Freshman Student Spotlight: Maya Kwok
April 18, 2019

The following interview was conducted by Tisch Center student worker, Haley Park.

What made you decide that you wanted to attend NYU and study specifically at the Tisch Center?

My mother is an alumna of NYU and she was pushing me to apply here, but I was hesitant as the school is in a big city and I come from a pretty small town. I opened up to NYU once I watched their virtual tour, which ends with a student saying, “people go to other colleges to start their college career, but when you come here, to NYU, you come to start your life”. That line stuck with me and when I attended the accepted students’ day, the second I stepped on to campus, it just felt right. In terms of why I chose to study at the Tisch Center, I always have considered myself a people’s person, so my interest in hospitality came naturally. As I looked more into hospitality, I became more interested in the hotel business. The Tisch Center made the most sense to me, especially since it has the advantage of being in a city where the hospitality industry is present on every block. I am extremely thankful that my mom made me apply!

Are you involved in any extracurriculars and if not, what extracurriculars are you looking to get involved in?

I was really active within my high school so I tried to carry my activities from then to now. My first semester I started out doing intramural volleyball and running and this semester I did intramural basketball and continued running. I am also a part of the Class Activities Board 2022 (CAB22), which plans several events for your specified year, but are open to NYU as a whole as well. Specifically within SPS, I am a part of HSMAI and HBS, which are hospitality-focused clubs where we get to see the ins and outs of the industry first-hand. This entails hotel and restaurant tours, as well as round tables and talks with leaders in the industry.

What has been one of your favorite classes?

In hospitality, I really enjoyed the Lodging Industry Structures & Strategies course that I took my first semester, taught by Marissa Hou and occasionally Dean Graff. It was my favorite, not only because it was where I met my two closest friends here, but also because I’m interested in the hotel side of the industry and much of that course was about learning the fundamentals of the hotel and restaurant business. Outside of hospitality, I definitely loved my Psychology class.

What has been one of the most challenging aspects in college so far?

I think being in NYC has been a challenge just because the spirit of the city is so captivating. You’re in the greatest city in the world, the city of opportunities, and that never sleeps! I just wanted to be out there, exploring and taking in its wonders everyday. There’s always something going on, even just stepping outside and watching people makes you want to be doing something. Reminding myself that all those things will be there when I have free time is how I’ve overcome that.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

Whatever I do I want to have relationships with people. It has been a dream of mine to own my own bed and breakfast so I can host and be there for guests. Although, recently I have also gotten interested in event planning and renewed my spirit to travel. Everyday here at the Tisch Center you learn a little more about yourself and the industry and how to make those two worlds meet. I think the key is to just stay open to anything and not be afraid to follow where your interests lead you, so we will see where that takes me!