As UD offers new study abroad programs on the cruise industry, Tim Crowley, an alumnus employed by Norwegian Cruise Line, shares his experiences.

Careers in travel

UD graduate Tim Crowley discusses career with Norwegian Cruise Line

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9:50 a.m., Aug. 22, 2014--University of Delaware graduate Tim Crowley calls his current career with Norwegian Cruise Line a “dream job.”

Crowley, who earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from UD in 2007, graduated with a master of business administration from UD in 2008 as part of the 4+1 program. After graduation, Crowley worked for DuPont as an engineer before moving into marketing and sales for the company. 

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“I was happy doing what I was doing, but I’d always had a passion cruising and the travel industry as a whole,” said Crowley of moving into a position with Norwegian. “It was somewhat of a hobby in my free time. I knew what all the ships were and what the industry was doing.” 

“Whenever I had an opportunity to do a case study on industry, it was always this one,” said Crowley. In fact, during his time in the UD MBA program, Crowley chose to analyze operation of cruise corporations for a class in corporate strategy.

After being offered a position with Norwegian in Miami, Crowley had to make a decision to “roll the dice and do something that I always wanted to try.”

“I have to say, besides attending University of Delaware, which was by far the best decision I’ve ever made, this was a very close second,” said Crowley. 

Currently manager of acquisition marketing for Norwegian, Crowley directs and analyzes the performance of online marketing campaigns. He has now been working with Norwegian for almost two years, and says that he sees many opportunities opening up in the travel industry for young business students.

“In terms of industry growth, it’s growing like gangbusters,” said Crowley. “We are almost doubling in size in a very short amount of time and our competitors are also growing by leaps in bounds. So there’s definitely a lot of opportunity as all of these companies continue to grow.”

Crowley explained that cruise companies “need to grow all the associated departments, whether it be the on-board teams who staff the ships, or the people in the home office to support marketing, sales, IT and more. All of the efforts to support the ships as well as continue to grow the corporation are required.”

This growth in the cruise industry comes at a time of increased interest in the field at UD. During spring break of 2015, UD will offer a weeklong study abroad course for UD graduate students of any major aboard the Royal Caribbean High Tech Cruise Ship. During a seven-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to the eastern Caribbean aboard this floating hotel, or “flotel,” students will study the ship’s operations and cutting edge technology.

“The first UD study abroad was a cruise from New York City to Europe funded in part by Mr. Pierre S. du Pont,” said Fred DeMicco, ARAMARK Chair in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management. “We continue these UD Study@Sea study abroad programs once per year through the Institute for Global Studies.”

“I am pleased to take our Delaware students on cruises to New Zealand, Australia and South America, so they can see the career opportunities in the cruise ship management industry,” said DeMicco of these programs. “One of the fastest growing tourism businesses, cruising is growing fast in Asia, particularly Japan and China.”

Crowley says that he loves his position at Norwegian in part because, since he markets vacations, he’s providing something that people love and enjoy. 

“In a world where people don’t have a lot of vacation time, it’s essential that they spend time with family or with their friends and enjoy life,” said Crowley. 

“You should find something that you really like to do, maybe something that you would do without getting paid for it,” was the advice Crowley had to offer to students. “Make that your career goal and your passion. Once you find that, everything else kind of falls into place.”

Article by Sunny Rosen

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