Juliann Stodart is a former UL Student who is currently working on the Oasis of the Seas as a Cruise Program Administrator. Here she tells us a little bit about herself and how UL prepared her for her career.

Oasis Cruise ShipName: Juliann Stodart
Title: Cruise Program Administrator, Royal Caribbean International, Oasis of the Seas
Year Graduated from UL - 2004
Major – Business Administration, Marketing

Tell us about yourself.
I am a Texas native and an all around Southern girl at heart. My mom is from Louisiana and my dad is from Pennsylvania so I have been exposed to 2 different types of cultures growing up. Both have greatly affected the person I am today and how I live my personal life and professional life. I understand the value of a hard day at work and the joy of spending a day with family and friends. I have been in the hospitality business for 5 years, working in hotels and cruise ships. I have traveled all around the world. I think the highlight so far in my traveling was spending a month and half working in Finland helping start up the largest cruise ship in the world. I really enjoy life and I live it to the fullest. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason in life and even if I don’t know the reason at the time one day I know I will see the big picture.

Oasis Cruise ShipTell us what you do.
I am currently the Cruise Program Administrator (CPA) on the Oasis of the Seas. I have been working for Royal Caribbean for a little over 2 years now and I always say I have the best job on the ship. A quick overall description of my job is exactly what is in my title, Administrator. I handle all of the administrative work for the Cruise & Entertainment division. This includes assisting the Cruise Director, Activities manger, Adventure Ocean Manager, Production Managers, Musical Director and Sports Manager. There are many specific things that I do as a CPA, including handling the lecture program onboard, holiday services, cabin allocation, emergency number assignments, etc. But at the end of the day I handle anything and everything that comes my way. I am a contact between the numerous divisions on the ship. I also oversee the wedding and Vow Renewal program onboard. This is always an exciting and eventful part of my job. This year I was got the chance to renew my parent’s vows while they were sailing with me in Europe. This truly was a highlight for me.

What is the most interesting part of your job?
Every day that I work onboard a ship is interesting. Working on ship in itself is interesting. There are so many parts of my job that I find interesting. The most interesting thing though about working on ships in general are the amazing friendships you develop over time. I have been on ships for a while now and I have some of the best friends of my life. It is amazing to see how friendships can form between people from all around the world so quickly. On average every ship that you go to there are over 60 nationalities onboard and we all get along....

Oasis Cruise ShipWhat is the most difficult part of your job?
The hardest part about being on a cruise ship is leaving work. When you live and work in the same place it is easy to get so wrapped up in work that you forget you have a life too. I have learned that I consistently have to remind myself that I can't forget who I am and where I come from. It is difficult to be away from your family and your friends at home but there is always something to look forward to when you get home

How did UL prepare you for this job?
UL prepared not only for this job but for my life. The moment I walked onto the UL campus in 2002 I knew that is where I would attend university. From the moment I got to UL I got involved. I joined Student Orientation Staff, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and Pi Sigma Epsilon. 3 organizations that helped me develop as a student and a person. I also was lucky to have some great professors. I took classes taught by great professors who geared me towards my future in business. I still keep in touch with some professors like Geoff Stewart who continue to support and guide me as I think of my next career move. UL prepared me for the business world. It is is not always easy but in the end it was worth every penny.

What is your best memories of UL?
My best memories of UL involve just being a part of the university. I always was and always will be proud that I attended UL. The memories of everything from class projects, to trying to get on TV at football games for extra credit for class, to building homecoming floats with my sorority, to just being with friends all mean something to me that I will never be able to replace.

Long term, where do you want to go with your career?
There are so many things that I want to do in my career. I am still developing my career and where I want to move on to in the future. I have 2 major goals for my career. One, to work at a W Hotel and second is to open my own dessert lounge. I know the knowledge and experience that I have gotten from working on ships will carry me into the next part of my career when I am ready. Hospitality is what I love so I know that will always be this industry.

Advice to students who are graduating this semester?
Honesty, the best advice I can give graduating students is simply to say Live the dream. You have a life of unknowns ahead of you and the best thing you can do is enjoy it. You will make mistakes, fall on your face, not see the end of the madness of sending out resumes... but soon it will all come together m and you will get to enjoy the efforts of your hard work. We all want to make it to the top in life but don't forget that it is the journey to the top that makes being there so good. Don't be afraid of hard work, love what you do everyday and live your dreams. 

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