Laura Horn, Operations and Supply Chain Management major, May 2015
What was your role here?
I was one of the student coaches of the Union Master Plan Committee. I worked on the new student union project from beginning to end. This entailed gathering student input of what students would like to see in the new union, then going through the student vote to approve the new union, and then from voting doing everything from sitting with architects, working on the design of the floor plan, where different facilities and areas would be located, deciding what food options would go into the union, helping with furniture testing and putting that in front of students to gauge their input on which pieces they liked. I worked on the whole process from beginning to end.
If you could sum up your experience at the Master Plan Committee in one-two words, what would it be?
It was a big learning opportunity — I know this isn’t one or two words, but I never say anything in one or two words — It was a big learning opportunity to see what all goes into making our university great.
What have you done since leaving and graduating from UNT? / What do you do now?
I work for Southwest Airlines headquarters. I’ve held three different roles there. I started out on the commercial side and network planning. I planned out the frequency set of where we’re flying, how many times a day, what cities do we want to grow in and doing collaborations between departments. As of recently, I am in operational strategy and performance. I’ve moved from working on how we make money to how we can save money and how we’re functioning as an operation.
How did your time on the Master Plan Committee prepare you for the future?
On the Master Plan Committee, I did a lot of collaboration with different groups and departments to figure out how we should all come together to get this one vision across the line. That is something that I have to do every day in my current role. On the MPC, I had to do a lot of talking to students and gathering their input and be able to communicate and translate that. In operations, I take a lot of the input that we are getting from our frontline employees that are actually at the airport and know the operation better than anyone, so at headquarters, we have to translate and utilize that information.
What was your favorite moment?
Gosh, there’s so many! I think if I had to pick one, then it would be the breaking grounds ceremony. I think that was probably the favorite because, at that point, there had been two years of work just to even get the soil moving, and then to actually see every bit of those two years coming to play, that was a great moment. I also loved hanging out in the DesignWorks studio and experiencing all the fun that we had.
What was the most important lesson you learned?
Being involved on campus gave a good preview to the real world which sounds very cliche to say, but the support that the faculty and staff gave to help you learn and grow translated so directly to my life outside of college. I think the best learning opportunity was being able to work side by side with the faculty and staff and learn from them.
What do you wish other people knew about the Union?
Fire code, haha. Current students might not know how much input and consideration and time that the previous students put into the building to really make it an enjoyable gift to future students. Nothing was on accident, everything was thought about.
Thing you miss about Design works? A thing you miss about UNT?
I miss the people. I miss the people that I worked at the Union. I miss the faculty and staff. I feel like all of the students are so welcoming. Everyone is so different, yet so accepting. I became friends with so many people I probably wouldn’t have been friends with otherwise. The faculty and staff really are amazing and want to help students grow. There was a lot of opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere.
Advice for current students?
Everyone always says get involved, but get involved! Lean on faculty and staff for advice. They are there to help you and they want to. You can form connections with them that lead to opportunities that you may have not had otherwise. Don’t take anything for granted, because once you graduate it’s over.
If you could have a superpower what would it be?
What’s your spirit animal?
A golden retriever
What is your brain food?
A mountain dew and cheetos
What’s on your playlist?
Cardi B, I love her new album
What’s in your bag?
What’s your favorite color?
What is your favorite thing about your job now?
Well, I just got a pay raise today, so that’s really nice haha. I love the culture at my job. The opportunity to be me.