2016 Top Places to Work in PR: Southwest Airlines

There are many opportunities to get involved in new projects and follow one's interests at Southwest, from participating in city openings or specialty plane launches to leading one of its company or department culture events. Southwest communications employees are encouraged to take on new responsibilities and stretch assignments.

The communications department recently began offering a “Learn & Share” program—a self-tailored externship designed to allow employees to visit world-class organizations or participate in career-enhancing experiences to glean best practices and innovative ideas from a field of interest or inspiration. Employees return to Southwest with fresh knowledge, enhancing their professional expertise and inspiring a new approach to conducting business.

The program serves as a formal development opportunity outside of Southwest, allows colleagues to learn and share world-class knowledge and best practices and encourages innovative thinking and a unique, immersive learning experience. Communications employees can submit an expression of interest to spend up to five business days pursuing a unique learning experience.

In addition, Southwest Airlines University, located in Southwest’s state-of-the-art training facility, provides technical training and personal and professional development opportunities through classroom and online formats.

Southwest hires to (and evaluates against) three attributes, coined "Living the Southwest Way." This includes a warrior spirit (a desire to excel, act with courage, persevere and innovate), a servant’s heart (the ability to put others first, treat everyone with respect, and proactively serve customers) and a fun-loving attitude (passion, joy and not taking oneself too seriously).