Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:09 am

Southwest NoLimits Internship

Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:04 am

Hey a.netters,

About the time I joined the site, about a month and a half ago, I was also getting my materials ready to apply for the Southwest Airlines NoLimits internship program. I am applying for two positions, both in maintenance. They are materials purchasing (my first choice, but I'm not picky) and component repair, and both are management-related positions consistent with my educational background in aviation administration. Everything looked great and I mailed the packet off and waited... Last week I was excited when the call came! Erin McKaskel from the maintenance department asked me a few short questions on the phone and invited me to come down to company headquarters for an interview this week. Susan Cox helped to facilitate all the travel plans, and I am flying DTW-STL-DAL on Thursday afternoon and have the interview scheduled for Friday morning. I've seen a few WN internship posts, but none regarding the maintenance positions. I was hoping others could offer their best advice to help make my interview more successful. I'm just effecting a little CRM here and pooling the wide resources of the community, and it would be great to hear from someone who has interned in these positions recently, as well as others that are also applying for any intern positions for the spring. I look forward to hearing all of your positive feedback, and of course I'll keep everyone informed of my progress!

Thanks in advance,

Opinions expressed by "iflyswa" are not those of Southwest Airlines Officers, Directors, or Employees.
Posts: 9605
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: Southwest NoLimits Internship

Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:16 am

Good luck. I think it would be a great opportunity. It would give you airline experience that will be great in letting you pursue future employment.

Although I've heard good things about Southwest's internship program, I know when I was looking at internships/co-ops, I looked at Southwest and was intrigued although the pay was horrible. $13 per hour for an engineering degree internship is nothing, especially when I got an offer at over $20 per hour at a large aerospace company where I ended up working.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:09 am

RE: Southwest NoLimits Internship

Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:43 am

Maybe so for an engineering internship, but as far as I know, many airline internships (both in administration and flight operations) are unpaid. So I feel quite lucky! I suppose it depends on the field. Some aviation-related fields, like consulting, airport planning, et cetera, are also usually paid. Then, I have friends here at school pursuing degrees like occupational therapy that actually pay for their internship experience. All in all, I'm excited for the opportunity, the experience--the Southwest experience, not just the applicable job experience I could gain working anyplace in the industry. Southwest is my kind of company, someplace I see myself later in the long-run, and the pay for now is more than I could really ask for. If others consider Southwest's pay to be so modest, it's certainly nothing I'm not already use to to working in college student affairs/residence life. Basically, I have a 24 hour-a-day job that pays about $7,000 a year in room and board only! Sometimes it's just not about money...

Edited for spelling

[Edited 2006-11-14 04:04:02]
Opinions expressed by "iflyswa" are not those of Southwest Airlines Officers, Directors, or Employees.
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:34 pm

RE: Southwest NoLimits Internship

Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:59 am

From a former intern...


The way I prepared was get into the vibe and really tried to "get" how they ran the company, Nuts helps a lot with that. They will ask you a bunch of "Tell me about a time" questions, so start thinking about different situations that you can use.

Some suggestions to think about, both good and bad experiences: working on a team, working with customers, working with others, favorite class and why, favorite professor and why, tell me about yourself (60-90 second spiel), Why Southwest. Be ready to speak of your strength and weaknesses.

Also be prepared with some questions. Not just the general, how long till I hear type, but ask about Southwest Airlines, why they are doing this, or what's next with DAL, stuff like that. SWA Employees, especially the ones at HQ, are very knowledgable and will be impressed with the questions, they show you did your homework.

Other than that, the normal interview stuff. Answer questions with a beginning, middle, and an end, make sure to end on a positive note. Good eye contact, be on your best behavior at all times.

Take a look at the previous posts about Southwest interviews, they might help as well.

Good Luck!

"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:09 am

RE: Southwest NoLimits Internship

Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:51 pm

I own the book NUTS! and have read it cover-to-cover and then some. Great book! Actually, working and living in a college residence hall, I'm always looking for new ways to engage my residents. Last year, I made a NUTS! themed bulletin board for the residents on my floor (my residents are mostly second-year college students in a hall that tailors its educational and social programming to the transition from freshman year into life, a career, and beyond--a time when many students experience doubt and feel the effects of burnout). The bulletin board was updated on a monthly basis and related to residents how they could learn about life from an airline--a goofy concept, but follow me here! After all, the title of the book is NUTS! Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success, so I emphasized how applying some aspects of the Southwest business model and its tremendous corporate culture could affect success in life. It was a hit with students, who loved some of the funny quotes from the book. The best part of it all, though, was that it made my job a lot more fun each month!

Actually, I think my residence life experience will help me greatly during the interview. A spot in residence life demands things like great people skills, time management skills, group and leadership skills, and more. I hope they ask me about my experiences here.

I've been giving a lot of thought to the questions that will be asked of me, as well as those I plan to ask Southwest. I just hope that the questions I'm thinking of now will stick with me through the excitement and nervousness the next few days will surely bring!

Thanks for your help, GreatChecko. Which department was it that you interned in? I'm guessing flight operations? Looks like maybe you're with Frontier now, which is cool! Although it probably won't be me contributing to your profit sharing bonus someday then: I'm canyon blue through and through!
Opinions expressed by "iflyswa" are not those of Southwest Airlines Officers, Directors, or Employees.
Posts: 3026
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 4:54 am

RE: Southwest NoLimits Internship

Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:00 pm

Former SWA Intern here also.

There are plenty of other threads about southwest internships and interviews, so I would do a search and see where that got you. Definitely learn as much about the company as you can before your interview. Also, make sure to act as polite and cordial as you can on your trip down and back; i know that sounds obvious but you'd be surprised about how many stories there are about prospective employees who aren't even interviewed because they were rude to WN team members on the way to the interview.

Good luck!
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