Royal Caribbean: Corporate Associate of the Month

August 08, 2018

By Rony Shir

Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO

Royal Caribbean- one of the world’s leading international cruise line brands, and the University of Miami Business School- one of the top private research institutions in the nation, have taken big first steps in minimizing their impact on the environment. In a recent USA Today article, Royal Caribbean Chairman and CEO Richard Fain explained, “Healthy oceans are vital to the success of our company. For over 25 years, our Save the Waves program has guided us to reduce, reuse, and recycle everything we can.” This is one of reasons why RCCL has pledged to eliminate plastic straws by the end of 2018. Fain is also the chair of the University of Miami’s Board of Trustees. Correspondingly, one of the initiatives spearheaded under Dean John Quelch, Vice Provost of the University of Miami and Dean of Miami Business School, is the complete elimination of plastic bottles and packaging here at MBS. All faculty and staff departments have been asked to utilize the water fountains prevalent at the Business School. In a recent BizEd article, Dean Quelch explains that this movement is part of a bigger mission for the School to build its brand from regional to global prominence. This will be done “through clear vision, enthusiasm, and a willingness to adopt change,” he says.

It is no surprise then, that over 70 Miami Business School alumni are employed by RCCL including:

  • Michael McCarthy, Executive MBA’15 – Associate Vice President, Celebrity
  • Antje Gibson, MPRA’85 (Master’s in Accounting) - Vice President and Treasurer, RCCL
  • Jason Liberty, MPRA’01 (Master’s in Accounting) – Chief Financial Officer, RCCL

An example of the partnership between MBS and RCCL is in their hiring. Michael Lopez graduated with a Master’s in Business Analytics. What started as a part time internship position has now turned into a full time position as a revenue analyst for RCCL. Michael explains “I went to the Lunch and Learn hosted by Ziff Graduate Career Services and met a recruiter from RCCL. He mentioned there was an opening and I applied and got the position. It started out as a part time position and I transitioned to a full time employee this past June. My Master’s in Business Analytics has helped tremendously. Since my responsibilities involve analyzing data and proposing strategies on how to capitalize on our current on-board sources of revenue, I used what I learned in the program.  Graduating with this degree has enabled me to go above and beyond in my job and provide a fresh perspective to my team. Not a lot of companies focus on predictive models / analytics, in that sense the Business Analytics program is ahead of the game. I also like the fact that I work with other MBS alumni here at Royal Caribbean. My manager is also an alumna. It’s nice to see everything go full circle.”

Henry Pujol BBA’89 and MBA’94Henry Pujol is a Senior VP / Chief Accounting Officer at Royal Caribbean and a double alum of the Miami Business School (BBA’89 and MBA’94). He has been involved since the start of the accounting department’s advisory board. When asked why he decided to get involved with the board, Pujol recalls:

I was part of the inaugural class (for the accounting advisory board) and have been involved ever since. I did not grow up in Miami; coming down here was a big experience for me. During my time at UM, I met students from all over the country. After my freshman year, I began my major in accounting and joined Beta Alpha Si, the accounting fraternity. It was very beneficial in helping me connect to the School and meet a new group of friends. After graduating with my BBA, I joined one of the big four accounting firms and decided I needed to pursue my master’s degree. The MBA program at the Miami Business School was a perfect fit for me. I have seen the program evolve and grow in all fronts. I was very happy to hear about the MBA 70th Anniversary Celebration (taking place during Homecoming, November 1-3) and will do my best to be there and celebrate this important milestone. The MBA program’s curriculum has advanced, with more of a focus on grooming well-rounded students that in addition to being proficient in their technical skills (with the rise of the Business Analytics program and focus on Big Data, AI, etc.); are also becoming proficient in their soft skills encompassing communication, social and emotional intelligence. MBS has a great reach and the students we interview at Royal Caribbean that are MBS alumni are a different caliber of talent. The facilities are great, the professors are well renowned, and I can see the Business School continuing to grow and become even more recognizable on a global scale.

Henry Pujol, BBA’89 and MBA’94
Senior VP/Chief Accounting Officer

RCCL is also a sponsor of the BusinessForUM, hosted annually by Miami Business School’s Department of Accounting. The ForUM attracts a large number of alumni, accountants, and lawyers. As a result in their involvement and commitment to MBS, Royal Caribbean is also a Silver Member ($10,000+) of the Corporate Associates Program. The program includes 48 global and local businesses that have built long-term strategic relationships with MBS. Depending on the company’s chosen level of support, the School provides essential resources as a way of saying “thank you” for a company’s valuable contribution as a corporate partner.

To learn more about the Past Corporate Associates of the Month, please click here.

To learn more about the MBA 70th Anniversary Celebration, please click here.

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