global Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing market is segmented on the basis of the type of product, application, and region. The analysts authoring the report provide a meticulous evaluation of all of the segments included in the report. The segments are studied keeping in view their market share, revenue, market growth rate, and other vital factors. The segmentation study equips interested parties to identify high-growth portions of the global Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing market and understand how the leading segments can grow during the forecast period.

Primary Objectives of Global Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing market Report:

  • To analyze target consumers and their preferences.
  • To determine potential opportunities, challenges, obstacles, and threats in the global Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing
  • To identify and make suitable business plans according to industry and economic shifts.
  • To analyze market rivalry and obtain maximum competitive advantages.
  • To mitigate risks and hurdles to drive informed business decisions.

Key questions answered in this report:

  • What will be the Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage ProcessingMarket size in 2024 and what will be the growth rate?
  • What are the key factors driving the Global Market?
  • Who are the key vendors in this Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing market?
  • What are the challenges to Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing market growth?
  • What are the Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing market opportunities and threats faced by the vendors in the global Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing market?
  • What are some of the competing products in this Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing market and how big of a threat do they pose for loss of market share by product substitution?
  • What M&A activity has taken place in the historical years in this Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing market?

To conclude, the Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing market report mentions the key geographies, market landscapes alongside the production and consumption analysis, supply and demand analysis, market growth rate, along with future forecast etc. This report also provides SWOT and PEST analysis, investment feasibility and return analysis

Benefits of Purchasing Membrane Technology for Food and Beverage Processing Market Report:

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Customization of the Report: This report can be customized as per your needs for additional data up to 3 companies or countries or 40 analyst hours.


5 things you need to know about booking a budget airline ticket, according to experts

With summer just around the corner, many people are looking to make their vacation budget stretch further. And for those looking to fly international, one option may be to use a low-cost airline.

But the budget airline industry has had a rocky 2019 so far, withIceland’s Wow Air ceasing operations in March and Russian airline Aeroflot experiencing a crash landing on May 5.

Yet travel and safety experts say that the vast majority of budget airlines are a safe bet for travelers looking to save a buck. But while you may not encounter any major issues, you are probably going to give up some amenities and comforts in order to save that money.

“Budget airlines have built their entire business model around charging cheaper fares across the board ultimately giving travelers the option to choose what they pay for,” Steve Sintra, Kayak’s regional director of North America, tells CNBC Make It.

Here’s a look at what you need to know before you purchase a ticket on an international budget airline.

1. Know what’s included in the ticket cost

It used to be that your airfare included not only a seat on the plane, but luggage storage, a meal or two and even a drink. But when you’re flying budget, those amenities are extra.

“Make sure when you’re booking your ticket, you know what is or isn’t included so there are no surprises when you get to the airport,” Sintra says.

  • Your bags

With most international low-cost airlines like AirAsia, Norwegian Air, EasyJet and Ryanair, the base fare includes a seat on that flight and a personal item that you can put under the seat in front of you. Checked luggage stored in the hold is almost always extra, but for some flights, even larger rolling carry-ons that you need to put in the overhead bins may be an additional fee.

“Their carry-on rules are much different,” says Charles Leocha, head of the consumer group Travelers United, tells CNBC Make It. Often the accepted sizes on international airlines are smaller than the traditional U.S. rolling carry-ons. For example, Ryanair only allows a personal item that fits under the seat in front of you with dimensions under 40cm x 20cm x 25cm (roughly 16 inches x 8 inches x 10 inches). Basically this is a purse, a laptop bag or a small backpack.

Plus, many of the budget airlines also have weight restrictions for all luggage, even carry-on bags. If you check-in with a carry-on that weighs more than 10 kilograms, about 22 pounds, you will typically have to pay a fee or check the bag. For example, Mexican-based Interjet allows you to bring a personal item like a purse and a carry-on,but both items have to be under 10 kilograms.

Even U.S. carriers have put major restrictions on carry-on bags these days, especially on U.S. budget airlines. Frontier, for example, charges a$35 fee for a carry-on bag (free for those with Elite status) if you purchase while booking online. It jumps to $50 if you wait to pay until you get to the airport and check-in.

Kayak has a Baggage Fee Assistant tool which lets you easily see whether your bags are included in the overall flight price when you’re searching for ticket options.

  • Your seat

In many cases, an international budget carrier will charge you extra for options like picking your seat, getting a meal and seatback entertainment. For example easyJet charges roughly $3 to $14 to pick your seat in the general cabin without extra legroom. You may even find that the actual seat is smaller than on a traditional carrier.

“Weigh the pros and cons before you book,” Sintra says. It may be that you’ll end up paying more in extras than you would buying a ticket on a traditional airline. If you’re traveling with family members, for example, you’ll likely want to sit near them, but that generally costs extra for each person. Norwegian Air charges €35 ($39) for seat selection per leg. For a family of four, that could add up to roughly $300 in extra flight costs.

“If you prefer the extra amenities you may want to consider an airline that you know has them,” Sintra says. That said, if you’re simply looking to get to your destination for the cheapest price, then it might be worth sitting next to a stranger in the middle seat or limiting your packing to a small carry-on.

1:02 This 29-year-old turned an obsession with cheap flights into a million-dollar business

2. Know where you’re flying to and from

One of the biggest surprises for those who don’t fly budget airlines is the airports. Many low-cost carriers use alternate hubs.

“You should look at this very carefully” when booking, Leocha says. If you’re flying to Venice, Italy, for example, EasyJet flies into the city’s main airport, Marco Polo. But Ryanair flies into Treviso Airport, which is about 25 miles outside of the city.

These alternate airports may also be smaller and have fewer personnel and amenities. Norwegian recently launched flights out of New York’s Stewart International Airport, for instance, which is in New Windsor, New York — over 60 miles north of Manhattan. The airport only has two restaurants: a Quiznos sandwich shop before security and a cafe after security.

Perhaps even more frustrating, there are only limited check-in, security and customs systems in place, which means it may take travelers longer to get through the airport at Stewart.

3. Know about the airline

When you’re searching for your flight, there are typically a dizzying number of options. You likely don’t have to do in-depth research on all of them, but it can be helpful to look up some information in advance to avoid headaches. “If it’s an airline I’ve never heard of before, I’ll check it out,” Leocha says.

First, you should check out their safety record and performance. The site Airline Ratings can be an excellent source to get a quick view of an airline’s safety rating, which they base on seven factors, including the International Air Transport Association’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification audit and the European Union’s Blacklist, which bans carriers it feels are too risky.

Cancellations and on-time performance are also major factors, especially if you have a connecting flight. FlightStats has an excellent database of airline performance, including low-cost carriers. Last month, easyJet flights operated on-time arrivals 80% of the time, while Ryanair had 88% of its flights arrive on schedule.

Yet travelers generally shouldn’t worry too much about an airline going under, despite the recent shut-down of Iceland’s Wow Air.

“It is very unlikely that a budget airline would go under without an earlier warning or indication,” Henrik Zillmer, CEO of AirHelp, tells CNBC Make It. Experts were speculating about Wow Air for months before it officially went under and ceased operation.

If you’re worried, Zillmer recommends doing a quick Google search to look at airlines’ previous performance and news before booking a flight.

3:50Here’s what it’s actually like to be a flight attendant

4. Know how to buy

When you go to book your ticket, it’s best to book with a credit card over a debit card. If there are any issues, the money is not coming from your checking account and you have the right to dispute the transaction.

Plus, there are several credit cards on the market, including Citi Prestige and both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve, that offer travel protections. These kick in if your luggage is lost or delayed, or you’re stranded because of a cancelled or delayed flight, or even if you have a medical emergency.

Booking through a well-known travel operator like Expedia or Priceline may also offer more protections, Zillmer says. For example, he says if an airline does go under before your trip, you may be able to claim a refund if you booked through a site like this.Travelers should always be aware of their rights in case something goes wrong when booking their flightsHenrik ZillmerCEO OF AIRHELP

It’s also worth noting that travel agents or partner airlines may also step up to refund or rebook you, depending on whether flights are covered by travel insurance. If a trip was booked as a package, coverage should be guaranteed, Zillmer says.

If you are booking directly with the budget carrier, be aware that its website may be difficult to navigate, so check everything carefully and be careful with translations.

“The websites can get a little funky,” Leocha says. If you do have issues, Leocha says he’s found that low-cost carriers are fairly responsive on social media. He’s cleared up several issues by shooting the airline a note on Facebook.

5. Know your rights

“Travelers should always be aware of their rights in case something goes wrong when booking their flights,” Zillmer says. And while the specific rights can vary by flight route or departure and arrival destinations, they can be a big help regardless of whether someone has travel insurance.

Unfortunately, travelers in the U.S. have the fewest protections, Zillmer days. Essentially you can seek compensation of up to $1,350 from an airline if you are denied boarding due to overbooking and you ultimately suffered a delay in arriving at to your final destination.

If you’re flying back from a European country to the U.S, flying on a European airline or flying within Europe, you have more protections. You can get up to $700 per person if your flight is cancelled or delayed more than three hours unless it’s deemed an “extraordinary circumstance,” such as a storm, medical emergency or political unrest. Under these conditions, airlines do not owe you anything.

In addition to financial compensation, if your flight is delayed more than two hours, you’re entitled to food and refreshments, as well as a hotel room and transport if the trip interruption requires an overnight stay.

“When you’re stuck waiting for the airline to get you back on track, you’re entitled to necessary assistance from the airline, depending on your situation,” Zillmer says.


Businesses and universities team up on a new digital technology credential

Mike Fasil had much to celebrate when he graduated Friday alongside thousands of others from George Mason University.

The son of Ethiopian immigrants and the first in his family to go to college, the 21-year-old from Northern Virginia received a bachelor’s degree in information systems and operations management. He minored in an increasingly popular subject, data analysis, and lined up a job as a business technology analyst.

What also sets his résumé apart is a digital technology credential he earned from George Mason that educators say will soon be offered in several universities in the District and Virginia.

This new marker of achievement reflects growing demand from employers for graduates with fluency in core tech subjects, no matter what their major. It also shows the business community’s deep ties to higher education — a relationship educators and executives insist will not compromise academic quality or independence.

Designed with unusually detailed guidance from major businesses in the Washington region, the digital tech credential aims to certify that graduates have knowledge and skills in fields such as statistics, data visualization and cybersecurity.

“It’s definitely something I’ll be able to have on my belt,” Fasil said. “I have much more exposure in fields I would not have even touched. That is very helpful for me.”

The credential program debuted this year at George Mason and Virginia Commonwealth universities. American University, the University of Richmond and Virginia Tech plan to launch comparable programs in the fall, and more schools may follow.[

The credential is outside of higher-education tradition: It is neither a major, nor a minor, nor a formal certificate. It is, rather, a recognition that students have taken a short sequence of courses (five at GMU) that cover knowledge and skills in high demand.

The courses will vary from school to school.

To help universities select them, business leaders drew up a list of 41 skills they look for in a job candidate with general fluency in digital technology. For example, they want graduates who can:

●Demonstrate how data can be used to reduce uncertainty and risk in decision-making.

●Show knowledge of probability and standard statistical distributions.

●Use a computer application to manage large amounts of information.

●Visualize data using displays including tables, dashboards, graphs, maps and trees.

●Identify data situations vulnerable to insider threats.

The wish list underscores the huge appetite for digital-savvy workers.

“I have been struck by how universal the need is,” said Paul Feeko, a partner at EY. He noted his professional-services firm (known to many as Ernst & Young) worked on the project with a variety of businesses, from defense contractor Northrop Grumman to financial company Capital One.

“How different are we?” he said. “And yet when we talked about our needs, they were so similar, and similarly pervasive.”

Interest in digital technology has exploded in recent years on college campuses. Data science has become one of the hottest subjects for undergraduate and master’s students. Students are also flocking to computer science, computer engineering and majors related to analytics, cybersecurity, information systems and many other tech fields. Employers are hiring those kinds of graduates at a rapid pace in a prosperous economy.

But business leaders are thinking beyond bachelor’s degrees. They want all kinds of graduates to have digital skills. And many want a standardized credential to represent those skills.

“Employers are saying, ‘We’re not going to leave it vague,’ ” said Chauncy Lennon, vice president for the future of learning and work at the Lumina Foundation, based in Indiana, which promotes expansion of learning opportunities beyond high school. “We want this specific credential that’s clearly definite.”

The idea for the digital technology credential grew out of a nonprofit business-university collaboration announced last year, with backing from the Greater Washington Partnership, a civic group. Among the 13 educational institutions involved are the public flagship Universities of Virginia and Maryland, and the private Georgetown, George Washington, Johns Hopkins and Howard universities.

On the business side are 14 companies, including an Amazon subsidiary called Amazon Web Services. (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

From Richmond to Baltimore, businesses and universities share the goal of developing a tech-savvy workforce to expand the region’s economy. Top business executives started to meet last year with university presidents and provosts. Northrop Grumman hosted a key early meeting in April 2018 at its headquarters in Fairfax County.

“Most of them had never sat down with each other,” Peter L. Scher, chairman of the Mid-Atlantic region for JPMorgan Chase & Co., said. “We saw a lot of commonality.”

Businesses crave more graduates with problem-solving skills who can navigate the technical and ethical challenges of the digital economy. Universities want to make sure they are helping to meet the job needs of the region.

But getting them all to work together — within and across sectors — is a somewhat novel idea.

“Our instinct as universities is to seek differentiation — to compete with one another,” George Mason President Ángel Cabrera said. “It’s clear that in many, many areas, we would be better off by collaborating.”

Cabrera and other university leaders insist they are not ceding control of the academic enterprise to big business. They said they are merely learning more about what employers need so they can offer relevant programs to students.

“We’re not ashamed of our goal to help students be successful professionally,” Cabrera said.

GMU wants “well-rounded scholars,” he said, with a liberal-arts background and high career potential. “If you believe that, then working with the private sector to know exactly what is needed is the smartest thing you can do.”[

Brian K. Fitzgerald, chief executive of the Business-Higher Education Forum, a workforce-development group based in Washington, said companies are not “dictating the curriculum.” Instead, they are sending “a very strong signal” about the workforce they need.

“What we’re really talking about is what’s the definition of a literate person in the 21st century,” Fitzgerald said. “There is definitely a digital component to that.”

At GMU, the digital technology credential is just getting off the ground. Fasil is one of four graduates this spring who completed it. The university said students who join the program will receive opportunities for job shadowing and mentoring, priority for internships and “guaranteed résumé review for open positions” with participating businesses. The credential does not show up yet on transcripts, the university said, but it will be visible as a “badge” through an online site that verifies documents related to education attainment.

Hannah Licea, another graduate who earned the credential, majored in psychology at GMU. The 21-year-old from Houston is pondering a career as a business consultant. When she heard about the digital technology credential, she signed up for a cybersecurity course to satisfy a requirement. It became one of her favorite classes.

Licea said she is more interested in using her skills than in talking up “every little credential or certificate I receive.” Learning about digital technology will pay off in the long run, she said. “This is something I can use at any point in my career, not just for my first job after graduation.”


After Eurovision, Israel Is Hoping for Tourism Boom

Eurovision 2019 didn’t bring the tens of thousands of tourists Israel had hoped for. There was no need for cruise ships or tent cities to house masses of visitors to Tel Aviv’s overwhelmed hotels. But a day after the international song contest ended, Israel’s tourism industry is counting on the massive media exposure Eurovision generated to lure many more tourists in its wake.

Eurovision 2019 was the biggest international cultural event Israel has ever staged and it pulled out all the stops to make sure the approximately 200 million viewers watching the contest finale saw the best of the country.Email*

Anyone who stayed on after the music competition segment was over was treated to a three-minute video hosted by Gal Gadot, showcasing Tel Aviv’s attractions.

In between the songs, the Israeli public television broadcaster Kan broadcast “postcards” of Israel, featuring 41 sites around the country, including standards like Masada and the Dead Sea, Jerusalem and Haifa’s Bahai Gardens as well as some unusual sites, such as Ashdod Port and Sami Ofer Stadium in Haifa.

“After watching the postcards, even I wanted to tour Israel. I really hope that all the stars line up and we’ll be able to tap the positive momentum that was created,” said Eran Keter, a lecturer in tourism and hotel management at Kinneret Academic College.

But, Keter cautioned that Eurovision alone wouldn’t change the state of tourism in Israel.

“With all due respect to the event and media exposure, you have to remember that Israel has had thousands of hours of TV exposure that hasn’t necessarily been positive,” he said. “If we were reliant only on Eurovision, as if it had occurred in a vacuum, to look forward to double-digit tourism growth. But because it’s come in parallel with tensions with Gaza we should curb our enthusiasm.”

In fact, Israel reportedly sought to end a round of fighting with Gazamilitants that erupted in early May in order to ensure quiet during Eurovision week. But just to be on the safe side, the army deployed Iron Dome anti-missile batteries in central Israel.

Yossi Fattal, CEO of the Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association, is more optimistic. He said that fear of war and terrorism has ceased to be a factor for potential visitors. The Eurovision broadcast itself constituted only part of the marketing impact, which he said was amplified greatly in social media.

“The value of the exposure Israel got from the event is equal to half the Tourism Ministry’s annual marketing budget,” said Fattal. “I have no doubt it will bring the same increase in incoming tourism that happened in other host countries in past years.

“Everyone who was here – even if we’re talking about only 10,000 visitors from abroad – will influence public opinion. Each one isn’t just an ordinary tourist but one who touches tens of thousands of other potential tourists. It has an enormous economic impact,” Fattal said.

In fact, Israel has been enjoying record tourism and growth has been higher than the worldwide average. Last year, some 4.1 million visitors came to Israel, an increase of 14% from 2017 and 42% from 2016.

It will be hard to match that, even with a Eurovision boost, according to World Bank figures that measured the increase in tourism for Eurovision hosts since 2010. The increase ranged from as little as 2% for Denmark after it hosted Eurovision 2014 to as much as 7% for Germany after it staged the 2011 contest.

In the months leading up to Eurovision Israel, there were expectations that the Tourism Ministry would lead a campaign to attract visits for the event and make sure journalists covering the contest saw the best of Israel. The ministry came under sharp criticism for failing to do that, and leaving much of that job to the Tel Aviv municipality.

One source claims the ministry did its job but preferred to let Tel Aviv lead the effort, while staying in the shadows.

The ministry helped the city in preparing leaflets for visitors and providing courses in tourism services and gave press tours for visiting journalists.

It also reached a deal to use the Eurovision logo and postcards for tourism marketing the rest of this year.

The ministry said its participation in the tourism campaign was delayed due to legal obstacles to signing an agreement with Kan, the Israeli public television broadcaster that staged the event.

“We would have been happy if the contract had been signed three months earlier and then we could have planned everything in advance, but it didn’t happen,” said a ministry source. Referring to the maximum 12 points a Eurovision contestant can win from a country jury, he said: “We ended up coming out with a ‘Douze Points’ campaign without the Eurovision logo, just so we didn’t miss the boat.”

In any case, the Douze Points video, which starred Shir Elmaliach and Sagi Braitner and cost 5.7 million shekels ($1.6 million), got more than 50 million views across various media platforms.

Now with the logo and other material in hand, the ministry plans to go whole hog by using it as the centerpiece of its long-running City Break campaign touting short vacations in Israel.

“In the coming month we’ll be running a television campaign all over Europe at the cost of tens of millions of shekels that will pitch in City Break holiday marketing Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as a single package,” said Moshe Midan, who is in charge of tourism marketing at the Israel Government Advertising Agency.

Tel Aviv Expo also hopes to get a boost from Eurovision for convention and conference tourism, which is a $27 billion global business.

“When they return to their home countries and talk about the great convention they were at and how they enjoyed the location and the city – it reverberates,” said CEO Tamir Dayan. “Convention tourism makes more money than other tourism – they say even three times more. They stay longer in their destination city, come with spouses and they are great ambassadors.”

Dayan said Israel’s successful staging of Eurovision shows that the country can pull off major international events. “Now if we go to a [global] cardiologist association and they will see they can do a convention here – it’ll be easier for us to stage a successful event,” he said.


Learning Hospitality The Old Way in The Modern Environment

While the world is now learning how to open doors of their homes to guests and travellers and how to be hospitable through ventures; Hospitality in Indians has been ingrained since times immemorial. We grow up on stories epitomizing Atithya or Supreme Hospitality. Our mythological literature is full of anecdotes where only the best is for the guest.

There would nary be an Indian who hasn’t heard of a Shabri first tasting ber (Indian jujubes) herself and ensuring that she served only the sweetest (doesn’t matter that they were half bitten) ones to Lord Ram or a poor Sudama feeding the last bowl of his rice to his friend and honoured guest Krishna. We are honour bound to host guests and welcome with open hearts, whoever enters our homes.

So, while our hearts and homes are indeed open, something that people are even monetizing now, hospitality and its meaning has undergone a sea-change and therefore most of it needs to be re-learnt.

Shifting Paradigms in Travel & Hospitality

Travel and hospitality industries are witnessing shifts in the basic foundational paradigms of these twin segments. Firstly, from travels being undertaken only as per necessity till a decade back, the world and its family now love to travel. People are travelling frequently, and household budgets are being accordingly apportioned to accommodate travel expenditures.

The millennials view travel as a necessity and not as an option. There are all kinds of travellers requiring a vast spectrum of hospitality services – from budget stays to mid-priced ones to premium services and the ultra-luxury demands.  The hospitality industry needs to necessarily cater to this entire spectrum of demands and not expect the traveller to adjust.

Secondly, hospitality needs to identify what expectations are at the centre of the demand conundrum and cater to those expectations for a fulfilling experience on the part of the traveller and receiving a positively glowing review on part of the service provider. Expectations can centre around learning about the place, experiencing the destination, meeting the locals, taking in the sights for some.

For others, it might be the basics of cleanliness and comfort – wanting clean sheets and not thread-counts really, desiring homely or local cuisine for food or extravagant buffets for others. Thirdly, there is a huge thrust on the exploratory – seeing offbeat and newer places. And lastly, the power and reach of social media are increasing by the day – whether it is for posting unique experiences or feedback or for looking up reviews. Social media is an integral part of the curriculum for relearning hospitality.

Rewarding Thumb Rules

With an understanding of these basic changes, the industry is seeing massive changes – new business models, new accommodation types, new offerings and packages etc. And for those willing to learn, following thumb rules will prove to be rewarding.

The first thumb rule of hospitality is to understand cultures – as a way of thinking and being. This results in broadening one’s mind. Hospitality professionals need to learn to deal with people from many different backgrounds – be they be guests or industry colleagues.

The second thumb rule is to understand the economics – the underlying principles behind standardized qualities – of cleaning, of portions and of service. Any line of work within the spectrum of hospitality entails management of numbers and better management of same leads to customer appreciation.

The third rule is to understand sustainability – see how you can rely on local resources for all requirements – recruitment, procurement and entrepreneurship. Building a circular economy by training local talent, buying local foods, building local activities and ensuring that local income rises go a long way in rising footfalls and continuance of a sustainable venture.

The industry is changing at a dizzying pace – making way for newer ways of hospitality. Formal programs are still to catch up and on-the-job learning is crucial. So, whether you aspire to run your own homestay or build a chain of hotels, consumer preferences remain central. The one thing that remains same down the ages and hospitality industry must always remember – Atithi Devo Bhava!