Ke Jin earned his Master’s Degree in Hospitality Industry Studies in May 2014. His concentration was Hotel Finance.
Why did you choose NYU? Towards the end of my undergraduate degree at the East China University of Political Science and Law, I was introduced to the field of hospitality and decided this was the career I wanted to pursue. I had never been to the United States before, but knew that I could take advantage of a lot of opportunities by studying abroad. I chose NYU because of its prestigious reputation around the world, as well as the opportunity to make connections with industry leaders in New York City.
What was your favorite class? I really enjoyed Dr. Fred Mayo’s Applied Research Methods course. I learned so much in this class, especially since we used a textbook Dr. Mayo wrote specifically for research in the hospitality industry. While it was at times stressful – we had to write a lot of intensive assignments – he pushed everyone to think critically about what we were researching, and demanded that we effectively organize our resources and articulate our thoughts concisely.
What was the most important resource you took advantage of? As an international student who came straight from undergrad, the individual career advisement sessions and workshops offered by the Wasserman Center for Career Development @ NYU SPS about preparing for interviews and developing a career search strategy were invaluable. I also took advantage of the many career, internship and networking events offered by the School of Professional Studies. Through all of these experiences I was able to meet industry leaders and alumni – several of whom were influential in helping me secure internships during and after my program in the area of Hospitality Real Estate.
Tell us about your internship experiences. During my program I leveraged my personal network and connections with alumni to secure a finance position at the Millennium Hilton, which offered the chance to work with the Director of Finance and the Accounting Manager. This experience was very important as I gained the knowledge of the daily operations of a hotel. Through my work I supported several ongoing initiatives such as assessing various proposals from suppliers; conducting room and F&B audits; and updating the daily tray ledger, and the tax exemptions and credit card balances. I also created a presentation on hotel departmental communication strategies and pitched this to the executive committee, who were very receptive and said it was the best presentation they had seen on this topic. When I graduated this past May I applied for a summer associate position at HVS in their Consulting and Valuation Division. The application process was long and in-depth – I had several interviews and needed to complete three online assessments. HVS is a leading company in the hospitality industry in this field, and I knew that it would be a great experience. I worked with the Vice President of Consulting and Valuation and conducted appraisals, feasibility studies, and site inspections. I even co-authored an industry brief about hotel valuation in Milwaukee – which serves as a major industry source for owners and developers. I am also working on another report for the Ann Arbor market which will be published later this fall.