Summer Life – Delta Air Lines Internship

 

Delta World Headquarters

Hey all!  I hope everyone is having a great summer as we fly into the month of June.  My month of May was quite eventful; I wrapped up finals at the beginning of the month and then headed up to start my summer internship at Delta on May 12th.  I’m working with the great folks in the Network Planning department where a large group of individuals plan where and how we are going to fly all of the routes that are out for sale to the public.  The process isn’t as easy as saying you’re flying from point A to B at this time, it is a very choreographed process with tons of steps between deciding when and where to fly and how they are actually going to do it.

Sabre AirVision is the software that we use in Network Planning to schedule all of the flights that Delta operates.
Sabre AirVision is the software that we use in Network Planning to schedule all of the flights that Delta operates.

My internship started off very quickly as I quickly became acclimated with our scheduling software, Sabre AirVision.  The product is very easy to use and not only contains the flight schedule that we are working with, but it also generates reports on things such as flights that may have the same number as another (duplicates, which you cannot have on the same day) and hours that airplane types and crews will fly (we only have so many airplanes and pilots and crews are restricted by the FAA on how many hours they can fly in a day).  I cannot imagine scheduling flights without a product such as this one.

Network PlanningPutting together the schedule is quite a challenge because of dozens of things that the normal traveler doesn’t see.  Things such as performing overnight maintenance on our fleet and keeping the number of flights coming into and out of a hub within max limitations is a very hard task due to the number of flights that we are trying to fly in a day.  The Delta system is based around a hub-and-spoke style layout and every hub has special characteristics that the folks in Network Planning have to keep in mind.  No one flying on an airline likes delayed or cancelled flights and it is our job to make sure that every flight gets off the ground as planned, on-time through major planning months before the day of the flight.

Traveling while interning at Delta is a must!  I went to NYC for the first time over Memorial Day and it was a fantastic experience!

Traveling while interning at Delta is a must! I went to NYC for the first time over Memorial Day and it was a fantastic experience!

One great perk of interning at Delta is the flight benefit package.  A normal intern has the opportunity to non-rev, or fly anywhere in the world for minimal or no cost at all as long as there is an open seat in the cabin, aka a non-revenue generating seat and passenger for the airline.  So far I have worked at Delta for three weeks and have gone home to Indiana twice and to New York City, Myrtle Beach, and Daytona Beach all once.  Being an airline intern definitely has its perks other than gaining awesome experience behind the scenes.  I cannot wait to use my non-rev benefits to travel around the world!

6Delta World Headquarters, known as the G.O. by employees, is an awesome place to work and I am extremely honored to have been chosen to work for and represent such a well respected and successful entity.  Stay tuned for blogs in the coming weeks and months from here in Atlanta!

 

Happy flying,

Kyle

 

Goodbye island life

This is probably the only blog from an Embry-Riddle student who started two first days at this University, 5 years apart.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that one year ago, I was a Key West trolley tour guide.  I entertained tourists with facts of the island and repeated the same corny jokes to them every day, sometimes with a few originals.  Chances are good that if you visited Key West and rode on an orange and green trolley over the past year, I was your bus driver and guide.  I also drove the Key West haunted tours, a type of meet and greet with Key West characters like Robert the doll as well as the other types of spirits….not necessarily the ones found in haunted houses.  I found myself living on the island by accident.  I went to be a dog sitter for two weeks and ended staying almost a year!  You might say I caught what the locals call the “Keys Disease” and it’s hard to resist.  People come for a visit but never leave.  It’s said on the island that if you show up to work every day, you have a job.  If two weeks later you’re still showing up on time, they’ll make you the manager.  Well, sure enough, the dog left town with its owner and I stayed.  As well as being a tour guide, I worked other side jobs such as newspaper delivery boy, bakeshop dishwasher, and event security (a.k.a. bouncer).

The island life was a relaxing and good one.  It is hard to resist the sunniest place in Florida with the least amount of rain.  It ‘s truly Paradise except, endless renditions of Jimmy Buffett songs blaring down from Duval Street.  One day I woke up with one more hangover and realized I wasn’t moving forward with my life.  It was time for me to progress forward on my flight plan for life.

This was the culmination of a restlessness that I tried to resolve, and it brought me through many different experiences.  These included several semesters at a state university, a shopkeeper in South Beach, and an unpaid Internship for Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in DC.  This was right after I withdrew myself from Embry Riddle; I wanted to try something different in life. But my passions drew me back.

On August 27, 2012, my second first day of college began.  Once again excited to be making progress, living in campus dorms, and starting from where I had left off, but more focused on my degree: Aviation Business Administration.  In one week, I will be curing my desires, dusting off the backpack and train hopping across Europe to appease my wandering soul.  In one month, I will be attending classes with the Study Abroad program in Berlin, and in one year, I will be an Embry-Riddle alumnus. It’s a long way from the old island life, and it feels great!

September 23, 2008

I realize my first blog was kind of a throw in your face, so I figured I would back track a bit and let you know who that person was telling you what to do. I am Heather Owen, a nearly-graduated senior in the Communications Department with a specialty in International Relations. Following my December graduation, I plan on applying to the State Department to begin work towards becoming a U.S. diplomat.

Wait…did I say Communications? Do they even have that at Riddle? News flash: Riddle isn’t just airplanes. I have been in the program for four and a half years.

I am always asked “why Embry-Riddle for the Communications Department?” Well, I have always loved to write. I love giving speeches. Oh, and I kind of enjoy airplanes. However, though I knew I liked these topics, I didn’t quite know what I “wanted to be when I grew up.” I quickly found the Communications Department had plenty to offer. Along with the typical public relations/marketing/journalism curriculum of any other collegiate communications department, Riddle offers an aviation specialty, a niche with many openings, yet few applicants.

Even though I graduate in seventy-six days (not like I am counting), I am not nervous. Graduates from the program have gone into broadcast journalism, aviation-related journalism, public relations, and even law school. None of which is my career path, but the diversity of our program is what makes me a strong post-graduate applicant.

A diploma from the “Harvard of the Sky” alone will open doors, but it has been the experiences I have had that will get my name on the corner office door. Internships and co-ops are the best and easiest way to gain first-hand knowledge. In addition to Career Services, I found my internships thanks to help within my department. The student-to-faculty ratio in the Communications Department is very small, so I quickly got to know all of my professors. As it turned out, I have had that handful of professors for all four years. It was these same instructors who were instrumental in finding me internships and helping me find my career path.

Because I was still on the fence about careers up until my senior year, I took two internships to better acquaint myself with the communications career field. For my first internship, I spent my 2006 summer working for WESH 2 News, located in Daytona Beach. I was on the call with the reporters, riding shotgun in the news van on the way to fires, robberies and homicides. I sat in on court cases, interviewed city officials and visited such fine institutions such as the Volusia County Jail to interview fine, law-abiding residents. I admit the fast-paced dramatics, and getting to “know all the dirt” truly interested me. However, I wasn’t ready to acquire the stigma of a TV news reporter. My second internship this past spring had me working in the Embry-Riddle Athletics Department with the Sports Information Department. I had been in the Athletics Department for four years as a cheerleader, so I was very appreciative to work with those who also supported the Eagles. As a sports marketing intern, I updated statistics, wrote biographies on the players and taped important games. I enjoyed the press passes to games, setting up early morning track meets, and cheering on the Eagles, but I had one big issue. Although I have been a cheerleader for eleven years, I just don’t like sports. I don’t understand them, like to watch them or even care to talk about them. Despite striking out on potential future careers, I learned a lot from the two internships. I found the positives and negatives about the communications field so when I do land a job, I will know what to look for.

So now my senior year. I was set to graduate with a prominent degree, had two internships, had participated in a few activities here and there and gained a few future job insights. However, I wasn’t content with the content of my resume. So, in an utterly rash move which I thoroughly rejoiced about later, I decided to do study abroad and push off graduation. I spent five weeks of my summer in China, speaking Chinese, learning about Chinese culture and just enjoying a culture shock. I continued my education with another three weeks in Prescott studying Chinese.

From the moment I got back to Daytona, I had a path. I want to travel the world. I want to speak foreign languages. I want to play a part in international relations. I want to know the scoop. Oh, and I want a press pass to a non-sport activity (just one of my job insights). Diplomacy is my answer and the State Department will receive my newly minted resume in December. Along with the study abroad on my resume, I also added that I am a sister in the Theta Omicron chapter of Alpha Xi Delta, sweetheart to the Eta Iota chapter of Sigma Chi, cheered for three and a half years at Riddle and am now a devoted student. I am conversant in German and I like to think my English is decent too. Better than a list of do’s and don’ts from a lowly Communications major, huh?

June 23

With two long days of traveling behind me, I am finally back in Daytona Beach. The last week seemed like a blur, rushing by so fast that I can scarcely remember what happened. It’s hard to believe how far away from home I’ve been for the past five weeks. Only two days ago I was still sleeping in a cozy monastery on the hills outside Siena, and now here I am, back in the Florida heat and loving it.

For our last few days in Italy, we all took the time to enjoy what we loved most about the culture. I made sure to fully enjoy my last cup of chocolate chip and mint gelato. Also, Joe and I spent a lot of time wandering the shops of Siena, buying the rest of our gifts to take home to friends and family.

On Wednesday morning after Italian class, Enzo took us to the Torture Museum in central Siena. I think the place is more of a tourist attraction than a natural Sienese sightseeing stop, especially since we passed one in Florence a few weeks back. However the features inside do relate to much of Europe in the medieval times, and many of them even claimed to still be in use. We saw all kinds of torture tools from spiked interrogation chairs to limb-trapping metal splints and a cat-o-nine-tails whip. The museum also boasted amazing life-like figures that either demonstrated the use of a torture tool or represented some of the famous horror myths of the times, such as zombies, werewolves, and the many faces of Dracula and vampire creatures. Although I believe we were allowed to take photos I refrained because frankly, the images we saw were not ones I want to remember.

Later in the day we went as a class to the Duomo of Siena. This would be our last view of the beautiful churches of Italy. We gazed one last time at intricate mosaic panels on the floor, solemn religious paintings on the walls, and great statues and carved altars spread our around the magnificent rooms. There was even an enormous pipe organ high on the wall. As each of us wandered through the church our thoughts began to turn to packing and preparing for the trip home and we soon began to slip away in small groups to head back to Vico Alto.

Before saying our goodbyes and taking our leave of the area, we had one last hoorah at the Irish pub in Siena. Then we all began to head out in ones and twos for our points of departure.

Friday morning, Joe and I left bright and early with five pieces of luggage between us. We had accumulated a bit of extra weight with all the gifts we had bought so it worked out that I had gotten that extra suitcase in Rome. We dragged the luggage down to the bus stop, took our last city bus to the train station, and were soon on our way to Rome. Once there it was a fairly quick trip back to the airport and before we knew it we were in the air.

The fantastic feeling of being home after a long journey is keeping me from feeling any longing to return to Italy just yet. But perhaps after a week or so I might have enough distance to reflect on what I’ve experienced and how my perspective has changed. For now I think I will focus on delivering my Italian gifts, dining on hamburgers and fries, and relaxing on the hot Florida beach.

Getting down to business…

In the past two weeks my duties around the office have gotten a lot more interesting and meaningful. From the beginning of the internship I have been involved with tasks associated with keeping up and maintaining records of retirements and captain upgrades, keeping our news distribution updated, and distributing information to pilots concerning all types of matters.

However, two weeks ago I began working on a project pertaining to the major airlines around the world. Researching airlines outside of the United States I have focused on where these airlines fly, what aircraft they are using, how those aircraft cabins are configured, what kind of orders they have for new aircraft, the airlines’ load factor and the profitability in the first quarter of 2008 for those airlines.

By gathering this data, we hope to be able to present the information in a user-friendly manor to our pilots, making them aware of exactly how many companies are competitive factors in our market. Some people might be able to name a couple of foreign airlines that fly into the US, but if you were to ask most any pilot in the airline industry today how many US cities Lufthansa fly’s into or how many aircraft Emirates has on order, the probability of that person getting anywhere near the actual numbers if very unlikely. In reality though, this information is astonishing and extremely important in looking at the future profits and sustainability of our own airline.

Currently I have compiled this and more information on five foreign carriers. After updating my boss on my findings and how the information should be presented, the interest in the project sparked around the office. I cannot put into words how cool it feels to be sitting in your little intern cubical and to have the most senior people in the office stop by to ask you to explain what you are doing; then after you explain, told how awesome what you have done so far really is.

So last week my boss stopped by to tell me that I would be presenting all of my information to her boss on July 3rd. This type of one-on-one time with one of the most senior members of my department is exactly the moment that any intern should work for. Being able to present a department project for further approval and backing is a great experience, and to have that be with a person of such clout is even better. With poster-sized visuals on each airline and an example PowerPoint system I designed to display carrier routes and to compare carrier routes, hopefully all will go well on Thursday.

In other news, last week we had a boy’s camp come to the flight academy. All of the kids were children that didn’t have fathers and getting a chance to hang out with these guys and possibly inspire them to succeed in school and follow their dreams was a great experience. The day camp was also just as exciting for me when we got to go on a tour of some different places around the flight academy that I don’t get the chance to see on a day-to-day basis. Getting to see for the first time the flight attendant training facility, the dispatch area, and flight operations area was very interesting because it gave you the bigger picture about what all goes into our company. We also got to “play” with an MD80 ground trainer, where the kids went crazy with excitement to be flipping switches in more or less a real cockpit.

Of course over the past two weeks I have continued the traveling experience, first going to New Orleans for a weekend. Staying right off Bourbon St. we got the chance to see some of the city during the day and get some true New Orleans dishes. Shrimp Creole for lunch and a huge plate of crawfish for dinner were both excellent for our taste of the Bayou. Getting the chance to spend a night on Bourbon St. was definitely an experience worth doing at least once in your life. (I don’t think I need to explain much here but I will say that it is everything you would expect Bourbon St. to be and then a lot of things you forgot to expect!)

This past weekend we found ourselves in Chicago for what was supposed to be a day trip. Getting to Chicago a little bit later than expected and still wanted to do more when it was time to leave, Chicago became a weekend adventure. On Saturday there was a food festival called a Taste of Chicago where you buy tickets and walk around sampling food from different restaurants in the city that have set up tents in the park. With thousands of people in attendance, the festival is a bit over whelming but it was a great touristy thing to do and a great way to taste some different foods. After the festival we walked around some more and went down to the water and checked out Navy Pier, the ultimate tourist spot in Chicago. Right on the water and looking back at the city the pier is worth going to and checking out the sites and sounds. Later that evening we got our famous Chicago deep dish and it was excellent. The city over all was very impressive, clean, and public transportation made getting to and from the airport a non-issue. I recommend checking out Chicago.

As I’m sitting here trying to think of what I have forgotten, I cannot believe how fast this internship is going by. IT’S JULY ALREADY! But I think I have gotten everything in for this entry and I hope everyone has a great Fourth of July weekend!

Cheers,
Jacob