Have you ever wondered what it takes to get an internship with an airline? UVU School of Aviation Science student Devin Broadbent is currently interning with United at San Francisco International Airport. He took some time before he left to tell us a little about his preparation and experience.
While studying aviation at UVU, Devin knew a few students who’d applied for internships and had heard about other UVU aviation students being selected for internships. He also has a friend who interned with United and who is now working for them. While working hard to do well in his classes, Devin kept an eye on social media announcements (Facebook, Twitter, The Radar blog) to become familiar with what might be available. He also paid attention to the flyers posted around the hangars, which helped him become familiar with the application deadlines. When Devin was ready to apply, he reached out to an instructor for more information and advice. “The application process is similar to applying for a regular job,” Devin said. “Make sure your resume is concise and professional looking and double check to make sure you’ve answered all the questions carefully and thoroughly.”
United flew Devin out to Houston for an interview, where he met with two individuals who mostly asked him questions about himself. “They already know whether you meet the requirements when you apply, so they want to make sure you’re a good fit personally with the company.” His interviewers asked him about experiences he’d had during flight training, particularly about the fun times and any moments that may have been a bit scary. They also asked him which one of their domiciles he would prefer if he were hired. United covers LA to Newark and SFO was at the top of Devin’s list.
Devin returned to Utah that night and heard back from United the next day. He was offered an internship at SFO and gladly accepted.
One of the unexpected challenges in preparing for the internship was locating affordable housing close to the airport. Fortunately things eventually fell into place and Devin left at the end of last month for San Francisco. He will be interning there through May 17th.
When asked if he had any advice for other students looking for internships, Devin suggested the following:
Work hard and keep your GPA as high as possible in order to stay competitive. Even if you’re not ready to apply yet, keep an eye on the opportunities posted on social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, The Radar) so you know what you’re aiming for and what the requirements will be when you are ready. When you get an interview, just be yourself. “Go for it if you qualify, even if you’re not sure you have a chance.”
Devin plans to keep us updated from the field during his time at SFO. Here is his first report:
“Everything here is going great! I’m staying very busy. I’m working at the flight operations desk right now so I’m helping with a little bit of everything. I help put together international flight plans, answer pilots’ questions when they come in, and take documents to aircraft or gates when needed. Those are some of the things I do day to day but that’s just a small part. It’s a lot of fun working with the pilots and being at the airport all day. Soon I will have a few opportunities to jumpseat, which I’m really looking forward to.”