I always imagined myself leaping into the corporate world with my shiny new college degree in tow, while climbing the proverbial ladder and becoming someone amazing. I hadn’t quite decided on an industry, where the ladder was, or how high it reached, but I knew I’d climb somewhere pretty high.
As my career unfolds, I step back and reflect on my strides in school. My string of odd jobs consisted of: department store clerk, cosmetics consultant, bowling alley jockey, child development intern, and freshman orientation advisor. Of course, that was all perfect preparation for a job in personal finance!
I scored my first post-collegiate gig as a loan officer. Yippie! A real J-O-B! Terrified at first, I quickly memorized the loan products and terminology, and I researched the competition. Most importantly, I learned about my customers’ needs and expectations. My customers appreciated my time spent writing loans to achieve their goals, and easing their confusion about such large investments.
After a year writing loans, I decided that graduate school would teach me the current business trends I needed to be successful. I chose Marketing because I wanted to work closely with customers. Being in school again was exhausting, but I was determined to earn my degree and land a great job. I thought I’d never have to be an intern again! That was before Southwest came along…
It was a little strange being an Intern again. I wondered, “Would I be the only grad student? How would my Coworkers treat me?” I’m into my first few weeks as a Marketing Intern at Southwest, I’m not the only grad student, and I’m already learning fascinating things about the airline industry. I never imagined that my Team’s projects would be so carefully intertwined with so many other Departments within the Company! My Supervisor assigned me to two interesting projects teaching me about the competitive nature of airlines and the studies tracking Customer satisfaction. She keeps me busy!
The Culture at Southwest separates this Internship from my previous jobs. My Coworkers treat me like part of the Team, and they’re willing to take me under their wing and teach me anything. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, nurturing creativity and curiosity. Perfect for an active grad student! I’m starting to see that Southwest cares about the Company outside and in, Customers and Employees. That’s what sets Southwest apart from other airlines and corporations. I graduated into big ‘C’ and big ‘E’ territory!
I can tell I’m immersed in a constantly evolving industry with an exponential learning curve. It’s more than a valuable career experience; it will get me thinking about work as a career instead of just a job, instilling the confidence I need to be a dynamic professional.
Since college, I climbed a ladder up 36,000 feet. I think that’s a mighty fine start.