We recently received this update from Erick Gregersen, who is currently interning with United at SFO. Not only is he having a great time, he provides a valuable tip for all of you future interns. Thanks Erick!
It’s been a great summer! Working as a United Airlines Intern in the SFO chief pilot’s office under the tutelage of Chief Pilot Andy Allen, Assistant Chief Pilot Jim Abell, and SFO Office Manager Grant Anderson has been a truly insightful and rewarding experience! It has been great to work closely with each of them and have the opportunity to glean from their combined wealth of experience of working in the airline industry. In addition to working with and learning from each of them on a daily basis, I also have the opportunity to work with and assist numerous United captains and FOs in various tasks which include: preparing international flight plans, assisting with iPad technical issues, updating pilot personnel and medical records, as well as assisting with numerous other office-related tasks. I don’t know of any better networking opportunity out there than having the daily opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the best and brightest men and women this industry has to offer.
Additionally, I’ve also had occasion to travel extensively on company business, which has helped me gain greater insight into the inner workings of this unique and exciting industry. Just a few weeks ago I flew into Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) and traveled to company headquarters at Willis Tower where I had the opportunity to participate in a Q&A with company CEO Jeff Spisek, along with the CFO, and several other company top-management personnel.
A couple weeks before that, I had the special privilege of flying jumpseat to Frankfurt Germany (FRA) under the care of B747-400 Captain Marcus Torres. I even slept for 6 hours of the trip in the crew bunk, which was a cool experience. My wife was also able to join us on the trip and had the opportunity to fly first class on the outbound leg. Needless to say, it was an awesome experience all around! United affords all flight operations interns the opportunity to do two jumpseat trips throughout the duration of their internship. For my second jumpseat trip I’m looking into the possibility of flying over the Pacific to Hong Kong or perhaps Narita, Japan!
Being based in SFO places me at one of United’s major maintenance hubs, so I get unlimited opportunities to jumpseat on ferry and maintenance flights as often as my schedule will allow. Thus far, I’ve only had the time to jumpseat on one maintenance flight and one ferry flight – but I consistently keep my ear to the ground for additional opportunities. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago I had to turn down the chance to ferry a plane to Alaska because I was unprepared for an overnight stay. I’ve since rectified this problem by storing a “go-bag” at the office. This will allow me the flexibility to jumpseat on last minute overnight trips whenever they pop up. (Just a tip for you future interns, so you don’t miss out on any valuable opportunities!)
United is flying all of the interns to Seattle (SEA) to tour the Boeing factory, which I’m sure is going to be an awesome experience! Three days after that my wife and I are going to fly to Honolulu Hawaii (HNL) for an extended weekend getaway together. We plan to stay at a hotel off of Waikiki Beach, visit the Polynesian Cultural Center, eat at a Luau, hang at the beach, and do lots of shopping during our stay. We can’t wait!
At the end of this month, United will be flying interns out to Denver (DEN) to tour the airport, flight operations, tower, and training facilities there. At the conclusion of the tour, we will have the opportunity to fly the full-motion simulators as well. In August there will be an additional opportunity to sit in on a ground class on a Monday, and then fly the SIMs for the remainder of the week – which should be a great experience! With less than a month and a half to go, I’m trying to utilize every resource available to me to travel, learn more about this exciting industry, and network with as many people as possible. It’s been crazy busy, but loads and loads of fun! I highly recommend and encourage all UVU professional pilot students to prepare and apply for a United Airlines internship – you won’t regret this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Have a great summer! See you all in the fall!