Elaine Zhou, recent graduate of the Marriott Tianjin China Program, received the Management Trainee position at The Opposite House hotel in Beijing.

Zhou, who had been pursuing opportunities at TOH since first learning about the hotel in 2014, completed a three-month internship last Spring. She immediately fell in love with the culture.

“[I loved] the high standards, the friendly ‘hi’ and smile from the top levels to first line members, and the well-behaved guests. I have grown and learned a lot there, and met excellent and interesting people,” she said.  “And, I was becoming a better and more qualified hotelier and restauranteur.”

As graduation neared and everyone around her was receiving full-time jobs, Zhou decided to hold out for the job she really wanted – the MT program with Swire Hotels, owner of The Opposite House and several other boutique hotels in China.

Zhou will spend the next 18 months with Swire Hotels, working with different departments and gaining first-hand knowledge of the operations, before focusing on her chosen department – Food & Beverage.

Zhou, who earned the Marriott Scholarship and National Scholarship, graduated in the top two of her class this Spring. She credits FIU and The Opposite House with much of her success, but also recognizes the hard work she herself put in to making her dreams a reality.

“It’s FIU that offered me a good education and opportunities to better know this industry, TOH that made me love this industry more and helped me to make the decision to start with F&B, and me myself who made the decision to choose FIU and TOH, and to choose Hospitality Management. I believe that Best +Best =Better.”

Currently, there are 43 FIU Hospitality students completing management training programs with different companies throughout the world. Hundreds apply to the coveted positions, but only a handful of the most qualified candidates are selected.

To learn more about the Marriott Tianjin China Program or the One Year in China, visit the Chaplin School’s Study Abroad page.