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MBAs in Unique Emerging Leaders Internship Program Spend Summer at Two Different Companies to Better Understand the Buyer-Supplier Relationship

May 26, 2011
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UM MBA students at Royal Caribbean

Five MBA students are spending their summer as interns in a unique two-company internship program. The students, Erica Lynn Durst, Irena Katzarkov, Brett Harbin, Marian Johnson, and G. Wesley McGeorge, started the program at Bacardi U.S.A. Inc. where they worked for two months, before moving on to positions at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. in June.

The Emerging Leaders Internship Program, offered for the first time this summer, provides a unique opportunity for MBA students to experience business from two different company and industry perspectives during a single summer internship. This year, two of the students are working in marketing, one in sales, one in finance and one in strategy. The students and the program were featured prominently in an article published in The Miami Herald June 21.

“The Emerging Leaders Program enables our students to get a true sense of the buyer-supplier relationship as they experience both sides first-hand,” said Frances Aldrich Sevilla-Sacasa, interim dean of the University of Miami School of Business Administration. “We are very fortunate to have the support of Bacardi U.S.A. and Royal Caribbean, both global leaders in their own industries, as we launch this groundbreaking internship program.”

The Emerging Leaders Program is the result of collaboration between members of the School’s Board of Overseers. The chief financial officers of both Bacardi U.S.A. Inc. and Royal Caribbean, Michael Misiorski and Brian Rice, are members of the board and the program was developed as part of the board’s work to develop new career opportunities for the School’s students.

“This innovative partnership is a big win for all three of our organizations,” said Michael Misiorski, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Americas, Bacardi U.S.A. Inc. “The students will benefit by having the opportunity to not only gain practical experience through mentoring and coaching and enhance their leadership skills, but to also see how our companies operate internally from the supplier side to the consumer side. Likewise, our companies can tap into the University of Miami’s remarkable MBA talent.”

“While our existing internship program has proven itself extremely fruitful, Royal Caribbean is excited to work with another successful, local company to take the program to the next level,” said Brian Rice, chief financial officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.  “Together with Bacardi, we will introduce a group of top-quality MBA students to our industries, company cultures and dynamic business models, and provide them with a thorough understanding of our organization in the hopes that they will choose to continue applying their skills in South Florida.”
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