The Student News Site of State University of New York at Brockport

The Stylus

The Stylus

The Stylus

SUNY Brockport alumnus Carolyn McMenemon Nutting speaks about career journey

Photo by Trac Vu on Unsplash

SUNY Brockport alumnus Carolyn McMenemon Nutting spoke about her pathway to Southwest Airlines at a virtual event hosted by Brockport’s journalism department on Tuesday, March 30. The 2012 graduate now works as a corporate communications specialist for Southwest Airlines in Dallas, Texas.  

McMenemon Nutting had a number of different internships throughout her time at Brockport. She interned for Hollywood Life, a celebrity gossip website, was the new media intern for the Holy Childhood school, served as an E-Recruitment intern at Brockport and interned with a service trip that went to Memphis, Tennessee. Within these internships she was able to work on her storytelling and reporting, PR related tasks and editorial and corporate experiences.  

“I really advocate for internships as a whole,” McMenemon Nutting said. “They are a really great way to figure out what’s not for you. I feel like sometimes people get really focused on interning somewhere they want to be, and that’s great you absolutely should, but don’t discount the fact that sometimes internships can be a really great opportunity to figure out what you don’t like, and that’s equally as important.” 

She also worked for The Stylus as a staff writer, copy editor and news editor. 

“It was easily the best thing I would say I ever did at Brockport,” McMenemon Nutting said. “Almost 10 years later, I still lean into a lot of that experience every day. I learned so much about editing, writing journalism ethics, leadership, dealing with tricky political situations, you name it. I can look back on those stories as lessons or growing opportunities. It was all around just really helpful in my career.”  

These experiences lead McMenemon Nutting to her internship at Southwest Airlines. She worked there the summer after her junior year and went back and interned again during the spring semester of her senior year, serving on the communications team for the maintenance department. 

“I didn’t come from an aviation background and to be frank, it’s not something I ever thought I’d be interested in doing,” McMenemon Nutting said. “But the travel opportunities were really attractive to me and the communication experience was too; based on my internships prior to Southwest, I really felt like I wanted to be in that corporate setting and in a communication role, that’s just where I found my interests lying, and Southwest being such a reputable and great company, stars kind of aligned just to throw an application in and see what could happen.” 

Her internship experience brought her to a full-time job at Southwest right out of college. McMenemon Nutting was first hired as a writer for the customer relations department and has since worked her way up to her current position as a communication specialist on Southwest’s corporate communication team. She works with client companies such as Starbucks, Patagonia and Make a Wish Foundation. 

“My job is to help tell the story of what good Southwest Airlines is doing, and I do that through my clients by highlighting the work they do in that space,” McMenemon Nutting said. “I support internal and external public relations and media needs for a few key teams at Southwest, specifically our community outreach efforts, our citizenship initiatives and environmental sustainability. One way we tell that story is through our repurpose with purpose program. We take items that would’ve normally been thrown away and give them to a partner organization to use and make products out of them and give them new life.” 

Even though McMenemon Nutting seemed to have her career goals planned out, it was still a process to figure out exactly what she wanted to do.  

“If you asked me what I wanted to do my freshman or sophomore year of college I would have been very adamant in saying that I was going to go into newspaper journalism,” McMenemon Nutting said. “But different experiences like The Stylus and my internships helped me realize even though I loved it, it wasn’t what I wanted to do long term. Learning about all the opportunities there are can be a little overwhelming, but I think trying different things and realizing what I actually liked, such as storytelling and organizations that create an impact, helped lead me down the path where I ended up. I know it sounds cheesy, and I probably would have rolled my eyes at somebody telling me that, but it’s really true. You don’t know what you like until you at least give it a shot, so follow your passions and try new things.”  

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Stylus

Your donation will support the student journalists of State University of New York at Brockport. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Stylus

Comments (0)

All The Stylus Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *