Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) kicked off their first RCL Day at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus with smashing success. More than 175 students flocked to the RCL Day on March 26 to engage with FIU alumni and RCL leadership at events focused on increasing students’ competitiveness in the job market and Royal Caribbean career pathways.
Representing the company that took them from interns to full-time employees, FIU alumni were more than happy to give back to their alma mater during the first RCL Day.
“My favorite part about RCL Day was getting to talk to students who are in the same position I was in just a year ago,” said Mariam Parada ’18, shore excursion specialist at Royal Caribbean. “I made a difference to someone and got to spend a couple hours talking about this amazing company I love and hopefully inspired other students to come work here, too.”
The alumni spent the day sharing their internship experiences with FIU students, encouraging them to follow in their footsteps and connecting them to current internship opportunities with the major cruise line, also one of Miami’s largest employers. They served as hope and inspiration to students who may feel like they aren’t ready to intern with such a large corporation.
“I didn’t want students to feel they weren’t ready or didn’t have enough experience to intern at a company like Royal. It was a passion point for me because that’s how I felt. Until one day I went for it – I closed my eyes and hit the button! Then BOOM – I was a grad intern,” said Michelle Byrd ’17, MMC ’18, account executive for PR and social at Royal Caribbean.
To increase FIU students’ competitiveness in the job market, the organization worked with FIU’s Career and Talent Development to host an on-campus Resume Fest. RCL recruiters spent one-on-one time with students, providing feedback on their resumes. The recruiters were so impressed by the students, they opted to stay for an extra hour to make sure every student had the opportunity to highlight their talent.
Chip Turrisi, University Relations lead for Royal Caribbean, highlighting the best way to land an internship or job, shared: “Make connections, just like they [FIU students] did on RCL Day! If you truly want to pursue a company, don’t just apply. Try to engage them additionally whenever possible in person to be able to stand out from just what the resume shows.”
RCL partnered with the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and took it one step further by offering a Hospitality Analytics and Revenue Management class. Marcus Louis and Cesar Menedez, senior revenue analysts at RCL, presented a typical work day at RCL, traits hiring managers look for in candidates and guidance for students who are interested in careers in revenue management.
Later in the afternoon, RCL leadership shared their perspectives on the hospitality industry, problem solving, leadership and what it’s like to work for Royal Caribbean during a Chaplin senior seminar.
Amy Alexy, vice president of Global Talent Management for Royal Caribbean, beamed with pride as she told students, “You can feel the energy every day you come into work. It’s uplifting. It’s exciting. It’s very guest focused.”
Through RCL Day, Royal Caribbean extends its commitment to growing local talent in the local community. Impressed by the fruitfulness of the partnership, Caryn Lavernia, assistant vice president for FIU Engagement, said: “The future of work requires that we collaborate at scale and create strategic alignment between industry and academia. The partnership between Royal Caribbean and FIU is demonstrative of that, and we are looking forward to continuing to build this collaboration as a best practice in growing and retaining talent in our local market.”