Lourdes helps local man get into cruise businessWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
John Tarpy, a student in the Master of Organizational Leadership (MOL) program at Lourdes College, is already using his newly acquired education to get into the cruise business.
Tarpy recently was accredited as an independent cruise specialist for CruiseOne, a division of World Travel Holdings. With more than 600 independently owned and operated franchises across the country, CruiseOne combines the latest technology with old-fashioned customer service to provide customers with the best possible travel plans.
In order to receive accreditation, Tarpy had to pass the company’s intensive training program with a curriculum in sales and marketing, hands-on computer orientation, product briefings by major cruise lines and onboard ship inspections.
“I researched the franchise for two or three months as I had a lot of questions about it,” Tarpy said.
The company is a global leader in the travel industry and leading seller of cruises in North America, Tarpy said.
“I fell in love with the company and I’m having a lot of fun working with them. I enjoy helping people and already helped a woman who was interested in joining CruiseOne,” said Tarpy. “CruiseOne has a mentor program and I think I would like to become a mentor with them.”
Tarpy said the support CruiseOne provides is incredible with access to all cruise lines around the world and matching the best prices available. It also connects him with companies for land vacations.
He went for one week of training in November at CruiseOne’s headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It involved working eight to 10 hours a day with presentations by two cruise lines per day, he said.
His training also included making a ship inspection aboard the Oasis of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, in order to become professionally certified. Tarpy is a member of the Cruise Line International Association and expects to earn certification within one year.
He said he is working with Mark Bryant, a franchise coordinator with CruiseOne to open his business officially later this month. He already has a Web link with CruiseOne at www.CruiseOne.com/jtarpy.
Tarpy said that he was fortunate to get an ad for his cruise business in the local Yellow Pages directory for 2011 that is due out in February.
Tarpy credits his educational experience in the MOL program at Lourdes with assisting him in achieving his goal to operate his own business.
“The MOL changes you, opens your mind and helps bring your life and career experiences together. Everything seems possible. You learn so much about yourself and the right way to do things,” Tarpy said.
“I don’t want to send people on a cruise or vacation that isn’t right for them,” he said.
He is working on a research project about women in political leadership for the final stage of the MOL. Tarpy said that he intends to write a book about organizational structure after he completes the program at Lourdes.
“I just love it and the people at Lourdes. The professors teach with empathy, which is important,” Tarpy said.
The MOL program at Lourdes seeks to enhance critical thinking, higher-order reasoning and ethical virtue in leadership. Principles of scientifically developed leadership and their application to real-world challenges are the core of the academic curriculum, according to the college.
Tarpy had worked as a controller and chief financial officer for two companies after earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UT. After being unemployed for a couple years, he decided to go into business for himself and enrolled in the MOL at Lourdes.
Tarpy had never been on a cruise or ship before getting involved with CruiseOne.
“My parents had been on several cruises and I thought it would be exciting and it is,” he said.