… not ones earned in a classroom! Two MMA alums, both admitting to not getting many A’s on their report cards while at the Academy, have both scored top grades elsewhere – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. to be exact.
Mark Curtis, a 1996 graduate of St. John’s Prep, Danvers, MA, earned a degree in Maritime Safety and Environmental Protection from MMA in 2000. Inspired by the Exxon Valdez oil spill in ’89, Curtis was determined to spend his life cleaning up oil spills. MMA was best equipped to teach him how. During his senior internship, working for a clean up company off the coast of California, Curtis concluded that preventing spills might be a better career choice.
After thirteen years with Royal Caribbean, holding several positions both onboard the ships and ashore, Curtis now leads a Situation Management Team in their corporate offices in Miami, FL. “Today, I am responsible for monitoring and managing fleet emergencies including: foreign government or labor strikes and protests; man-overboard; violence outbreaks; mechanical breakdowns; oil spills etc.,” he said. “When it comes to achieving such a position, never assume that a job will be handed to you simply because you have more stripes or better grades. More often than not, in the professional world, it is how you come across during the interview that makes the difference. Passion shows itself,” he added.
Another Academy grad, Sean McDermott, MMA class of ’06 and Marine Safety and Environmental Protection major, graduated from Auburn High School, Auburn, MA in 2002. After graduating from the Academy he sailed as an Environmental Officer on cruise ships for five years before assuming his current role of Senior Analyst, Environmental Incident Prevention & Response, for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., also based in Miami.
“Without a doubt, MMA did a great job at preparing me for where I am in my career today. Not only on the academic side of things, but being a part of the Cadet Leadership my Junior and Senior years at MMA definitely put me a step above other college graduates, as I was immediately put into a senior position where that leadership training really came in handy,” McDermott noted.
Both of these upwardly mobile alums are seeing the world, loving their jobs and earning “A”s in all the right places!