After completing an internship with Calvin’s CAS Department and another internship with Priority Health, strategic communications major Alicia Davids ’14 knew she wanted to try something new and move out of the Midwest for the summer. She saw Southwest Airline’s NoLimits internship program featured on a Forbes list of best summer 2013 internships and discovered there were several opportunities for communication students.
“I applied thinking it was a long shot, but I’m so glad that I did!” Alicia says.
Alicia was hired as the Customer Support and Services Communication Intern for Southwest Airlines in Dallas, Texas. The Customer Support and Services team handles internal communication for the seven Southwest reservations/call centers around the country. Alicia’s role is to write articles for the department’s quarterly publication, work on video projects, compose bulletins for the employee intranet, and assist with other events and projects as needed.
There are several aspects of her internship with Southwest that Alicia has enjoyed.
“I like that I have the opportunity to create my own projects and work on what interests me most,” says Alicia. “I love to write and learn about people, so I’ve spent time interviewing employees and writing feature articles about them for the department’s magazine. For example, I interviewed the employee that made the Southwest piñata in the photo and wrote a feature article about his artwork.”
In addition, Alicia has loved getting to know her teammates and fellow interns, experiencing a sense of family among employees and witnessing first-hand the corporate culture for which Southwest is known.
“And of course, the flight privileges are amazing!” Alicia says. “We get to fly standby during the internship. I’ve traveled 10 out of the 12 weekends this summer and have visited 11 different cities. I love traveling and exploring new places, so it’s been an incredible way to spend the summer.”
Because Alicia has had such a positive experience as an intern with Southwest Airlines, she highly recommends Southwest’s NoLimits program to other Calvin students.
“Southwest has opportunities every semester in lots of academic areas,” says Alicia. “Calvin does a great job of preparing students with the knowledge they need, and this is an incredible opportunity!”
Not only does Alicia recommend the NoLimits program, but she has other advice for Calvin students: “Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, whether that is a leadership position, an internship, or a study abroad experience. Even if may not seem to directly impact your career, you’ll learn more about yourself and gain skills that will help you in the future. For example, my study abroad experiences taught me to keep an open mind in new situations and be open to change. I learned to be flexible, and that has been an extremely important skill in my internships.”
In the future, Alicia hopes to work in corporate communications or public relations, using the flexibility and strong communication skills she has gained through her classes and internships. She would also love to explore working with an organization that operates on a global level and having the chance to use her Spanish skills.
Written by Meredith Segur, posted August 2013