Skip to main content

 Good News November 28, 2011 



SRU Good News for Nov. 28, 2011


SRU education lands dream Australian cruise ship job

Matt Pugh, a May Slippery Rock University music education graduate, grew up in Butler and says, “I definitely didn’t think my first job out of college would be on the other side of the world.” But, that’s the case after landing a job The Pacific Jewel cruise ship.

 Pugh is playing drums in a piano, bass trio up to five hours nightly – and exploring a variety of exotic cruise stops in his off time. His homeport is Sydney, Australia, and his musical talents will take him throughout the South Pacific aboard P&O Cruises Australia’s ship.

 “That is pretty much an ideal cruise ship job, for me. I'll get to play a variety of music, improvise, and actually interact with other musicians – not just play the same show every night,” he said.

 The ship, launched in 1989, carries up to 2,000 passengers. Pugh applied for the gig online through Proship, a Montreal-based talent agency. He underwent a few phone interviews and emailed a video/audio audition. “It took a little over a month to get hired,” he said.

 “I think being a music education major at Slippery Rock University not only prepared me to teach music, but also helped me become a capable musician. I especially owe the jazz faculty, including Dr. [David] Glover, Dr. [Stephen] Hawk and Dr. [Jason] Kush, for preparing me as a drum set player for a job like this,” he said.

 Pugh credits a travel excursion to St. Lucia with SRU’s Center for Student Involvement and Leadership for requiring him to obtain a U.S. Passport – needed before he could be hired. The hiring process also included a background check, obtaining a work visa and a pricey medical test, which he said was, “No fun!”

 The ship under takes two-day to three-week outings and some short weekend trips around the coast of Australia. It also visits ports in New Zealand, Tahiti and Fiji.

 “My parents are pleased that I have a job at all, but they're very excited that I'm going to have such a great life experience for my first job. I think being away from family will be one of the most difficult things. We're definitely thankful to live in the age of technology. When I was a kid, I never thought I'd be able to video chat with my family from New Zealand,” he said. 

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.