The following blog post was co-written by Campus Reach Interns and husband-wife duo, Parker and Tara Banks.
The Campus Reach program welcomes hundreds of Interns each year and grants them the opportunity to learn, grow, and explore as students seek to gain professional experience. This semester, we were both welcomed on as Campus Reach Interns. But what makes our story so special? We are the first married Southwest Intern couple and we can both say, without a doubt, that it has been neat to share the experience with one another, as well as our love for Southwest.
Parker Banks- Fortunately, I have grown up around Southwest since my father joined the Company as a mechanic (now a Maintenance Inspector) in 2003. Many of my childhood memories include the whirlwind of flying standby to cities across the U.S., while continuously exploring new airports. From a young age, I understood that Southwest is a great organization to work for, with a Culture that other companies cannot simply match or imitate. I once attended the annual holiday party in the hangar, where even Santa Claus heard about all the fun and made an appearance. Though I didn’t always know what I wanted to do professionally, I knew that if I could ever get my foot in the door at Southwest, it would be the best decision I could make. Ever since my freshman year in college, I knew I wanted to gain an internship experience, and Southwest was always going to the first place I submitted my application. After Tara and I got married, I encouraged her to do her research, as well and apply for the once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Tara Banks- Although Southwest Airlines has been the airline of choice for my family for as long as I can remember, I didn’t know anything about what it’s like to work at Southwest. Luckily, when I married into the Banks family, I was able to capture a glimpse of the world of Southwest through nonrev travel, seeing the airplanes in the hangar up close and personal, and meeting my father-in-law’s Cohearts. I noticed that the Employees I met absolutely love working at Southwest, and I knew that it would be an honor to work for the Company. As my husband, Parker, and I discussed internship opportunities, I knew I wanted to apply, too, and hopefully get to firsthand experience the unbeatable Culture at Southwest. Fortunately for us, after a few months of interviews, it all worked out. We have been carpooling to work ever since!
Parker and Tara Banks- We have had some great experiences at Southwest and have created many memories thus far, from participating in the Intern Not-So-Amazing Race (a scavenger hunt held at the Southwest Headquarters to promote friendly competition), attending the Southwest Rally in Dallas, and, of course, taking advantage of our free flight privileges on the weekends. Our favorite trip so far was a day trip to St. Louis. We did the rounds to all the tourist spots like the arch, the city museum, and Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals play. However, what we didn’t know is that St. Louis hosted one of the largest Mardi Gras parades in the nation, and we just happened to be there for that. It was an absolute blast!
We feel fortunate to have the opportunity to grow our Family together as part of the Southwest Family and we look forward to making more memories at Southwest Airlines!