The following blog is by Flight Operations and Aircrat Performance Intern Kola Ogunsina.
My name is Kola Ogunsina, I am a four-time Intern here at Southwest Airlines. I am also a first-year doctorate student in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University. My past Southwest internships include two semesters with Flight Operations and Aircraft Performance Engineering (Fall 2012 and Summer 2013) and one semester in Power Plant Engineering (Summer 2016). I am back this summer, interning in Flight Operations and Aircraft Performance Engineering (FLOE) – recently renamed to Network Operations Control (NOC) Engineering.
How I landed my role: I had just completed my midterm internship review at Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation when my phone rang. The caller asked if I was available to chat for 20 minutes the next day, so I said yes. I spent the rest of the day researching Southwest Airlines and found I was more fascinated with the Company than I originally anticipated. A few weeks and a phone interview later, I arrived at Southwest Airlines Headquarters for an in-person interview. I entered the building with growing nerves, wondering what to expect. However, the moment I stepped into the interview room I felt my anxiety disappear. The smiling Southwest faces that greeted me scared it away! I interviewed with a Campus Reach recruiter as well as an Employee from my future team. It felt more like a discussion than an assessment. I was having so much fun that I lost track of time. Everything after that is history.
Take a look at what’s currently in my cubicle! I hope it gives you a little insight into my day-to-day life as a Southwest Airlines Campus Reach Intern.
This is a copy of the Boeing Aircraft Flight Manual. The FLOE Team references this document when incorporating any technical changes or updates to the Onboard Performance System.
This is a program from the recent American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aviation Conference. I had the privilege and honor of presenting my third publication at the conference, earlier this summer.
This is a stack of Aeronautical Information Publications (AIP) for all airports in Mexico. The AIP documents are revised periodically and shipped to airlines that operate in Mexico. One of my job responsibilities is to review changes that affect aircraft performance at these airports.
This figure contains the list of all special livery aircraft in the Southwest fleet. The planes are sorted by name, aircraft type, seat capacity, and whether or not the aircraft is WIFI capable.
This is a picture of an Onboard Performance Computer (OPC). The OPC runs the Onboard Performance System (OPS), which is the FLOE department’s most important tool. This system was developed by the FLOE Team many years ago. It represents the coalescence of all technical and regulatory aircraft performance rules and policies applicable to the Southwest fleet. There is an OPC (Fujitsu tablet or Microsoft Surface Pro) in the cockpit of every single aircraft in our fleet. Southwest Pilots and dispatchers use them to obtain vital information that is necessary for safe and compliant flight operations. My current tasks involve auditing and maintaining the OPS to support our current operations, while verifying, validating, and integrating the new system.
These table tennis (aka pingpong) paddles are my favorite items in my cubicle! There is a big table tennis craze at Southwest, especially in my work area. Almost everyone is a pingpong pro, including our President, Tom Nealon. A few weeks ago, Mr. Nealon and a friend of mine faced-off in an intense set of games. Mr. Nealon proved to be a worthy opponent and ultimately won the tied match.
Many people, including my research advisor at Purdue University, ask me why I keep coming back to Intern at Southwest Airlines. I always reply with the same answer – the People! I came to the U.S. from Nigeria, alone, in 2010 to attend a university. I have not had the luxury of returning to visit my family since then. Although we are not related, the People at Southwest have been my Family away from home. Everyone I’ve met while working here has played a vital role in my personal and career growth. I am thankful for my Cohearts and the immeasurable love, guidance, and support they provide. They are the best surrogate Family an international student could have!