After completing my second and final day of orientation, I cannot help but to sit here and think about all the possibilities that lay ahead of me this summer. As an intern with American Airlines, I will be based at the American Airlines Flight Academy in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas this summer. Working on projects and issues that arise throughout the summer, I will also be traveling throughout the United States and some of the islands in the Caribbean. This summer is sure to be filled with much hard work as well as many unforgettable memories. Seeing how I just got started here in Dallas and I’m still learning the ropes, I will use this week to let you know how I got here in case you ever want to do an internship at this level.
Securing and internship, especially with a large company like American Airlines, takes a lot of time, preparation, and persistence. I began looking for internships the end of the fall 2007 semester, and was unsuccessful in my attempt to secure a Spring 2008 internship with the Hawker Beechcraft Corporation. As disappointed as I was, I made sure to remain positive and continue my search in the spring.
In early January I began to compile a list of potential companies. After talking with Career Services and creating an account on Eagle Hire, I realized the vast potential that lay ahead of me. To narrow the playing field, I looked for companies I felt would be a good fit for me and also companies that advertised paid internship positions (let’s be honest, all college kids could use a little extra cash.) With my goal to become a corporate pilot, naturally all the big corporate names made it on to my list, including Proctor and Gamble and Coca-Cola. However, being raised to always have a back up, and not knowing how difficult it would be to get a position, I included other companies such as Duke Energy, Hendrick Motorsports and Day Jet to my list of possibilities. Out of shear random luck I also included American Airlines to my list, because they had a few paid positions available, something that had been rather difficult to find among airline internships.
Beginning the application process, I then had letters of recommendation and cover letters drafted up and my resume perfected. Some companies also required an official transcript and driving record, both of which take several days to receive. It is important to look at the application deadline and give yourself some time in order to get your paperwork together.
With my bait in the water it became a waiting game to see what would bite. After a couple weeks of silence we learned that the Proctor and Gamble internship had been withdrawn for the summer. A few days later, things began to happen. One day I received an e-mail from American, requesting a face-to-face interview. Then, the next day, I received a call from Duke Energy requesting a phone interview. The Duke phone interview was completely HR based and led to a face-to-face interview, which was over an hour and a half technical interview, one of the most intense experiences of my life. The American Interview was very straightforward, a couple HR questions and a few technical questions.
Within a week I had been declined from Duke and accepted by American for the summer. With Embry-Riddle policy being that once an internship is accepted no other offers may be accepted, I thought about the other potential opportunities that were still on the table. With such an opportunity with American Airlines, I thought it foolish to decline the invitation and so I accepted it. Looking back, this was a great choice for many reasons. As it turned out Coca-Cola pulled out and Hendricks still hadn’t made a decision by the time the semester was over, all of these instances are great examples of the need to have backups in life.
So here I am sitting in my airline pilot “crash pad” (a residence that will be the topic of a future journal entry I assure you) in Dallas, Texas as a paid intern with American Airlines. The road getting to this point was a little bit bumpy and had you told me that I would be in this position back in January I most likely would have laughed at you. However, right now I know that this was the best opportunity there was for me this summer, it just sort of fits and it’s funny how it works out that way sometimes.
This summer I will be working in the Flight Communications department of the Flight Academy. At this point I’m still not exactly sure what my job will entail but as I learn more, I will share with you what is going on here. If you have any questions throughout my internship please feel free to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and if I get the opportunity I will do my best to get back to you with an answer or share the question on my next entry.