Heidi Boettcher – Alaska Airlines Internal Audit Intern

nonameThis past summer I had the incredible opportunity to intern in the Internal Audit department at Alaska Airlines.  During my 12 week internship, I worked on Sarbanes-Oxley testing, a process required for every publically traded company in order for management to report on the adequacy of the company’s internal controls over financial reporting.  At Alaska I was never treated as an intern, but as a valuable part of the team from the first minute of my first day.  My everyday work was intellectually challenging and rewarding as I could see the importance of efforts to the entire organization.  Besides developing technical auditing skills from my internship, I was able to improve my communication skills by attending and facilitating meetings and learn about the various functions necessary in order to run a dynamic company.

There were about 40 interns across the company in many different departments. Both formal and informal intern activities were planned for us throughout the summer, which gave all of the interns to meet and develop lasting friendships. We had a once in a lifetime behind the scenes tour of SeaTac Airport including a hands on look at how the baggage screening process works and a bus ride on the runway amongst the dozens of planes taking off and landing.  On another event, we traveled to the Boeing Everett factory, where we had the exclusive opportunity to be on the assembly line, just inches from dozens of airplanes being constructed by skilled engineers.  As interns we had luncheons with top executives of the company, where I had the opportunity to have one on one conversation with both the CEO and CFO.   In addition to all of the incredible activities planned for us, interns receive awesome travel benefits, which allowed me to travel around the country and have one of the most memorable summers of my life.

I urge all students to apply to Alaska Airlines summer internship program, especially those looking for a challenging learning opportunity, those who enjoy working in groups, and those interested in traveling.