Throughout my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to have many opportunities to see different parts of the world. My parents always placed a high priority on being well-traveled and my family took many vacations that usually included flying in an airplane, which my brother and I enjoyed so much that we often fought over the window seat. Since moving to Phoenix three years ago, I’ve covered thousands of miles flying back and forth to visit my relatives in my hometown of Minneapolis. In all honesty, sitting on a plane for three hours had become a necessary evil in order to see my loved ones and air travel had somewhat lost its luster. Been there, done that, nothing new to experience. Last month, however, things were different. It was my first commercial flight since starting my internship. From the minute I stepped onto that Southwest plane – a Boeing 737 – I immediately thought of everything I had learned from my internship so far. From my time at Honeywell, I’ve learned about our partnerships with Boeing and Southwest Airlines and it made me smile as I sat in my seat and watched people stow their belongings and get situated. I know that in the near future, Southwest passengers and crew will be in good hands because of the products and services Honeywell provides to make flights safer. These 737’s and the future Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will have cockpit technologies that offer better navigation capabilities, such as Honeywell’s IntuVue RDR-4000 3-D Weather Radar to see storms and avoid hazardous skies for a safer and more comfortable flight. I know that Southwest will also have Honeywell’s Integrated Multi-Mode Receiver (IMMR) which is the air transport industry’s only navigation system with a fully-digital receiver. The coolest part about this is that Southwest will be the first airline to integrate Honeywell’s IMMR into its fleet, which I’d consider to be a win for everyone. In addition to these, crew and passengers alike will benefit from Honeywell’s SmartTraffic Collision Avoidance System to help pilots see other aircraft in the surrounding areas and help them avoid accidents. The Southwest fleet will also have Honeywell’s Quantum Line Communications and Navigation Sensors and Aspire satellite communications system, among other technologies. I guess it’s just really cool to know that the company I intern with contributes valuable products that directly assist airlines, but also indirectly impact the lives of passengers around the world to ensure they are safe and have an enjoyable flight. I’ve definitely got a new appreciation for all of the hard work that goes into the development and implementation of these systems, as well as a new understanding of what it really takes to get an airplane ready to do its job. Boarding that plane felt different than all of the other times in the past and I think it was entirely due to my internship at Honeywell. In all honesty, I never would have pictured myself in the aerospace industry, but life is funny like that sometimes. In any event, I’m glad my path brought me here. It may sound cliché, but some of the best things in life truly are unexpected.