Student Spotlight: Shon Ford “Cruiseman 3000”

IMG_20120531_145013[1] IMG_20121121_155351[1] IMG_20121121_160838[1]Shon Ford developed a remarkable fascination for “cruising” ever since his very first cruise trip at the young age of 11 with his mother. It just took that one trip to know that cruising would be something of great influence throughout his lifetime. In high school,  a media specialist encouraged him to learn more about the cruise line industry and ultimately he started his very own cruise blog: The Ocean Escape which launched in 2010. He continued venturing on numerous cruises and began typing up reviews about his trips and different cruise lines. He even created video tours on youtube which gives travelers a better feel for each cruise and the various cruise lines offered. His focus is primarily on the American cruise market but his blog attracts travelers from all around the word interested in cruise vacations.

Favorite Cruise Ship- tie between Norwegian Epic and Carnival Breeze

Favorite Cruise Line- Norwegian

Favorite Port to Leave From- Baltimore

Favorite Destination- Bermuda

Favorite Thing About Cruise Lines- the whole travel aspect and that it is very global. Sometimes there are 70 countries represented on just one cruise. He enjoys talking to different crew members and the members of the different departments. He loves being able to entertain through blogging and achieving the notoriety in what “Cruiseman 3000” represents.

No. One Destination- 3 way tie between: Norwegian Fjords, Australia and new Zealand, and traveling the southern tip of South America

No. of Cruises Taken- Just got back from cruise number 29, will be a little over 30 by the end of this year!

Awards, Reviews, Rankings, and Accomplishments: Cruiseman 3000 has been featured on Cruise Law News‘ site as a trust-worthy cruise/travel writer/blogger (July 2011). And in 2012, Cruise Law News ranked his blog, The Ocean Escape, as a must read cruise site for 2012. On their Top 12 Blogs & Websites for Cruise News in 2012 list, he was ranked #10 (on the same list with Cruise Radio, USA Today Travel, and other notable travel writing veterans). Also, Travel TV producer Marianne Schwab listed him second (#2) on her Cruise Experts and Bloggers list to follow on Twitter. On RCI Fans website (a cruise blog totally devoted to writing about Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line), Shon is ranked as the third (#3) recommended blog to follow/read; Cruise Currents, ranks his blog #9 on a recommended cruise blog-reading list. Shon is also listed on a recommended cruise list according to Cruise News with Jennifer Stern.
In 2011, The Ocean Escape (Shon’s cruise review site) was a nominee for a Shorty Award for best short social media content usage in the cruise industry from his usage of Twitter (@CruiseMan3000). Most recently in 2012, his blog has been nominated for “Best Travel Blog” at the 2012 Black Weblog Awards. Cruiseman 3000 contributes to cruise and travel sites all across the world including multiple States in the U.S. (California, Ohio and Florida being the most popular), the UK, and even Australia. In 2013, he will be expanding his career as a travel writer, for he just signed a contract with Onboard Media, LLC (Miami-based) to sail on various ships to conduct cruise reviews. He was recently just announced as the newest cruise writer for CruiseCrazies sharing his 10 years of cruise industry insight on a new blog that actually launches this week (making this the second blog Shon will author). He has also been featured on Cruise Radio and online podcast, Cruize Cast. In July of this year, he will be the co-host of the biggest cruise industry gathering ever on the high seas on Norwegian Sky for a 4 day/3 night cruise. Shon is also finishing up his first book on cruise travel which he started writing in March 2011 and is hoping to release in the Fall of 2014 (right before graduation in December of that year).

Internship Opportunity Advice- Shon made note that internships are extremely competitive because cruise ship contracts are 6-8 months long, making them reluctant to have students for only a few months of employment. The best thing is to know one other or at least 2 other languages. This puts your resume at the top of the pile during the recruitment process. Shon reiterated that people apply from all over the world, setting you up on a global competitive scale. He suggests to look at cruise consultaion firms that specialize in cruises because they usually take in interns interested in the industry. You should learn about all the ins and out  before you even interview for a cruise line internship.

You can find more Cruiseman 3000’s social media presence through Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube all using /cruiseman3000.

The Latest Programs AHA is Now Offering!

aha-logo-mastThe American Hospitality Academy’s internship program is one of the world’s most well-known and respected providers of hospitality training and cultural exchange programs. Since 1986, AHA has been providing training programs for 1000’s of students worldwide in the USA.

AHA is now bringing their years of experience to provide the same quality programs to countries around the world.

AHA is very happy to announce they are now offering Internships in the followings countries:-

  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Canada

For full information on each of these programs please visit their website at

If  students are looking to see what is going on the AHA World or would like to speak to a past student, sign up for the AHA Facebook page which has over 3,500 past and current students happy to share their success stories at AHA.
Here is their Facebook link

Should students have any direct questions please do not hesitate to contact the Director of Recruitment & Intl Placements, Richard Skinner on Skype at aha_europe or feel free to email him at

Summer Employment Opportunity at Chevy Chase Country Club

chevychaseA message from Chevy Chase Country Club:

As we have done in the past, we are reaching out to local colleges and universities to see if any first year students within the hospitality programs would be interested in taking a server position for the summer as our internship spaces are limited. This is a great way to get their foot in the door at a large club with a proven internship program. Our desire is to have some students come in for the summer in a line level capacity in hopes they excel and enjoy the club environment and thus apply for internship positions the following year. We have seen some recent success with this venture. We will expose these students to some limited amount of educational opportunities that are normally afforded to interns and will provide as much career development and support as we can to round out their summer.

Applications can be faxed to the attention Greg Sheara or Laura Stevenson, Manager of Clubhouse Dining at 240-395-2107

Below is a PDF attachment of the application.

Application for Employment

Internship Opportunity: Black Horse Inn

Black Horse InnSPECIAL EVENT INTERNSHIP for nationally recognized, award-winning inn and special event facility. Located in Warrenton, VA, in the heart of hunt-country, just one mile from historic Old Town Warrenton, and 45 minutes from Washington, D.C. The ideal person will assume responsibility in assisting the Manager with event management. Position requires an organized, mature, detail oriented professional to coordinate and execute weddings, social events, meetings, event planning and hospitality. Flexibility in schedule and weekend work required. Must have reliable transportation. E-mail resume and cover letter. Location:Warrenton, VA

Contact: Lynn Pirozzoli , CEO and Owner
Cell 540 270-4885
Black Horse Inn
8393 Meetze Road
Warrenton, VA 20187
Inn 540 349-4020

Hospitality Student Conference

Save the Date!
Sunday, April 7, 2013
10 am-2 pm

 Hospitality Student Conference

Interested in learning more about events, hospitality and tourism, and recreation management?  Come meet industry professionals at our annual Hospitality Student Conference planned by the Professional Convention Management Association.  Registration includes breakfast, lunch, and many networking opportunities.  We will keep you updated with more information about registration and speakers.  You do not want to miss it!

Before March 31st:
Members: $10
Nonmembers: $15

After March 31st:
Registration is $20 for everyone.

JMU Dukes take on the Superbowl!

62374_570685026292871_1868025791_nEleven Sport and Recreation Management students had the amazing opportunity to take part in volunteering at the Superbowl! Here is what the students had to say about their experiences! Please connect with JMU Sport and Recreation Management by “liking” their Facebook page and browsing through photos, videos, and posts.

Bryce Cocke
“Being part of such a worldly renowned event and being fortunate enough to have experienced what I did is something that I will never forget.”

Kelsey Holmes
Graduate Student
“My New Orleans experience was inspiring; with the right people, any event can be done and done right.”

Brittney Jacks
“I am so thankful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make the fans’ experience as memorable as mine.”

Matthew Kaiser
“I found this to be a tremendous learning experience of the planning, organizing, leading, and controlling aspects of sport management and just how important those arease are to the success of an event.”

Sylvia Lee
“I can’t formulate my experience into words other than it changed my life.”

A.J. Monette
“This trip is one I will never forget. I learned so much about myself, my future field, and the sporting industry. It makes me excited to get to work.”

Jennifer Nelson
“Volunteering at the Super Bowl has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity filled with numerous memories and experiences that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Ally Nurik
“This experience taught me that working hard and having a positive attitude benefits you in the long run.”

Calvin Parson Jr.
“Being able to volunteer at an event of this magnitude allowed me to not only see what goes on behind the scenes when preparing for a major sporting event, but it gave me experience that can be applied later on in my career.”

 Jordan Underwood
“The experience was unique, humbling, and incredibly worthwhile. I wouldn’t change a single thing, especially the group with which I got to spend this amazing week.”

Cara Yaworske
“Despite the long hours and lack of sleep, you have to get up and do your job and you will get rewarded and feel great about what you did.”

Faculty Spotlight: Neil Marrin

SONY DSCLate this past Spring, our very own Neil Marrin was selected to be one of 2 Faculty Interns for the National Club Managers Association of America. For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to meet Neil yet, he is currently teaching Foundations Courses and Graduate level Fiscal Management. We interviewed Neil to learn more about his Faculty Intern position and his roles in the School of Hospitality, Sport & Recreation Management.


  • Please give us a description about you Intern Position and how you became interested in the CMAA program.

Neil explained that this Faculty Internship is sponsored by the National CMAA foundation. The main focus and goal is to provide faculty with a better prospective of the club management industry so they can better serve their students. Each year they pick one or 2 candidates from around the country to serve as faculty interns. This position includes many benefits such as attendance at the national leadership conference, with all  expenses covered by CMAA. The conference provides informative presentations, specifically geared towards professionals in the industry. The position even requires the faculty interns to shadow mangers which gives them the opportunity to cover the differentiation of clubs across the country. Because Neil is the faculty advisor for CMAA, this position gives him a network of contacts for students searching for internships and future careers.

  • How did you start your career in Sport & Rec and Hospitality?

Neil began his career in recreation, working for the YMCA youth and teen programs. He spent 20 years in municipal and worked his way up to Executive Director of a recreation agency in New York. Eventually, Neil was asked to teach at City University in New York, where he held lectures once a week. His experience at City University gave him the desire to start a teaching profession. Now making his mark at James Madison University, Neil is exposed to both Hospitality and Sports & Rec students through Foundations courses where he has become known as a hybrid of the two industries.

  • What’s your favorite thing about JMU?

“The students without question! I love being in the classroom and having interaction with my students. We also have a remarkable faculty that is very student focused and make a great team.”

Spring 2013 Career and Internship Fair

Connect | Experience | Matter
Tuesday, February 19, 12 – 4pm
Wednesday, February 20, 11am – 3pm
Festival Ballroom
Looking for a job, internship or volunteer opportunity? Come to the Spring Career, Internship & Service Fair to meet a VARIETY OF DIFFERENT EMPLOYERS FOR YOU TO ENGAGE WITH ON EACH DAY! Make sure you upload your resume to Recruit-a-Duke before you attend. This can be done at
While you’re at the Fair, check out the LinkedIn Photo Booth! Get a FREE professional photo taken of you dressed in your best.
Remember to dress professionally, research employers of interest, and bring copies of your resume. Enter your name for a chance to win a $1000 scholarship at the Fair!
Have questions? Stop by one of our Information Tables that will be set up around campus:
2/13- 1st Floor Harrison, 12-3pm
2/14- Upper Level Festival, 11-2pm
2/15- East Campus Dining Hall, 11-2pm
Or you can tweet us at @jmucap!
For more information on employers and preparation tips, visit can also contact Chris Campbell at or (540) 568-6555.
 The Spring Career, Internship & Service Fair is sponsored by the office of Career and Academic Planning.
 We hope to see you there!