Internship programme gives students ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ to learn about the travel industry.

Posted on 14th July 2016

Tourism students from the University of Chester have had the chance to gain on-the-job experience of the travel industry through a new and exclusive partnership with Royal Caribbean International.

Students at the Harmony launch.
Students at the Harmony launch.

Four second year students studying Tourism Management and Business Management at Chester Business School, and one from the University’s partner institution, the Isle of Man College, studying Events Management and Marketing, were selected to take part in the programme based on their performance throughout the academic year and in a series of interviews set by the University and Royal Caribbean.

The successful students joined the Royal Caribbean UK sales team in May for a six-week period, during which they assisted the team and were given the opportunity to:

  • Learn extensively about the brand through a series of in-depth sessions with divisions across the business, including the marketing and Club Royal loyalty membership teams
  • Attend and participate in ship visits and leading cruise industry events, such as The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Conference
  • Meet regularly with travel agents alongside Royal Caribbean’s Regional Sales team, to educate them on the brand and products
  • Participate in the launch of Harmony of the Seas in both Southampton and Barcelona, assisting the sales and events team
  • Receive mentoring sessions from Royal Caribbean’s senior leadership team.

During the six week programme, each student was also responsible for managing and executing their own project, which was assigned at the start of the placement, with the support of the Royal Caribbean sales team. 

The internship is the outcome of months of planning between Ben Bouldin at Royal Caribbean and Dr Maeve Marmion, University of Chester Tourism Management Programme Leader.

It was inspired by a mutual professional interest in forging closer links between this key industry name and the University of Chester in order to enable students to experience and understand different tourism roles. The internship will boost the skills and opportunities of the students and help bring the travel industry to life for them as part of their degree learning.

Student Joshua Linney, 21, from Bedford, said: “This has been the opportunity of a lifetime for me as it really allowed me to improve myself as well as understand what I would like to do with my future. This would not have been possible without the hard work of the University team so I would like to thank them for all the hard work they put in to make this possible for us as students.

“Being part of the Harmony launch was the best part of the whole experience, not just because it is the biggest cruise ship in the world and we were part of the launch, but also seeing the hard work and logistics that are needed in order for the whole event to be a success.”

Kayleigh Catherall, 21, from Ellesmere Port, said: “I feel like I had a really unique experience while I was on placement. Since our team was the first group of interns I didn’t really know what to expect and when I heard the word internship I thought ‘making coffee and photocopying’ but it was not like that at all. By the time placement finished I really felt like part of the team.”

Maranatha Peterside, 20 from West London, added: “Interning for Royal Caribbean was exciting and adventurous to say the least! This internship allowed me to grow in confidence in areas such as direct selling and develop skills in researching and planning. This was essential for the development of projects assigned by the Head of Sales. It was a great way to introduce me into a business environment working 9pm-5pm days and being responsible for a range of tasks. This internship was definitely the best experience I could have had for my experiential learning.”

Andy Lyon, Head of Department for Marketing, Tourism and Events Management at the University of Chester, said: “The University of Chester has an excellent record in providing high quality placements for its students such as those with Royal Caribbean Cruises. The students have had a fantastic experience working on numerous projects with Royal Caribbean. It is these partnerships with industry that are essential in providing work-ready graduates and we envisage our relationship with Royal Caribbean to be one that goes from strength to strength”.

Ben Bouldin, ‎Sales Director, Royal Caribbean International, UK and Ireland added: “The University of Chester has an excellent reputation for offering its students a world-class introduction to tourism management so it was an ideal opportunity to introduce them to the extraordinary world of Royal Caribbean to extend that education with valuable and unique on-the-job experience.

“From playing crucial roles in the launch of our newest ship, Harmony of the Seas, to acting as an extension of our sales team over the past few weeks, we have welcomed this group of exceptional students and given them the chance to learn first-hand about the cruise industry. We look forward to strengthening our ties with the University and hope to be able to offer the experience to more students over the years to come.”