Denise Kenyon Waye may have founded her own company, but she thinks of herself as a nurse first, and company president second. As a longtime critical care nurse, mother of five, and amateur pilot, Denise is no stranger to juggling multiple roles. When she started her air ambulance service in 2004 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she was operating with one leased aircraft, three employees, and the belief that she could improve the industry she had worked in for years. As her company grew, so did Denise’s role—and her travel needs. When she needs to fly across the country to meet a client or attend a conference, Denise relies on Southwest® to get there. Thank you, Denise, for your loyalty to Southwest and to your job!
Cheers to 20 Years “I’ve been a Rapid Rewards® member since 1999. I earn a lot of points when I fly for business, which I then use to travel with my husband to visit family.”
New Places “Since Southwest has expanded service, I’ve traveled to Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Hawaii. Next, I want to visit Costa Rica.”
Common Ground “Pushing the envelope in order to provide the best care in the air—that’s something Southwest and my company have in common.”
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Southwest is a Company that loves to celebrate its Customers and Employees, so it’s no surprise we want to celebrate our Interns on National Intern Day!
Southwest’s Campus Reach Program
In the last decade, college students from around the world have had the opportunity to become part of the Southwest Family for a semester through our Campus Reach internship program. The Campus Reach program identifies and engages future Southwest Employees at an early age, hopefully inspiring an interest in a career in aviation. Interns are invited to be a part of every aspect of the Company—from Inflight Operations and Marketing to Corporate Sales and Finance.
On National Intern Day, we want to look back at the Campus Reach program’s history in appreciation of our wonderful Interns over the years.
My Southwest Experience
As I wrap up the last few weeks of my summer internship, I’m reflecting even more on these impressive stats. Our more than 2,000 Interns represents just as many unique Intern experiences here at Southwest: Millions of smiles, hundreds of thousands of mentoring opportunities, thousands of trips, and hundreds of friendships formed. The Heart of Southwest grows bigger as each Intern class graduates to pursue various career opportunities.
The Southwest Intern class of Summer 2019 The Southwest Intern class of Summer 2019
I speak from experience when I say Southwest really does love their Interns and that we get so much more out of this experience than just a line on a resume. Currently, I work in our Communications & Outreach Department, and writing is my passion. I mentioned this to my Leader during my first week, and she became one of my biggest advocates to do more content creation. I’ve had the opportunity to work on numerous writing assignments, from articles for our internal Employee magazine to posts like this one on the blog portion of The Southwest Airlines Community. Best of all, I’ve felt supported every step of the way by my entire department!
I’ve felt like a real member of my Team, meaning that when we get to do fun activities, like Team bonding events or helping to plan a Coworker’s baby shower, I’m included as well. One of my favorite memories from this summer is when my Team took a cooking class together. Despite my poor cooking skills, I didn’t burn the kitchen down, and the croutons I made turned out well! (Spoiler alert: croutons are really just roasted chunks of bread. Who knew?)
Southwest Encouraged Me to Grow Outside of Work
Even outside of the office, my internship has taught me so much. Southwest Interns get the awesome perk of travel privileges, meaning that every weekend most of us are hopping on planes to visit cities all over the country. This has been great for two reasons: first, I’ve made progress on my quest to visit every single state before I turn 25. I know—ambitious. Second, I’ve become a lot more independent and resourceful.
This past weekend, I visited Seattle, Washington by myself, and I realized that the entire trip was up to me. I had to make sure I got on my departing and return flights, organize my hotel, figure out what I wanted to do and when, and ask strangers to take photos of me for Instagram, which is nerve-wracking in and of itself. The best part? When I did it all and had a fantastic trip. Thanks to the kind mother of three who took my picture on the ferry boat ride!
I only have a couple weeks of my internship left at Southwest, but I know that this will be a summer to remember, from my incredible Team and amazing learning opportunities to the great friendships I’ve made and fun trips we’ve been on. I’m so grateful I got to be one of the many Interns welcomed into the Southwest Family. I think I speak for all of us when I say that our time here at Southwest will continue to impact us long after we’ve left.
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