In the spring of 2018, Adam Rice completed a flight operations internship with United Airlines.
But an internship was never something Adam expected to do in college. When he first starting hearing about these kinds of opportunities around the airport, he remembers being not all that interested.
“I thought it was crazy to take a semester off from college and flying. But, after talking with some of my colleagues and mentors, my thought process began to shift and the idea of applying for the internship became a reality.”
Adam recalls that the application process for the United Airlines internship was simpler than expected. It had all of the normal sections of a job application such as work history, volunteer experience, educational background, etc. To be eligible for the position, applicants had to be at the commercial training level and at least in their junior year of college. The application also had a section giving candidates the opportunity to submit letters of recommendation and a cover letter. Overall, Adam says he spent a few weeks preparing his application and cleaning it up as much as possible. And, to his pleasant surprise, he was selected for a position!
Adam was assigned to work alongside the Chief Pilot at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. He felt welcome right away.
“From day one, my team threw me right into the United family and that was one aspect that I never thought would occur.”
In addition to working for the Chief Pilot, Adam also assisted many people in the Chicago Flight Office. Specifically, he interacted with the Assistant Chief Pilots, the Human Resource manager, the Base Business manager, Special Assignment Pilots, and a few others. On a day-to-day basis, Adam completed a variety of assigned tasks. He also had a few ongoing projects that connected him with all of the bases for the company.
Now that his internship is finished, Adam feels as though many doors have opened for him. “I had an opportunities to sit in the jump seat, travel the world, meet some incredible executives, and build valuable work relationships that will hopefully bring me back to United someday in the future – if I am fortunate enough.”
Until then, Adam is finishing up his senior year next spring and plans to continue flight instructing for WMU. He wants other students to know if they have any doubts or questions about the application process or internships in general like he did, to feel free to reach out to him for support.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Adam!