Tisch Center Senior Spotlight: Ryan Gaines
April 3, 2014
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The following interview was conducted by Tisch Center social media assistant Kanupriya Bhargava.

Ryan Gaines1) Tell us about yourself including your major and concentration.

Hello! My name is Ryan and I am a senior in Hotel and Tourism Management with a concentration in Organizations and Operations. Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, coming to New York City was a great experience to study hotel management not only because of the resources NYU provides but also everything NYC has to offer!

2) What was your most rewarding internship experience?

During my studies at NYU, I have had two different internships. One was for a startup travel blog called The Points Guy and the other was at the Ritz-Carlton, New York Central Park in the Rooms Department. Interning at the Ritz-Carlton was extremely rewarding because I was able to work “hands on” in the hotel and apply what I was learning in my classes. Sam Fuerstman, an alumnus of the Tisch Center, served as my internship supervisor in his then role as Front Office Manager (he is now Area Director of Executive Reservation Sales). Working alongside a fellow NYU graduate made this experience even more enjoyable and meaningful.

3) What was your favorite Tisch Center course and why?

My favorite course at NYU was Rooms Division Management. Our professor was the General Manager for the W New York hotel, and it was great to hear about the current issues the hotel was facing and some of the ways they were able to address those challenges. For this class we went on many site visits so it was a nice change to have class in a hotel instead of the classroom depending on the week.

4) What resources have you taken advantage of from the Tisch Center? (Career services, networking events, clubs, etc.)

I have been involved in the NYU Hospitality Business Society and am currently the Vice President of that organization. In my role I provide leadership to our executive board as well as help plan events and community service initiatives. For example, I am coordinating our team for the JFK 5K run in April, where we will be participating in a 5K run on the runway at JFK airport supporting a great cause. This annual event is sponsored by the JFK Rotary Club which is a service organization that helps families and children around the world. For example, its Gift of Life Program sponsors terminally ill children from countries with limited medical and technological services, for life-saving heart operations.

5) What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to stay in operations and pursue a position in either hotel or airline operations.

6) Any words of wisdom for current or prospective students?

Have fun and get involved! I remember attending New Student Orientation four years ago and hearing some of the seniors talk about their experiences. Four years at NYU has gone by in a flash but I am leaving this school with knowledge of the hospitality industry that I would never have realized if I studied at another school. Don’t be afraid to head to the Hamptons for the weekend with some friends or study for finals in Central Park.

7) What is your favorite place to visit in NYC?

My favorite place to go in New York is the driving range at Chelsea Piers. There is nothing like hitting golf balls on the range over the Hudson River after a long day!