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How the Internship I Never Knew I Needed Became the Opportunity that was All I Ever Wanted


At Southwest Airlines,  we love to showcase our amazing Interns. It especially brings me joy when an Intern is hired as a full-time Southwest Employee! It’s my pleasure to share the journey of one former Intern who transitioned from applicant, to Intern, and finally full-time Employee. Meet Nicole Ganung, Associate Software Engineer.


Nicole Ganung Main.png


The Beginning of my Southwest Journey

Southwest Airlines had never really been on my radar as a place to work or intern. However, during my second year of college at Rochester Institute of Technology, in Rochester New York, I met a Southwest Associate Business Analyst named Mike, who worked in the Technology Department at Southwest. At the time, I overlooked the airline industry because I didn’t think I would find much work related to software development, but boy was I wrong! After discussing Mike’s role at Southwest in more detail, I learned that there are a lot of different opportunities at Southwest, and Mike and I had a lot in common career-wise. From that moment we became good friends.


A year later, I was walking past the Southwest booth at a career fair at the university when I heard Mike shouting my name, asking me to stop by the booth. I walked over, and he introduced me to a Southwest Recruiter. We had a great conversation about Southwest’s Technology Department, so I decided to apply for a summer 2018 internship. Shortly after applying, I had a phone interview, and then received an invitation to fly to Southwest’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas for an in-person interview! When I arrived at Southwest, I was extremely nervous until I walked into a room full of welcoming and smiling faces, ready to talk about all of my accomplishments and reinforce why Southwest would be a great fit for me. Soon after, I received an offer for a summer 2018 internship as a Software Engineer!


My Internship Takes Flights

Several months later, I made the move from Rochester to Dallas, which was the farthest distance I had ever been from my family or friends. During my first week at Southwest, I received a tremendous amount of support from my Leaders, Mentors, fellow Interns, and Recruiters. Throughout my internship, it was fulfilling to work with many other Technology Interns, who all had similar technological backgrounds. Our group got really close as we worked on projects such as building applications to help our Operations Agents, and would travel the country together on the weekends. It made for the best summer of my life! 


Nicole with her fellow Summer InternsNicole with her fellow Summer Interns

After, completing my first internship in summer 2018, I went back to school and then returned the following summer for a second internship. I recently wrapped up my second internship at Southwest and am happy to announce I accepted a job as a full-time Employee! I can see a long future here. Southwest has not only helped me grow my personal and technical skills, but it has also given me lifelong friends. I’m so thankful to Mike and my Team for helping me get to where I am now. I look forward to continuing my journey with Southwest in the spring as a New Hire. 


It’s not too late for you to start your own journey with Southwest as an Intern or full-time Employee. Click here for more information on how to apply.