As the Hong Kong-based Director of High Jewelry for Cartier Far East, Maya Lin works with globe-trotting, high-net-worth individuals and the rarest of precious stones. Less glamorously, perhaps, she is also a Director of Poscelin, her family's garment-manufacturing business, which makes outerwear for the European market. Her Master of Science degree in Global Finance from HKUST-NYU Stern has been useful in both arenas.
Says Lin: "The program's topics and content enable me to make better financial and planning decisions, both at Cartier as well as at my family business. It also exposed me to the concept of risk-adjusted return/risk management, which enabled me to help the family business make better investment decisions."
Lin, a Hong Kong native, spent her formative years at boarding school in Canada and the US, including undergraduate study in communications at New York University and fashion at the Parsons School of Design, also in New York. Cartier hired her to launch the High Jewelry business unit after she completed a freelance project for the company in 2007. She had previously helped launch a marketing unit for Fendi in New York. Her current responsibilities at Cartier include business strategies, training, and working closely with high-end customers.
With her background heavy in fashion and design, Lin was prompted to pursue the MSGF degree to gain more extensive training in finance. "I went to NYU for my BS degree and heard about the program through one of the Stern alumni," she explains. "Stern has always been known for its excellent reputation in finance, with many impeccable professors who are actually working in the industry as well. I was sure that I would be able to secure the latest insights on current macro and micro trends within the industry. HKUST brings even more relevance with Asia and Greater China perspectives, in addition to a great academic reputation."
The program's academic content and its networking potential proved their worth equally from the start, Lin says. "Both are useful, as academic knowledge and ideas can be bounced off classmates for more in-depth exchanges, which generate meaningful insights. I was able to apply the FX concepts directly to financial decisions at the family business. The great classmates I connected and bonded with shall be a lifelong network of friends and associates that I can count on for ideas, support, collaborations, partnerships, or simple camaraderie."
Since returning to Hong Kong from her many years abroad, Lin has reconnected with her Chinese roots. She is passionate about a Chinese classics after-school learning center, unique in Hong Kong, in which she has invested and which is slated to open this summer. With this new center, along with her leisure pursuits of horseback riding and wakeboarding, plus her two jobs and family responsibilities, Lin's time is quite well accounted for.