An internship programme between Royal Caribbean International and the University of Chester has received this year’s Educate North Award for Student Engagement.

The award recognises excellence in the education sector in the North of England.

The programme, which is in its third year, gives a group of second year students studying International Tourism Management at the University of Chester the chance to join the Royal Caribbean team for a month. Chosen by a selection process which takes into account academic performance and an interview process, students are given a project by a different area of the business, with support from a mentor.

This year’s students were invited onboard a two-night familiarisation cruise on Independence of the Seas, to support the Royal Caribbean team in the re-launch of the ship following a multi-million pound makeover.

During their month in the business, they worked in account management, trade incentivisation, customer events and retail activations, digital marketing and the customer journey and marketing.

Ben Bouldin, associate VP and managing director, Royal Caribbean International, UK & Ireland, said: “The internship programme was founded on a belief that tomorrow’s travel industry leaders could be the young people joining our industry through initiatives such as these. As we enter our third year of the programme, in partnership with the University of Chester, it is incredibly rewarding to be recognised by Educate North for the work that we are doing to develop and foster this next generation of talent within the travel industry.”

Dr. Maeve Marmion, Chester’s programme leader for International Tourism Management, said: “We are so pleased to be able to offer our students this first-hand experience of the industry, which in turn will help prepare them to excel as graduates. Thanks to the fantastic team at RCI for their passion and dedication to the internship programme and very well done to our past and current interns for shining in their RCI roles.”