Jeremy Miller is a senior at the University of Arizona. This summer he spent three months interning with Southwest Airlines in Dallas. He shared a little about what he learned during this experience.
How did your experience shape your future career goals?
Before my summer internship with Southwest Airlines, I didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to look for potential jobs. Now, I am zeroing in on a full-time job with Southwest at their corporate headquarters in Dallas. I am interested in a position in their Training and Operational Support Department. My long term goal is to become a leader within the company.
How did you get the internship?
I did a fair amount of research regarding internships months before most companies post their internship openings. Southwest Airlines caught my eye because it is highly rated and well-respected among reputable websites and publications. After applying online and getting past a few rounds of interviews, I was offered the position. I later found out that out of about 14,500 applicants, I was lucky enough to be 1 of 128 interns who got an offer. My experience working at the UAAA absolutely helped me beat those odds. In my interviews, I specifically talked about how I helped with Homecoming 100, about my experience working at the UA-UCLA game last year, and my involvement with the UAAA scholarship application process.
What were some of your most challenging assignments?
I conducted safety audits on over 95 domestic and international stations that Southwest Airlines currently serves. It was very challenging because each station had unique needs that were tracked and handled individually. It tested my organizational and communication skills, especially with some language barriers at many of the international stations.
What insights did you gain?
Working for Southwest Airlines helped me realize how important it is to find a company or organization that shares your values. For example, Southwest wants people with a Warrior's Spirit (hard working, desire to be the best); Servant's Heart (follow the golden rule, put others first); and a Fun-LUVing Attitude (have fun, don't take yourself too seriously). Having similar personal values made it very easy for me to get comfortable with the company culture and get to work. I was amazed at how easy everything came to me. I couldn't have asked for a better situation.
Do you have any advice for other students about the importance of doing a summer internship?
It is absolutely crucial to take part in a summer internship. Most people see it as a way to get your name out there to potential employers in hopes that they will think you are a good fit. While that is true, it is equally as important to use that time to evaluate the company to see if they will be a good fit for you. During your internship, not only will you have gained contacts and experiences that will increase your chances of getting a full-time job, but you will also get a better idea of what you are looking for in a company. Even if the company you intern with is not the one you want to begin your post-graduation career with, at the very least, you will get one step closer to knowing exactly what you want. It can help you make educated decisions about your goals and the type of job you want after graduation.
Thanks, Jeremy, for sharing your story! Good luck in all your future endeavors.