Since 2017, GenHERation and Southwest Airlines have worked together to help inspire the next generation. GenHERation is a community where companies and young women are brought together for career development and networking opportunities—and Southwest has truly helped us bring this partnership to the next level. This summer, GenHERation partnered with Southwest Airlines to send five of our GenHERation members to Southwest Summer Camp in Dallas, where the young women experienced the legendary Southwest Culture and explored career opportunities in aviation.
Three of our attendees—Alexandra, Karla, and Lakshmi—flew (for the first time ever!) from Watsonville, California, where they attend Ceiba College Preparatory Academy. The three young women were soon joined by two other GenHERation members: , who attends the Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey, and Adhya, who goes to school in Oklahoma City. All of the GenHERation members were eager to get a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to work at Southwest Airlines, and share their top three takeaways from Southwest Summer Camp 2018:
Takeaway #1: Southwest has a little something for everyone.
During camp, participants interacted with professionals from many different Departments at Southwest Airlines. They listened to keynote speakers from the Network Planning and Cybersecurity Departments and chatted with Employees from Safety and Security, Communications and Outreach, Supply Chain Management, and Flight Operations. Hands-on breakout sessions were integrated throughout camp to simulate real-life scenarios that Southwest Employees encounter every day.
“I was interested in discovering the types of roles Employees have at Southwest,” shared Karla. “I know that many people see a successful Company when they get on a Southwest plane, without thinking in-depth about how the airline works, so I wanted to gain more insight about the work behind all the success. For example, ‘who takes my luggage?’ By participating in Southwest Summer Camp, I was able to learn how Southwest functions in its planning and executing their goals to satisfy their Customers’ needs.”
Takeaway #2: At Southwest, you’re Family.
Embarking on a new journey or experience can be scary, but if embraced by a welcoming environment, that new situation can be much more manageable. Alexandra was excited about the Family environment Southwest Employees created at camp. For young women like Alexandra, it helped her to feel included especially when going completely out of her comfort zone in traveling to Dallas. Alexandra shared, “As soon as I met my team’s supervisor, I discovered a key part of the Culture at Southwest: you’re not just Coworkers; you’re Family. The Employees welcomed me as if they had known me for years, helping me integrate with the other campers at the event!”
Takeaway #3: Southwest Airlines is in the business of connecting People.
When asked about the biggest benefit of participating in Southwest Summer Camp, Meghna said, “I gained important advice and developed a network of people that I connected with throughout the week. The advice I was given at camp will definitely be applied to my professional pursuits. I learned that establishing a network and reaching out to others will help you gain new information and opportunities for internships, careers, and more.”
After spending time at Southwest Summer Camp, the girls truly learned what it means to be an Employee at Southwest Airlines as they explored new horizons.