The Sky’s the Limit for United Airlines Interns
Fifteen Denver Public Schools (DPS) CareerConnect students are getting a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run an airport through a summer internship with United Airlines.
“It’s very different from being on a plane and just seeing the flight attendants,” said Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design (DSISD) student Angelina Wright. “Now I know there’s a whole team that’s much bigger than just the people on the plane.”
Three-hundred students are participating in CareerLaunch, a six-week paid internship that is part of the DPS CareerConnect program. Students are performing real work in more than 100 companies, including Xcel Energy, NOAA, RK, City and County of Denver Technology Services, and United.
Internship supervisor Aleah Noonan says that the students bring a positive energy to United. “I’ve actually had a really wonderful time with them. They’re super-bright and talented, and they pick up on things really quickly.”
Interns have completed rotations in flight operations, customer service, human resource, and finance departments. They’ve also received behind-the-scenes tours in areas typically off-limits to the public.
“I’ve learned a lot, but my favorite part is going into the airplane cockpits before the pilots take off. I’m really interested in aviation, so that’s special,” said Koryn Artis, a student at Thomas Jefferson High School.
In return, United is developing their potential future talent. “You all bring a new energy to United. It’s great to have the young enthusiasm and the open eyes and warm hearts,” said Steve Jaquith, United’s managing director for the Denver hub.
George Washington student Jor Roon wants to become a flight attendant and says that his internship has solidified his career aspirations. “Walking into these doors every morning, I get to learn more about the behind-the-scenes of what it takes to get someone from point A to Point B and how much people work behind-the-scenes, from safety to customer service. I got to shadow the in-flight team and talk with flight attendants about how they get to fly but also help people. My experiences have been really amazing,” said Roon.
Roon’s family moved from Burma eight years ago. “I don’t think refugee students always get this opportunity,” he said, “I want other kids in my position to see that they have a chance too.”
High Tech Early College student Jose Zavala says that the CareerLaunch internship at United has given him invaluable skills and experiences. “I think anyone can agree that this is a really great opportunity for any student in the state of Colorado or in the entire nation. I know that when I talk with my friends about this program, I can talk about it with a sense of pride. I can say, ‘Oh, I was accepted to work as an intern at United Airlines at the airport.’”