Virginia Koran wrote this blog to share her thoughts and opinions from her summer internship at Sabre.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome onboard! Thank you for choosing to take this quick trip with me as I reflect on my summer as a Sabre intern. I hope you are prepared for take-off as we will be in the air soon. Please fasten your seatbelts at this time and secure any and all distractions underneath your seat or in the overhead compartments. Feel free, however, to leave your seats and table trays in any position for take-off. Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight.
First impressions speak volumes …
It all started with the first line of the job announcement on the Sabre careers page, “We are looking for a fabulous candidate to join our team at Sabre.”
Before reading this, I was feeling a bit like Jack Johnson described in his song, Breakdown, ”can’t we put the moment on hold?” I was entering the 3rd term of a fast paced MBA program when I realized everyone was rushing off to his or her own internships. Although I had offers, I had not found the one company that was a true fit for me. I worked too hard for my education; the last thing I wanted was to be desperately grasping to work for the first offer that came my way.
From the first interview to my final days as an intern, my interest in Sabre grew. It wasn’t just the cool workspaces, the on-site Starbucks, or the built-in convenience store that grabbed my attention. It was the people at Sabre that won me over. The same team that posted an intern position with the word ‘fabulous’ in the first line. Sabre is high-tech, hospitable (beyond just powering the hospitality industry) and fun! Sabre had me at ‘hello’.
The power of the word “intern” …
Have you ever had one of those dreams where you had no fear and could leap across skyscrapers, soar through the air, or land a perfect aerial flip on a sexy motorcycle? Every day as a Sabre intern creates that same rush of empowerment. You can meet with anyone in the company … no, really. From front-end developers to C-Suite executives — they all love to interact with the interns. In fact, they’re more excited to hear about you than they are about telling you about themselves. They’re all open books and happy to share their career path and tips on how to succeed — all you have to do is ask.
Just to set the context, I personally met every single executive at Sabre. This networking even got me an invitation to present to all the leaders of Sabre Airline Solutions. The executives are always curious to hear about the intern experience, what we think Sabre can do to improve, and all the details of our summer projects. Presenting at this level not only put me on the radar of my team and other executives, it gave me a great opportunity to put my MBA presentation skills to the test.
Sign up for the tour …
Seriously, don’t miss it. The perks at our HDQ office are fascinating! Here is a brief overview:
- On-site composting
- On-site public library and reading area
- Health & meditation rooms
- On-site health clinic
- Indoor and outdoor café, and a huge lawn for games and bands
- Outdoor nature and walking trails
- Convenience store equipped with Starbucks
- Cafeteria with over 8 international cuisine options including my favorite—made-to-order Sushi!
I almost forgot to mention that our office is Texas’ first LEED certified building. This means that Sabre diverts more than 75% of the waste it produces from the landfill, which makes for a sustainable and environmentally responsible place to work.
Embrace the cultural diversity …
Ever sat in a café in another country and just gotten lost in the melodic hum of a foreign language? You can experience this cultural diversity at Sabre every day. Whether you’re grabbing coffee from the break room, enjoying lunch in the café, or tuning in to a conference call — people from nearly every region around the globe can surround you.
Whiteboards, and brainstorming, and meetings, oh my! …
In my program at school, I was known as the one to always sit next to the whiteboard. My team members often commented on my excessive desire to use a dry erase marker to write out everyone’s thoughts on its pearly white façade. They may have laughed at me then, but now I am living the dream…
Sabre has evolved so much in 60 years, and the collaboration that is embedded in our culture has made that change possible. We collaborate on projects, in brainstorming sessions, for the intern case competition, and so much more! At Sabre, you will find whiteboards at desks, in meeting rooms — there are even whiteboard tabletops in the break rooms. Come one, come all my fellow collaborators and find your cooperation capital put to use!
Does sitting at a desk in a boring office sound just as appealing to you as sitting through a high school economics lecture? (Think Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? At Sabre, you will find that there is no dividing the executives from their teams. Instead, everyone shares the same ‘neighborhood’ and collaborates to develop the best solutions for our customers on a daily basis. The collaborative ambience of Sabre makes for lively interaction throughout the day.
At Sabre, you can see some cool things happen on any given workday. You might get to see a live band at lunch, enjoy a movie and ice-cream with your team, or witness a flash mob of Bollywood dancers at a company-wide cricket championship game!
Being your (AWESOME) self …
Be yourself. We mean it. Everyone understands what is appropriate when it comes to what to wear, how to act, and what to do at work. But at Sabre, everyone embraces your unique personality.
I found that whether people liked dressing comfortably in jeans or adding a little flair to their wear — Sabre accepts them as they are. Despite the fact that I’m a young professional just entering the field, I’m comfortable in my own shoes each day I walk into the office.
Me + Sabre Shark Tank …
As an intern, I was privileged to participate in the annual intern case competition that Sabre hosts. This competition consists of various intern teams competing to create cutting-edge applications that solve travel industry issues, and then pitching it on stage to executive judges. The intern case competition was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that gave me insight into what it’s like to build a technology solution from the ground up.
Our team (the self-proclaimed ‘Misfit Avengers’) presented our unique prototype that would bring biometrics to travel. Oh, and did I mention that my team won the entire competition? Best. Internship. Ever.
And now, prepare for landing …
My summer at Sabre has been beyond amazing … I am a bit sad that the summer is finished, but I look forward to walking the stage and adding the letters MBA to my signature.
To my Sabre co-pilots: I discovered this summer at Sabre that you value my contributions. I started this adventure in hopes of finding a right ‘fit’ and a true home… I’m beyond satisfied.
As for my future after graduation: like the blissful fate of true soul mates, I chose Sabre & Sabre chose me. I’m happy to say that I’ll be continuing my career here!
Thank you for your time traveling with me today. Until we meet again — I wish you clear skies and smooth flying.