As an Ohio University Bobcat, you have an innate obsession with our little slice of heaven in Appalachian Ohio.
As a Southwest Airlines Employee, you and your “CoHearts” (their term for coworkers) have an innate obsession with everything Southwest. The bold new look, the amazing customer service, the Fun-LUVing attitudes and more.
I never thought I could love something as much as I love Ohio University. It’s rare that you can walk on a college campus and see almost exclusively school colors (when it’s not even game day). Students at OU are proud to be Bobcats and it shows in every way from the alumni network to our Green and White wardrobes.
I feel the same way walking the halls of the headquarters building at Southwest Airlines. Our Leaders and CoHearts alike don our fabulous colors (Bold Blue, Warm Red and Sunrise Yellow) and walk around with smiles on their faces simply because they get to work at Southwest.
Finding a company like this isn’t simple; it takes a lot of research. In order to find the right company for you, it’s important to explore their website heavily. Here are top things I looked for in a company*:
1. An industry or clients that interest you
2. A charitable giving department, or the opportunity to do volunteer work through the company
3. A good social presence
4. Positive attitudes
5. Great reviews or awards
Industry or clients that interest you
By no means am I obsessed with the aviation industry. However, flying has always been a big part of my life. I used to dread the airline experience- and then one day I flew Southwest. Funny enough, it was under a year ago and was a part of my first internship with NR Media Group. I never thought that nine months later I would be working in their state-of-the-art Listening Center doing what I love for a company I love.
On the agency side, make sure the clients you will be working with support things you support. If you are a staunch environmentalist, you probably won’t enjoy working for a fracking or petroleum client. That’s okay! They say “do what you love” for a reason. If you don’t love it, don’t do it.
Charity and volunteer work
Southwest Airlines has established themselves as a very charitable company. They have an entire department for it! A great perk of my internship with them is being able to volunteer during work and even collaborate with a Community Programs and Engagement Intern (hi, Ben!) to plan a future campaign that involves social media.
While this is important to me, it also excites me to be able to build a presence from the ground up like I did with NR Media Group. The best part of an established social presence is all of the great benchmarking we are able to do and analytics that we can pull (social media analytics are the only time I like doing math). Over six million people follow Southwest across their channels, showing that people really care about what they have to say.
Few things drain me of my energy more than negativity. Luckily at Southwest I’ve never left a meeting without a laugh or two. Positivity is essentially, especially in an industry like public relations. Negative attitudes lead to negative outcomes, so be sure you’re bringing positivity to an already positive company!
The true test of a great company is how its customers feel about it. Southwest consistently receives top marks for its customer service, which I can tell come from our corporate policies.
Check industry ratings and sites like Glassdoor to see how a company does both externally and internally.
They say when you’ve found what you love, it doesn’t feel like work. Every day that I see our logo as I walk in to work I smile and can’t believe they are paying me to work there! This is work I would do for free and I think everyone should feel that way about their job.
Go out and find a company you love as much as your school!
*these five things are what I looked for but they will change for everyone, especially if you want to work with a startup or smaller company!
Gentry is a Junior studying Strategic Communications with an Outdoor Recreation Specialization and Social Media certificate. Follow her on Twitter @Gen_andTonic!