Written by special contributor, Lance Fleming

While millions worldwide spent part of their summer vacation enjoying the ocean and sea air while taking a cruise, ACU junior business management major Dan Hastings spent his summer making sure some of those people had the time of their lives.

Hastings worked as an intern for Vagabond Cruise Lines during the summer and spent it based in Hilton Head, South Carolina, one of the busiest vacation spots in the country. We recently caught up with Hastings, a native of Westborough, Massachusetts, and got a rundown of his summer spent with Vagabond Cruise.

Q: What did you do in your internship?

Hastings: I worked with 12 other interns, serving guests daily through different roles. The main functions were food and beverage, reservations/back office, and on-the-boat work. Some days, I would work on the sailboat taking out trips, talking to guests, raising the sails, and other duties that needed to be performed on that boat, but the next day, I might work in the office handling reservations. The variety of this internship is what made every day new and exciting. 

Q: What was your favorite part of the internship?

Hastings: My favorite part of the internship was living on the island and being on the water daily. I love the ocean, and the opportunity to spend my summer on it was incredible. 

Q: What are the most significant lessons you learned in your internship?

Hastings: One of the biggest lessons I learned is that it’s OK to make mistakes as long as you learn and grow from them. I also learned a lot about teamwork and how crucial it is to have a cohesive team that you can rely on to achieve the organization’s goals. 

Q: How do you see this experience aiding you in the future?

Hastings: Hospitality is my passion. I love serving others, and this internship was a way for me to practice and perfect how to have good interactions with guests and clients. That experience is what I’ll hold with me going into the future. 

Q: Do you have any tips for future interns or students looking for internships?

Hastings: Don’t be afraid to try something new, even if you know little about it. I traveled across the country to a place I had never been to move in with people I had never met, and it turned into an incredible, unforgettable summer. 

Q: How has your time at ACU prepared you for this internship and future employment?

Hastings: ACU has taught me so much about interacting with people professionally and casually. I’ve learned that through close relationships with friends and professors in the very welcoming ACU community. What an ACU student brings to the table is an attitude of gratitude and willingness to work hard, even if the work is exhausting or not what you enjoy. 

Q: What’s been your most memorable experience as a business or technology student at ACU?

Hastings: The COBA faculty! They genuinely want what’s best for you and go out of their way to foster student success daily.

COBA seeks to develop connected, inspired, and equipped business and technology professionals who honor God and bless the world through:

    • Distinctive programs
    • Lifelong relationships
    • Pathways for impact

To learn more about the College of Business at ACU, click here.