International Work and Travel Students
In 2007 the Foundation recruited its first international interns. Chinese students fluent in English have enhanced the Future of Flight’s customer service capacity by working as visitor services representatives in the lobby and providing other assistance to visitors. Many of these students are fluent in multiple languages, such as Japanese, Korean, and even Arabic.
The Foundation connected with its first interns, Xin Yue “Karen” Zhang and Jie “Jasmine” Zhu, through the United Education and Cultural Exchange Program and Peking University in Beijing. After returning home in September 2007, Karen Zhang headed the Foundation’s recruitment program at Peking University for the 2008 summer season. Through efforts that included on-campus seminars, she attracted over 150 applicants. While the Foundation had intended to hire only two interns, the high quality of the five finalists Karen selected was so impressive that all were hired. In addition to assisting in the lobby, some of them worked at the Future of Flight Gift Shop.
Since then, and through a continuing relationship with Peking University, Chinese interns have worked at the ticket desk and the Innovator flight simulator every summer (except 2013, when visa problems interfered). Frequently the students have been hosted by Marketing and Sales Director Sandy Ward at her home. Others have stayed with families in Everett, Snohomish and Mukilteo. Sandy has formed many lasting relationships with these young people, and they have helped her practice Mandarin Chinese, which she uses in presentations to tour operators and media in China and during sales appointments in the United States. On a less regular basis, the Foundation has also had interns from other countries, including Germany, Finland, and Sweden.