Channeling My Inner Cruise Director

by Taylor Pasquarelli

Duquesne University has always been a special place for me. I remember when I first was accepted to Duquesne as an undergraduate, I was NERVOUS. It was my first time being away on my own, my first time living in the city, and it meant that this is where my adult life began. During those four years at Duquesne, not only did I meet friends and faculty that will remain with me, but I also gained the confidence and experience that a young professional need in order to venture off into the working world, and that I did.

I worked at many different companies after graduation; however, the biggest challenge I faced in the working world was becoming a Cruise Director for American Airlines. Although it was my hardest job, it was my absolute favorite. I was in charge of all activities on and off the ship, I was forced out of my comfort zone daily (even hourly), and I created relationships and memories with people from all over the world.  It was this position that led me to develop the skills that I needed to get through my next great challenge, COVID-19.

I always knew that I wanted to earn my MBA. However, I never imagined that it would be from my own living room. Although this may seem like a dream to most, it was very difficult for me to imagine completing this huge chapter of my life, all from behind my computer screen. So, on the first day of orientation, I channeled my inner Cruise Director, slapped on a smile, and it has been smooth sailing ever since…. kind of. It is as smooth as it can be with my difficult relationship with technology. Every once in a while, (more often than I would like to admit) a member of my cohort has to throw me a life jacket, and I am more than thankful!

Although this is not what I was expecting when I imagined going back to school, I am so thankful for the challenges, experiences, and the people that I have been introduced to throughout this program. And in May, I cannot wait to throw on the blue cap and gown with my cohort, and complete another chapter of my life at Duquesne once more.