Prior to heading to the Olympics, the class meets in person several times. That included an overview of the Olympics and the organization framework that sustains them. We review the Olympics from a business perspective. One of the topics is the Olympic 2020 Vision. The IOC aims to more accurately project the needs for future host games for long term sustainability. This is where GWU comes in. We (the students) are assisting in the gathering of the data to support the projected needs of future games. For example, we will be counting seats in the athlete area that are in use or not in use. If there are several unused seats through out the games in the athlete section, they will aim to reduce the venue seating expectations for the next host city. In exchange for this service (that all of us students are very happy to do), the IOC and supporting entities gladly meet with us to provide overviews of their roles, candid experiences and lessons learned.
For those that aren’t aware (like 99.999%) of the population, GWU has a unique Olympic Games Short Term Study Abroad program within the business school (specifically, within the Marketing and Touring Studies departments). While, marketing and touring are not my focus areas, project management and data analytics are. I also have a deep appreciation for athletic sports and games. I am in the process of completing a completing the M.B.A. and M.S.P.M. graduate degree programs and a certificate in Data Analytics from GWU (Spring 2018). Hosting the Olympics is one of the most complex projects in modern history in my opinion (Building facilities and infrastructure to accommodate a rapid influx of specializations and spectators for a short, specific period of time, and then *poof*- everyone is gone, but the memories) . So, I was incredibly curious how such a feat is achieved, and this program is giving me the opportunity to better understand how and also meet with the people how host, support and sustain the Olympics!