Southwest’s Campus Reach program is all about getting Interns involved in real work from day one, but do you ever wonder what an Intern really does? Dive into this Intern’s calendar for a glimpse into a typical week of Facilities Project Intern Russell Kyles-Flewellen.
As a Facilities Project Intern at Southwest Airlines, no two days are the same. I work on a wide variety of projects—some I get to call my own, and others that allow me to work alongside tenured Project Managers. In my role, I assist with the development of Southwest construction standards for future renovations to the airports that we serve.
Here’s a small glimpse into a typical week as a Southwest Facilities Project Intern:
I like to start my Mondays by catching up on emails and documenting conversations from the previous week with Internal and External Customers. The construction world moves very fast, so I try to leverage the beginning of the week to send out any updates, address concerns, schedule meetings, or book travel. By the end of the day, my cubicle is typically filled with sticky notes of things I need to do, or people I need to call during the week.
On a typical Tuesday, I will start my day at the airport. The project that I am managing requires me to travel to more than 20 cities, so I make an effort to visit at least four cities per week. On these trips, I meet with our Material and Maintenance Supervisors and Contractors to obtain quotes for upcoming work. I also strive to build relationships with my Customers.
My morning will start with the Gate Exception Committee meeting, which consists of eight departments: Flight Operations, Ground Operations, Dispatch, Regulatory Programs and Compliance, Network Planning, Supply Chain Management, and Corporate Facilities. This meeting allows me to better understand our operation from many different perspectives, and it exposes me to the various procedures that are used across the Company. For example, I see how the work we do on my Team affects the operation on the ground. We play a major role in the Ground Operations procedures related to taxiing our planes, parking them at our gates, and much more.
On Thursdays, I conduct a weekly project update conference call with Tech Operations, Technology Services, and the relevant vendors and Contractors. Afterwards, I contact each Team for any follow-up items mentioned during the conference call, and to receive clarity on particular items for my Team.
Most Fridays are typically reserved for travel, but this Friday, I will present to the Southwest Corporate Facilities Tollgate Team about my project, which is a joint effort with Tech Operations to add more tool lockers to our hangar and stores locations. I am excited to see how this goes!
My experience as an Intern has been enriching and rewarding. I’ve loved working on projects in multiple cities, and with my amazing Southwest Coworkers throughout the Company. My Leaders have given me meaningful work—they fill my calendar with projects that help me gain knowledge and experience I’ll take with me forever.