I was merely a Sophomore in college with not much “real” work experience and thus, even less interviewing skills. I had an interview scheduled with both Cape Air and jetBlue for their internship position, and I was quite nervous to say the least. In the Fall of 2009, a couple short months after my interviews, I was selected for the Cape Air/ jetBlue Gateway Program. A year later, as I found myself sitting in the right seat of a Cessna 402, I’d say the lack of sleep leading up to the interview paid off.
Being from New York, I was highly anticipating my arrival back on the East Coast. Once the crisp, salty, air was coupled with an outrageous obsession for road rage I knew, that finally, I had made it to Cape Cod, located in the great state of Massachusetts. I was greeted with warm welcomes and smiles from Cape Air’s employees and even a hug from the CEO and President Dan Wolf. Training started quickly with a week and ground school and then flight training mixed in with office work days. I was fortunate enough to work for Jim Wolf, of Cape Air’s Green Initiative Department, doing a multitude of diverse and interesting tasks. Once training was finished, I completed a couple days of IOE (Initial Operating Experience) and was now officially “flying the line.” Flying for Cape Air was a fun, fresh and exciting four months for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the day to day interactions with passengers and not once was paired with a crew member whom I did not find more than easy to get along with. I was able to build my experience by flying multiple approaches down to minimums, troubleshooting a dual alternator failure indication over Boston, flying in icing conditions, and even flying the inaugural route to Augusta, Maine with the current President, Dave Bushy.
To me, internships are an essential part of the college experience. My time at Cape Air taught me valuable lessons and gave me firsthand experience while on the job. Some call “the internship” a long interview for the intern and this is most definitely true. My internship at Cape Air was a four month interview. Every day I needed to put forth my best effort, make a good impression, and interact in a positive manner with my co-workers. But, “the internship” is not solely for a company to survey a prospective employee, it is most importantly a time for the student to interview the company and industry. It is a time in which to ask oneself “Would I be a good fit here? Does this company suit my needs?” I have completed two internships at my time at UND and look to apply for a third when I graduate. I’ve had two wonderful experiences and have met many wonderful people during the time.
Remember, once you finally get that internship, ask questions, smile, be yourself, have a good time, and most importantly MOCHA HAGoTDI!