A Southwest Summer: Take-Two as an Intern
A Southwest Summer: Take-Two as an Intern
My name is Adam B., and I’m the summer Multimedia Intern for the Creative Studio Team in our Culture & Communications Department. I’m a senior at Texas Tech University, double majoring in Creative Media Industries and Advertising.
My journey with Southwest Airlines began in the summer of 2022 when I interned with the Creative Studio Team. The breadth of their work is one of the things that drew me to the Team. The Creative Studio Team works with hundreds of Internal Customers to produce visual content via photography, videography, animation, graphic design, and live events. The Team creates and captures the stories of Southwest Airlines, its Employees, and its Customers in a way that educates, inspires, and celebrates the unique Culture and Heart of the Company.
I learned about the Campus Reach Program during a career development event in January 2022. The keynote speaker for the conference was Linda Rutherford, Chief Administration & Communications Officer at Southwest Airlines. After the event, I met a member of the Talent Acquisition Team and learned about the Team I’d eventually intern for that summer.
When considering where I wanted to intern for the summer of 2023, it was an easy decision to return to Southwest. As a Company, Southwest has an infectious Culture of passion and kindness. My Team is full of so many talented creatives, allowing for an environment full of collaboration, problem-solving, and innovative storytelling. Returning to my Team meant I’d have the opportunity to continue pushing myself to grow as a creative.
My daily work in photography and videography means that on any given day I could be actively covering an event, planning our coverage, or editing an event we’ve already captured. The Creative Studio Team works based on requests that we receive from our Internal Customers. For example, we might produce an Employee profile at the request of the Recruitment Marketing Team, capture photos of a new specialty aircraft livery for the External Communications Team, or film and edit an internal message sent to the entire Company from the Executive Office.
One of my favorite memories from my time with Southwest was this summer when I had the chance to spend two days with a Make-A-Wish family that came to see our Corporate Campus and Dallas (Love Field) Station. It was special to capture the family's experience while with us and see all the activities planned to make the trip memorable. Editing the video about the trip was so rewarding and encapsulated the Southwest Spirit, which can be hard to articulate at times.
My time as an Intern in the Campus Reach Program at Southwest has prepared me for my future in three ways.
- I’ve learned to be proactive in saying yes to every opportunity that comes my way. In turn, my Team allowed me to participate in many projects across the Company. I’ve worked with almost every member of our Executive Office, traveled to Colorado and Arizona, and worked independently with our Internal Customers.
- Take advantage of available opportunities to grow your skills! By participating in numerous opportunities with the Campus Reach Program, including Senior Leader Coffee Chats, professional development classes, Intern events, and tours of facilities unique to aviation, I’ve increased my exposure to better understand the business.
- Most importantly, I’ve grown more confident in my abilities during my time at Southwest. It’s so beneficial to continue to learn, challenge yourself, and gain confidence in your abilities outside of the classroom, especially in an environment as new and exciting as an internship.
What’s my advice to students interested in the Campus Reach Internship Program? Lean into your personal story. Make your passion for your field, unique skills, and your personality traits evident in your applications and interviews. Consider what you want to accomplish in your internship, not just in terms of your projects, but what you want to improve, and how you want to challenge yourself so you can walk out of your internship more prepared and well-rounded. Speak up in meetings, make your thoughts known when you have them, and actively take a role in making your internship as valuable to yourself as possible.
Spending the past two summers at Southwest has been the most beneficial aspect of my development as a student, a creative, and most importantly as a person. I’ve yet to meet a person at Southwest that isn’t teeming with passion for their work and the Company. Thank you to Southwest Airlines and my amazing Cohearts on the Creative Studio Team for everything you’ve done to make me who I am today.
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