Ktimene Gembol, Vice President Insights Client Partner, Arrivalist


Alumni Service

25 May 2021

In order to help current students and recent graduates to find their way in the working world, many of our alumni shared their career story. Here the story of Ktimene Gembol, Vice President Insights - Client Partner for Arrivalist in Jacksonville (Florida) and New York (US). USI Degree: Master in International Tourism, 2011.

How did you start your career?

I started my career at technology startups in California. I worked for 8 years at companies including Sony and Napster before pursuing my Master's degree at USI.

Why did you choose a career at Arrivalist?

I loved the opportunity to apply my degree in Tourism Economics and Communication at Arrivalist, where I work with big tourism data for state and city clients.

What is your current role/duties? 

I work with state/province tourism department clients including Florida, Texas, British Columbia, and many more, to apply location data for use cases involving marketing, sustainability, crisis response, and economic development.

In your opinion, what are the qualities necessary for a successful career in Arrivalist?

  • Understanding of tourism economics;
  • Expertise in communicating to tourism stakeholders: hoteliers, lawmakers and national governments, CEOs, park systems, and residents;
  • Fluency in spreadsheets and extracting narratives from numbers;
  • Ability to articulate what the big data communicates based on the audience In a nutshell, a good balance of numeracy and communication.

What positive aspects and qualities meant most to you during the study programme you attended?

I highly value the global perspective. I feel this sets me apart in terms of world view and understanding how my work contributes to the tourism economy. A solid grasp of micro- and macro-economics is something I use daily working with clients to understand consumer behavior while also guiding my company to navigate the strategic landscape. Professors Maggi and Cantoni were incredible mentors. Prof. Cantoni offered me so many opportunities to get involved outside the classroom. My time at USI was invaluable for my career. I feel very fortunate to have this background, which helped prepare my to contribute at this job.

What competences and/or skills acquired in your USI Study Program have been useful/are useful to your professional career?

  • Tourism economics, both micro- and macro. This is absolutely fundamental to leadership in the space.
  • Website communication model and tourism communications.
  • Environmental economics -- key to sustainability.
  • Strategic management -- allows me to excel at the corporate leadership level and add value at the C level.

 What is your advice to USI students entering the job market?

  1. Don't learn to ace a test. Learn to build your skill set for your career. Economics may be a challenging field, but it's the foundation for making the optimal decisions in this field.
  2. Get involved! This could be volunteering or working at USI. It's easy to decide, "I don't have free time". But you do. I had the opportunity to work with USI News and learn all about the university beyond my degree program. Having a job helped me manage my time. I felt very fortunate to learn about the school and be part of its engine. Perspective is everything!
  3. Your career is a journey. You might not get your dream job the day after graduating. After I earned my degree, I returned to the US and couldn't find a job in tourism economics. So I built up my digital skill set at an agency, then worked a very interesting job at a small DMO. From there, my vendor at the time recognized my unique work and hired me. Now I am at a company where I can apply every part of my brain. It is probably the apex of my career, and I'm very satisfied. Without exaggeration, I can state that every day I reflect with gratitude on my training at USI.