On my first day as a Southwest Airlines summer intern, I was told that our internship class of 76 was selected from a pool of 13,000 candidates. I knew how truly fortunate I was to be offered a position in the NoLimits Internship Program but it still took a moment or two to get my mind around the idea of being one of 13,000. For most professions, an internship is a critical component in the post-grad job search and the opportunity to learn from a Company as highly-regarded as Southwest is something I do not take lightly.
I was given challenging and meaningful assignments from the get-go. As an aspiring public relations professional, I was eager to learn as much as I could in a short amount of time. In these last few months, I’ve been exposed to so many of the facets of PR. I can go back to college to face my last year as an undergrad with the certainty that I’m headed in the direction of a career I’ll love.
I didn’t spend my entire summer in a cubicle, either. I attended special intern events hosted by our NoLimits team, Company Deck Parties, media events, and flight museum exhibit openings. Southwest celebrated its 40th anniversary this summer and my internship class could not wait to get in on the festivities! The Company put on the Dallas Spirit Party in June and I was nothing short of amazed as approximately 10,000 Employees and guests filed into three large aircraft maintenance hangars. I remember thinking to myself that all future “office parties” in my career would surely pale in comparison.
I made use of my nonrevenue travel privileges as every good Southwest Intern should. The opportunity to see new places and travel with new friends really puts the NoLimits internship in a category of its own! Traveling to cooler parts of the country during the blistering hot Texas summer was quite a relief. This Texas girl can only handle so many days above 100 degrees…
As I wrap up my summer here, I realize how pivotal this has been for me as a student and as a person. Southwest Airlines welcomes you in, treats you like Family and sends you on to do great things. And if you’re lucky enough, you just might stick around for good.
The SWAmazing Race
It’s true; the Employees at Southwest work hard and play hard. As an intern here this summer I have had the chance to witness firsthand the unique corporate Culture that makes Southwest so unique. This summer has been one big adventure, from learning valuable skills, making new friends, and traveling around the Country to new places like New Orleans, Miami, Boston, and South Padre. One of the many reasons I LUV'd interning with the NoLimits program was all the FUN activities that are planned for us interns.
Earlier this Summer, the halls of Southwest Headquarters were taken over by 76 eager interns who raced through the building competing in the world-renowned "Intern Amazing Race."
Okay, maybe it's only SWA-renowned, but the stakes are high every year, and bragging rights are on the line (not to mention, this is the biggest intern class Southwest has ever seen). The main goal of the Intern Amazing Race is to get to know the other interns, who work in other departments.
The games began by splitting us into eight groups, and each team was given one clue. The teams wasted no time getting started and making way to nine stations positioned around Headquarters. At each station, each team completed tasks that ranged from skipping down the halls in crazy costumes, to answering Southwest trivia.
In the end, there could only be one winner, and that of course was my team: The Herbies!
My teammate, Revenue Management Intern Zac F., took note of the diversity among the different Southwest Departments.
All seven of us Herbies were able to put our heads together.
By day's end, we met new people, explored parts of the building we'd never seen, and basked in the world class Southwest Culture.
And besides the bragging rights, my team received some great Southwest gear for coming in first place. Okay, so it's not the $1 million prize the winners of the actual Amazing Race receive, but it sure made us feel like a million bucks!
As the summer comes to a close I can’t help but feel like I won the lottery by having the opportunity to work at a place like Southwest. It is truly a Family here, and as an Intern I was pleasantly surprised to find that everyone welcomed us in with open arms. Hopefully, this summer will only be the first of many great experiences with this amazing Company.