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The Suite Life: Sandy Kim

Working in a 24/7 industry is tough, but this alumna is determined to make her hard work pay off.

Editor's Note

: This story is part of a series highlighting 50 intriguing alumni as part of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality’s 50th anniversary celebration.

It’s easy to get lost in a constant flow of tasks when the workday technically never ends, but it’s a duty 28-year-old Sandy Kim manages with the composure of a seasoned hospitality professional.

How did you decide you wanted a career in hospitality?

I’ve been working in the industry since high school. I was naturally drawn to it and enjoyed how every day was different. I didn’t know hospitality was something I could continue studying until I met with my high school counselor, and she pointed me toward UNLV.

Describe a time you were daring.

I was working as a concierge at Aria when MGM reintroduced its Management Associate Program. They told us that internal candidates were not permitted to apply, because they believed we already had access to climb the corporate ladder. I figured they would want to promote from within, because we have an added advantage of understanding the company’s culture. So I emailed the senior vice president of human resources, and she ended up agreeing with me. They reopened the program to everyone, and I was accepted into it.

What does being a Rebel mean to you?

It means looking out for each other. The UNLV brand goes a long way, and it allows students the opportunity to connect with other alumni. That’s what the industry is all about.

What advice do you have for current students?

You’re going to get out what you put in. The Hotel College offers employer info sessions, job fairs, networking meetings, mentorship program—the list goes on. There’s so much that the college offers students, and they should take advantage of all that they can while they can.

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