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Interning with LUV

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It has been difficult adapting from college life, where I stay up all night and sleep all day, to the working world, where I wake up before the sun and am productive all the way through 5 p.m.  By the time I fully adapt, my Internship will probably be close to over, if not over already.  Growing up with a mom who worked in Ground Operations at the Dallas Station and now works in HDQ, I never wanted to work here.  I saw her work long hours and bring work home almost every night, somehow trying to fit her personal life in around her work schedule.  At some point, all of that changed.  Now, I strive to be like her.  I see the respect she commands upon entering a room, I envy the friendships she has formed from her 26-year employment, and I crave the dedication she has to her job.  Southwest Airlines is more than a "symbol of Freedom" to me.  It is a way of life.  I have learned that Employees do not work here because they enjoy the hours and the pay.  They work here because they are more interested in the success of the Company than they are with their personal success.  Can you say that about any other place of employment?    As the Intern for the Culture Activities Department in the Executive Office, my job entails socializing, playing games and above all having FUN.  Okay, so maybe that is only what it seems like.  In reality, the Culture Activities Team works harder than I ever imagined.  Do you know how much time it takes to plan the Annual Awards Banquet??  You probably don't want to.  Aside from the FUN I have working in my Department; the Company's Intern Coordinators plan various outings and events for us.  One day, the Interns left before lunch venturing to Arlington to see a Texas Rangers game.  Not long ago they organized a race, The Amazing Race, which tested our knowledge of SWA and HDQ in order to lead us to race stations where we were challenged by questions or activities that won us clues eventually leading to the finish line.  We even had Field Day, where we had water wars and played an altered version of sand volleyball that used water balloons as volleyballs.  I'm not bragging, but my team placed second among all Intern Teams at Field Day! The greatest part about this Internship is that I am not just at work with Coworkers everyday; I am working with my new friends.  Age is no barrier at Southwest Airlines, and no one assumes I can't do something because of my age or Intern-status.  Although I mostly shadow the wonderful People in my Department, they do give me real-world responsibility.  I have friends in Internships that file, stuff envelopes, and hate their lives for it.  I, on the other hand, file, stuff envelopes with LUV and enjoy every minute of it!  There is never a dull moment here. I think Internships are supposed to give students a reality check.  They are supposed to show us that the real world isn't as pretty as we think it is when we are in college.  My Southwest Internship has shown me reality in many ways, some more positive than others.  The most useful and effective thing I have learned is that the possibility to find success and happiness in a job is real.  Working life does not have to be miserable and mundane; it can be FUN and exciting!  I can't wait to see where else SWA takes me! This Internship really has been life-altering.  I walked in here nervous and insecure, and I will leave confident and full of potential.  I can never repay Southwest Airlines for the part they have played in my life.  I can only hope that they will remember my name when I come back more educated and looking for a job.
14 Comments
bhurst
New Arrival
It's so great to hear and see young people learning the right ways to work and interact with people. Although you might not fully realize it now, your positive experiences here will affect the rest of your life, no matter where else you may go. I think we all appreciate the great 'gifts' we receive as employees of Southwest. It's good to know that you do too. B
Dee_Dee
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Marissa, You are an amazing person and a phenomenal intern! We will always hold a special place in our hearts for you. Thank you for all of your hardwork and LUV. You go girl! I can't wait to see the places you will go. Watch out world!
Ken5
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Great post Marissa! You should be very proud of the AWESOME job you did for us this summer! I for one can put my stamp of approval and appreciation for all of your endless efforts and creativity to make the efforts of Operation: LUV Rations and Operation: Phone Home such a great success! We LUV'ed having you and appreciate you so much and I know the Troops will soon appreciate all of you hard work too! Thanks for giving us your LUV this summer! Best wishes on your graduation and come back and visit us!
Leah4
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I had to do internships for my major, too, & certainly enjoyed my experiences. I was sad to see my internship time end, but was very glad to get my diploma! 🙂 I just will be so glad when I join the SWA family!
Micah1
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I appreciate your explanation of Southwest's Internship program because I am considering it. Would it be possible to work as an Intern while I'm a college student?
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Micah, Go to this link- http://www.southwest.com/careers/interns/intern.html It should answer all of your questions! Ding! boy's executive offices- http://www.globejetairlines.com/photos/photos/DSCF0171.JPG Joe.
Marissa
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Thanks to all of you who have supported me not only through this blog but throughout my internship here. To see my name on SWA's blog is one thing, but to actually see that all of you have read and commented is on different level! Bob: You are so right. I can't thank Southwest and Employees like you enough for everything I've been able to do and experience this summer. DeeDee: Thank you so much for being so supportive this summer! It was great getting to know you! Keep in touch! Ken: The pleasure has been mine to be able to work with someone as talented and organized as you are! I couldn't have asked for a better team to work with for LUV Rations and I certainly couldn't have asked for a more rewarding project! Micah: You can definitely do an internship while you are in school. They have summer, spring, and fall options depending on the Department that you're interested in. I'd be glad to give you more details if you want to contact me via e-mail! The website Joe posted is a great resource... that is where I started looking! 😄
slogan
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Marissa, you have done such a fantastic job for us this summer and I will miss having you around! Thank you so much for all of your hard work and great ideas. You have been such an asset to our Team, and I hope that you'll be working at SWA fulltime one day soon! LUV you!!
mmessina
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We LUV you , Marissa! This post is wonderful, but it doesn't even begin to describe how awesome the experience of working with you this summer has been. Your hard work and smiling face has been such a wonderful addition to our Department--thank you for everything!
pberg
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Wow, Marissa, you captured the joy and pride that resides in your wonderful mother's heart about being a member of our LUV Family. It also resides in the hearts of all the great folks you worked with this summer - as well as in ther 33,000+ peers. It was a pure pleasure to have you with us this summer, and we hope you will come back - soon and often! xoxo Colleen Barrett
Leslie_Shults
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Marissa, you have been such a joy to work with this summer! You have definitely been an asset to our Team. Thanks for all your help! Don't be a stranger. ~leslie
Pat_Warms_Privi
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Marissa, as your Aunt Pat....as well as a retiree of SWA myself I am so proud of you and your apparent successful and LUVing internship with our company. I enjoyed your article very much and will add it to the file I have of the articles you wrote for the TCU Daily Skiff. Keep up the good work! I will bet that SWA will be looking forward to getting your resume. I love you.
Dena
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What a great testament to the infectious spirit and luv that embodies Southwest Airlines. Although I am sadly no longer an official part of the "LUV" Family (my husband took me away from Dallas), everyone there remains near and dear to my heart. There is one thing that is evident and true Marissa that your life will never be the same as a result of spending time with the Southwest Family. Whether you have the opportunity to join SWA on a full-time basis once you graduate, you do have an obligation to take what was given to you and share it wherever you land.
Nicole10
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Marissa, If this is a just a snapshot of what you're doing while still in school, you are going to do amazing things in your career! I wish I was that forward thinking when I was younger! I remained a bartender until graduation and then scrambled for some "office experience." Now 5 years later, its time for grad school and a career change. Though life is a learning experience and I've been very fortunate in my career thus far, I just don't LOVE it like I feel I should. Any advice on getting noticed for potential employment at SWA? I sent 6 hard copies of my cover letter and resume to headquarters and decorated the whole thing with peanuts just hoping to get noticed. Congrats again on your internship! You're a great writer too and will have so much to offer when you graduate! I hope SWA is the lucky company for your career path! Nicole