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MBA Student Names Celebrity Cruises’ Newest Ship

January 26, 2011
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One of the School’s second-year MBA students is proving his marketing savvy already by helping one of the world’s leading cruise companies with a critical part of a new ship launch – finding a name for it. Craig Hardeman, who worked with the company as an intern this summer, gets the credit for coming up with the name Reflection for the fifth ship in Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice Class.

Hardeman was hired by Celebrity to work on crew satisfaction and turnover analysis, as well as to research social media strategies to acquire direct hires. To give him a better idea of what it was like for crew members on the ship, the firm sent him on a one-week cruise. A few weeks later, he heard the company was searching for a name for the new ship and that management was open to suggestions from throughout the firm.

“I had a list of about 20 names after a couple weeks and Reflection was actually at the top,” says Hardeman. “After being on board and seeing these people, day in and day out, put so much into their work, as well as being surrounded by compassionate people at the corporate office, I felt there needed to be acknowledgment of the people who position Celebrity as a leader in the premium cruise industry.”

Hardeman says he sent a paragraph with his thoughts to an associate vice president, who sent it on to the CEO, Dan Hanrahan. It then went in front of the board, where it was approved.

“Needless to say, I was stunned at the news and had some trouble processing it all, even for even a few days after I had heard the news,” says Hardeman. “I am grateful that Celebrity’s management was so open to ideas from any aspect of the business.”

Hardeman even got to celebrate, thanks to Celebrity. The firm sent him on a cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse in November.

Reflection will be the fifth ship in Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice Class

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