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!