#myRITstory – Jinkai Qian

Jinkai Qian, Print Media MS

“RIT graduates work in the knowledge-based positions…in both production management and upper management positions…they are the most knowledgeable about color, printing, and pre-media applications, as well as the production workflow.”

Turning points are pivotal moments in life in which decisive change occurs. For Shanghai native Jinkai Qian, one such turning point was when a professor from the Master’s Degree in Print Media (MS-PPRT) program at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) came to visit the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (USST). At the time, Jinkai was working on a Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Printing and was intrigued by the curriculum of the MS-PPRT program. Researching the RIT program further, he learned of the reputation of the program, including the extensive alumni network and impressive placement of graduates in meaningful jobs at major companies. This convinced Jinkai that his next move would be coming to the US to study at RIT in 2010.

At RIT, Jinkai went through the course sequence in the MS-PPRT program, which entails three academic semesters followed by thesis work. His coursework and thesis imparted the necessary skills that have helped Jinkai in his co-op experiences and subsequent career.

Jinkai names the STEM-based laboratory courses, which employ hands-on exercises that stress critical thinking and technical writing with the latest equipment as especially beneficial in his ensuing endeavors.

Jinkai took advantage of both Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) for paid co-op experiences. Both of his co-ops were on the print production side of the business, first at CSI in Virginia and then at The Matlet Group in Florida. His responsibilities included color management, managing job workflows, working in the pre-media department, and order handling.

After his co-op work, Jinkai joined the vendor side of the business with a technical applications job at Techkon USA, a major manufacturer of color measurement devices with offices near Frankfurt, Germany and Boston, MA. Among the award-winning products offered by Techkon USA are hand-held and scanning spectrodensitometers, quality assurance/ink formulation systems, and even a spectrophotometer designed for flexographic printing that measures traceable metrics on a web moving up to 300 meters per minute.

Jinkai supports Techkon’s customer base throughout North America for installations and on-site training and support. His responsibilities require regular travel to major printing companies throughout the region. In addition to supporting clients, Jinkai is regularly in touch with the software and hardware engineers in the corporate offices to make sure that the new products and updates meet the needs of North American printers. As such, Jinkai has been trained on the latest printing certifications, including as a G7 Expert, BrandQ Supply Chain expert, and Certified Color Management Professional by IDEAlliance.

Jinkai cites the key role of his RIT coursework in obtaining his current position. He believes that this helped him to secure the job over several other candidates, and stands as a testament to the relevance of the curriculum.

When asked if he meets RIT alumni in his work, he responds: “All the time! I meet RIT alumni at both production facilities and trade shows: RIT graduates work in the knowledge-based positions…in both production management and upper management positions…they are the most knowledgeable about color, printing, and pre-media applications, as well as the graphic production workflow.”

Today, Jinkai lives with his wife and young son in the Boston suburbs and is pursuing US-resident status, intending to stay long-term. Jinkai recognizes that his job at Techkon USA, obtained as a result of his STEM-based Master of Science in Print Media degree from RIT, is integral to his aspirations.

Read more about RIT’s MS in Print Media on our program website here.