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“I really learned how to be comfortable and confident in a professional office environment, as well as how an airport works and all of the manpower and many different jobs it takes to make an airport operational,” she says. Sheets says the opportunity to network has opened her eyes to new career plans: Meeting a Federal Air Marshal Service employee sparked her interest in working for that agency. “My coursework and experience definitely prepared me for my internship. It was neat to take what I have learned at OSU and put it into action in an airport.”


Heather Rivera Aviation runs in Heather Rivera’s blood. Her grandfather is a pilot, and her brother is an aircraft mechanic. “The first time my grandfather took me up in his plane, it was love at first flight,” Rivera says. Rivera majored in aviation management and obtained a private-pilot certificate before graduating in May 2013. She was selected as one of the College of Education’s Top 12 Seniors.

During the spring of 2013, Rivera worked with Southwest Airlines as a flight operations safety intern. At Southwest, Rivera worked closely with the voluntary safety programs and created educational materials for pilots. One of her favorite and most valuable experiences was a business trip to Seattle to discuss plans for a new airplane with Southwest pilots.

Heather Rivera turned her internship with Southwest Airlines into a full-time position after graduation.

“The internship was completely unforgettable,” Rivera says. “I met so many wonderful people that taught me so much about how Southwest Airlines operates and succeeds. The company is truly made of the best people.” Rivera earned an offer for a full-time position upon graduation and is now a crew scheduler with Southwest.

4880 education magazine[1]  
4880 education magazine[1]  

Official magazine of the College of Education at Oklahoma State University