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Campus Reach: Returning to my Second Home

Explorer C

When I was given a research project about Southwest Airlines during my junior year of college, I was amazed by what I learned about this once underdog airline that worked its way to the top, using its Heart to guide the way. I quickly grew passionate about Southwest, and realized that I wanted to be part of this Company. I knew that I had to apply for a Campus Reach Internship Program for summer 2015. After a few interviews, I was thrilled to receive word that I was being offered an Internship in the Communication & Outreach Department on the Community Affairs & Grassroots Team. I could not imagine then all of the amazing things I would get to experience on this Team, much less the wonderful People I would meet along the way. As an Intern last summer, my big project was to assist in the planning and execution of Southwest’s annual Grassroots Conference (Days on the Hill), in which Employees from all over the country convene in our nation’s capital to learn about the legislative process and how it affects Southwest. After weeks of planning, it was incredible to go to Washington, D.C. to experience the conference first-hand. I had responsibilities as if I was a full-time Employee and Kelby_Propsal2was entrusted to add value to the Company as a whole. What an amazing experience to gain as a student still in college! As a fun side note, once the conference was over, I was able to stay in D.C. for the weekend to explore, and was surprised with a proposal from my now fiancé. Southwest has played a role in many love stories throughout the years, and I am honored that they played a small role in mine! August came too soon, and I was headed back for my senior year at Harding University. But, I couldn’t wait to get back to Southwest! I realized that there was an opportunity for me to return to Southwest for the spring 2016 semester. After going through the application process once again, I was delighted to learn that I would get to come back--but this time on the Community Programs & Engagement Team! Kelby_TennesseeOne_FlighttoDAL I was honored to have the opportunity to return, and my excitement grew during my first week of work when I learned  that Southwest would be unveiling a new specialty plane during my semester—Tennessee One. My new Team was actively working on this project when I started my Internship, and I was again blown away by their willingness to allow me to participate. On Feb. 22, I was able to attend the reveal event in Nashville, followed by a flight to Memphis with a Live @ 35 featuring country artists Chris Young and Cassadee Pope. After the celebrations , I was given the opportunity to ride with a few Employees back to Dallas to show off Tennessee One with a fly-by for Employees waiting at Headquarters. That entire day I felt so much pride and passion for this amazing Company. It’s safe to say that I am officially in love with this Company! Southwest is my second home, and the Employees and fellow Interns are Family. A Campus Reach Internship at Southwest is so much more than just an internship, it's an experience that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.
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