Alumni Spotlight: Shirley Lu
May 7, 2019

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

What has your journey been like after graduating NYU?
The journey has kept me on my toes. It’s an active journey with many route possibilities, and I can thank NYU for that. Immediately I’ve seen opportunities to excel at my company, and I’ve been taking each day one at a time, absorbing as much as possible from the intelligent professionals who surround me so I can prepare for the next step in my career. The journey continues to evolve, and I’m excited to explore the different paths that will present themselves to me.

Can you talk about the role that you’re currently in at the Standard Hotels?
I am a Regional Revenue Analyst for the Standard Hotels here in New York, so I oversee the Standard, High Line and the Standard, East Village. Among other tasks, I help make pricing decisions on a daily basis and forecast top line rooms revenue for upcoming months. Essentially, my goal is to optimize the revenues from each reservation using the laws of supply and demand, so when you see hotel rates sky high, it’s because people like me are trying to reap in the most revenues possible on a perpetually perishable product. Contrary to how it may seem, the revenue discipline is quite dynamic and requires a degree of entrepreneurial thinking and creativity, which is how I am constantly learning and growing in the discipline. Already I’ve had the opportunity to help manage our Los Angeles and Miami properties while I stepped in for a director who was on maternity leave for three months. Each market behaves differently, and I was very fortunate to be able to experience each one.

Why are you passionate about the hospitality industry and specifically the work that you do?
Initially I was drawn to the hospitality industry because of my passion for travel. Then through my various work and internship experiences, I quickly fell in love with the industry, not only because of the implications of travel but also because of the people and their heart for others. I’ve met incredibly kind and inspiring people over the years, and it’s their infectious “hospitality quotient” that continually instills in me a passion for the line of work I am in. The industry itself is so massive, and with the growth of technology come more opportunities for new avenues of products within the industry. It is continually evolving, and it is a global industry that connects nations together. I am very excited to be a part of the ever-changing world of hospitality, and I hope to contribute my ideas and help pioneer innovation in the industry.

In what ways has your NYU experience had an impact on your career and shaped who you are today?
NYU has taught me the science of hospitality, but hospitality is also very much an “art” that requires hands-on experience in the field. NYU requires that students complete field work alongside the curriculum, which truly helps to supplement the knowledge learned in classes. NYU provides countless resources to help students succeed in their college careers and prepare for their post-college careers, but it is up to the student to make use of these resources. My NYU education has provided me with access to the career center for professional career guidance, networking events for introductions with industry professionals, hotel tours for sneak peeks of “in the life of ..”, and many other opportunities for industry exposure. NYU has shown me that anything is possible, and it’s a constant encouragement to be the best that I can be.

What career advice would you give to NYU students?
Go into each new work or internship experience with humility and an eagerness to learn. Right now, nothing can be a step backwards, so pursue any and every opportunity that you can take on and absorb every experience like a sponge. Take note of the professionals around you, and observe what it is that makes them invaluable to their companies. Always put your best self forward in any event where professionals will be present–you never know who your next boss will be.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I am extremely grateful for my time at NYU, and I could not be where I am today without the support of the gracious donors who have invested in my education. I am paying it forward (while paying my loans), and I encourage those who are compelled to help support a student’s education. It has changed the trajectory of my career possibilities, and it can have the same impact on many other students.