After nearly two months of winter break (considering I didn’t have finals), I started my spring internship with Southwest Airlines this week! On Monday, we had orientation and it was unlike any orientation I have attended before. Of course, we did go through a lot of general and company information, but the order of events really kept us alert. We played games, watched a hilarious video of the history of Southwest and we were able to spend time with our supervisors to get acclimated before the first “real day” of work. Before–and since–I started my internship, I have received a series of questions from friends and family about the specifics, so I figured that I should dedicate this post to answering those questions:
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am a Corporate Communication intern for the Communication & Outreach department. This department is in charge of internal and external communication with Southwest’s employees and customers. There are many facets of this department from graphic design to PR, but because I am in Corporate, my team and I handle both internal and external tasks. Due to this, my daily activities are never the same [which is really exciting] and mostly dependent on what the demands of the day are. This, however, allows me to be flexible and learn new skills.
IS CORPORATE COMMUNICATION WHAT YOU WANT TO DO AS A CAREER?
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. I know that my skills apply best in this sort of position, but as mentioned above, this internship allows and encourages me to move about my department and test new areas. I believe this flexibility will definitely help me figure out what I like [or don’t like] to do.
HOW FAR IS IT FROM WHERE YOU LIVE?
Two summers ago, I interned at a real estate firm where I drove past Southwest Airlines Headquarters every day and that commute was up to an hour and a half with traffic there and back (depending on the day). Going into this internship, I decided that I would rather use public transport to avoid the stress of traffic. I take the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) rail and transfer from the Red Line at West End Station to the Green (or Orange) Line to Southwest’s convenient stop at Burbank Station which is roughly an hour-long commute. Given that it takes me about 20 minutes to get to the station from my house, I’m not saving any time overall in comparison to two summers ago; however, I am saving energy and I no longer come home irritated with a low tank of gas!
Why not? Haha, in all seriousness though, I knew that I wanted to come home for my spring semester when I finished school. In the fall, I was just looking to find a cool, paid internship when my mom encouraged me to apply for Southwest Airlines. I didn’t think that I should because I’m not in the aviation industry and haven’t done anything aviation-related, but the Communication internship posting seemed to offer tasks that I thought I could take on. From the interview experience through this first week of work, I know I made the right decision to intern for a company that offers more than just a “cool, paid internship.” This place is AMAZING and I’m not just saying that because I work there. Everyone is genuinely kind and the company culture is so positive and encouraging. When I say everybody knows everybody, I mean it. Of course I don’t like having 12-hour days when you factor in the commute, but knowing that I’m going into an office where I feel like I can be of use and have a purpose heavily outweighs that. The people of Southwest really do care about their employees as much as, if not equal to, their customers and that’s why they have always been my primary airline and why I decided to work here. 🙂
WILL THIS TURN INTO A FULL TIME JOB?
I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
Author’s Note: Apologies for the mixed quality of the photos. I only had my camera on orientation so most of these photos were taken on my phone.