Royal Caribbean’s Summer Interns, The Chosen Few

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There were rumors that when Royal Caribbean posted its openings for this year’s summer internship program on LinkedIn, there were so many responses that the website crashed.

Applicants: 60,000. Interns: 90, the company’s largest class ever.

“It was recognized as the number-two most sought after job on LinkedIn,” says Jennifer Lestin, who oversees the program as RCL’s manager for corporate talent acquisition and university relations. “The first was Tesla.”

They came from universities across the U.S., filling slots in the RCL office in Oregon, and all of its port offices and headquarters in Miami and environs.

“We had interns who majored in computer science, computer engineering, communications, business administration, finance, economics, maritime engineering,” Lestin says. “We had hotel and hospitality, human resources, accounting, business analytics, data science, marketing – quite a number of marketing interns. And we had a student who majored in taxation.”

Now that the summer program has ended, these interns describe some highlights of working in their RCL departments:

Giancarlo Coletta, IT Finance Group

“I was doing meaningful work, assisting in things that are actually going to impact the company. I will be taking back to school real-world experience in the corporate world, financing, budgeting, forecasting, and creating plans for the next year. It’s one thing to read it and learn it in theory in school, and it’s another thing to actually do it on your day-to-day job.”

Eddy Valdivia, Brand Innovation and Strategic Partnership, Azamara Club Cruises

“I was creating itineraries based on tour operator descriptions and transferring that information to Excel to help with customer inquiries at the call center. Then, I  translated that information over to the marketing and revenue team, so that they may properly communicate it on our website channels and pass it on to our travel agents. It was a smooth job. I’m not gonna lie, it had little frustrating moments here and there, but definitely, the environment was what I believe I will be seeing once I leave college and get a concrete job.”

Ashley Campbell, Guest Port Services 

“I helped my manager by going to terminals, coming up with strategies to learn about guest flow and how to optimize that process, because not all the terminals are the same. I had never seen check-in systems before, so being a first-learner allowed me to create messaging in a way that was simple. I had to learn how to simplify it for guests. We wanted to help those terminals be the best they can be.”

Melanie Crespillo, Human Resources

“I was the intern for interns. They would come to me with any concerns, and I would direct them to the correct department. I helped coordinate the logistics of our intern events, the RCL Careers page, and I supported the overall corporate talent acquisition team by offering fresh ideas.”

Alina Zerpa, Corporate Communications

“I’m trying to make social media more of my main project, just so we can beef it up and get with the times. You can add images, add more hashtags, and change the timing on your posting so it gets more impressions. We haven’t really ventured into embedding pictures and videos organically on Twitter. So that’s what I’m trying to start.”