Our fourth annual Southwest Summer Camp is underway, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome over 160 campers (who are dependents of Southwest Employees) to our Headquarters this week! Additionally, we are hosting a few students from GenHERation and a few students whose nationally-recognized science experiment was sent to space. Most of these campers aren’t of legal voting age yet, but they just might be future Southwest Employees. In fact, that’s kind of the point.
Southwest Camp is a fun week where we encourage and inspire students to pursue careers and opportunities that align with their interests. Of course, it’s icing on the cake if it turns out they’d like to pursue a career at Southwest! These students have grown up knowing and loving the Southwest Culture, but may not be familiar with careers here beyond what their parent does at Southwest. At camp, we introduce the world of work at Southwest Airlines.
Our Campus Reach Team, whose focus is on building the talent pipeline for Southwest Airlines, helps run our Southwest Summer Camp. Our goal is to broaden campers’ perspectives on potential career paths that may interest them and teach them how to best position themselves for those positions. For example, an airline may not be the first employer that comes to mind for a student interested in science or engineering—that’s exactly what Southwest Camp seeks to change!
After helping each camper identify their top interests, we explain how those interests may translate into specific careers, or even roles at Southwest. Through Department breakout sessions, advice from Senior Leaders, and various interactive activities, we expose them to the many different functions that effectively run our business. For example, if a camper is interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), they can participate in an “escape room” hosted by our Cybersecurity Team, design an airline logo with the Creative Studio Team, and compete in a Network Planning activity. Throw in information sessions with our folks in Technology, Technical Operations, and Revenue Management, and students interested in STEAM careers will learn what skills and experiences will help set them up for success when pursuing careers in that area.
Learn more about all the ways the Campus Reach Team is working to attract the next generation of talent for Southwest Airlines here. We’ve already seen Summer Camp success in building our talent pipeline, with 11 former campers hired into full-time roles in Ground Operations, and we look forward to continuing to grow those numbers in years to come.