Sam heads to Dallas this summer to be a financial planning and analysis intern for Southwest Airlines. But with the company’s space-available, unlimited free flights program, Sam also may find himself in San Francisco, New York and places in between.
“I’m hoping to visit a cousin in Utah, go to Mt. Pisgah with a friend, visit a friend who rows for Cal, meet my family in San Francisco for a weekend and of course come back to see friends in New York City,” Sam said.
That is, when he’s not working. Sam’s main focus will be contributing to Southwest’s corporate finance team. He hopes to learn more from the inside about financial strategies he’s observed from the outside: using acquisitions to take out lower-cost competitors like AirTran, for example, and fuel hedging, in which air carriers use options and other derivatives to lock in prices.
“As a finance major, I’m compelled by the business strategies Southwest has in place that have enabled them to show a profit for 40 years and pay 146 consecutive quarterly dividends,” he said.
Southwest’s corporate culture impresses Sam as much as its business moves. The company seeks employees with “a warrior spirit, a servant’s heart and a sense of humor” — a combination that Sam likes.
“I went to Jesuit College Prep in Dallas, and now a Jesuit university,” he said. “The idea of becoming a ‘man for others’ dovetails with the spirit I’ve seen so far at Southwest.”