EVEN AS A TEENAGER, KAREN HOCH was intrigued by the hospitality industry. But when she applied to the hospitality program at the University of New Hampshire and was not accepted, she opted to follow in her sister's footsteps and attend Bentley College, an accounting school in Massachusetts. “It was closer to home, and my parents urged me to go that route,” she says. “So that's what I did, and it completely steered me away from my interest.” She took a job at a private investment bank as a ...

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