Business Center

Intern Success Story: Joe Krafsur

By: Courtney Forehand, Media and Marketing Intern

July 24, 2019

Neal, Alex, Chavirat

“It’s…drinking from a firehose,” Joe Krafsur said, describing his current position with Sun Country Airlines in Minneapolis. This phrase, common among Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) interns, often describes the process of acclimating to the culture and atmosphere of CDOT. In April 2019, Krafsur started with Sun Country Airlines as an Airport Affairs Analyst, where he is responsible for managing the properties, leases, and contracts for airports affiliated with Sun Country.

Krafsur always knew his career would follow in the aviation industry. After interning for Senator Cory Booker, Krafsur interned with Southwest Airlines’ Finance department as an Airport Affairs Intern. In April 2018, Krafsur started as the first intern for CDOT’s Golden Aeronautics Division. Already “super passionate” about aviation, airports, and airlines, Krafsur earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance from Colorado State University, a decision he felt was “the perfect hybrid” introducing him to the business and financial side of aviation.

Heating Up, Cooling Down

Krafsur dedicated himself to the State Aviation System Plan. This project included a survey of the economic impact and general airport information for Colorado’s airports and allowed him to collaborate with multiple airports, travel around Colorado, and gather information about Colorado airports. This led him to focus his career on the airport side of the aviation industry. The recognition from people Krafsur collaborated with added to his experience because he felt valued and like he had a voice:

The coolest thing I got out of the internship was....getting to participate in conversations with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), with the airports, within our office while making key decisions on funding…I think being able to be a part of that…was really cool in the sense that you actually got to feel like you were contributing something.

Krafsur’s CDOT internship varied from others because he gained hands-on experience within the industry.

Krafsur had the highest praises for his time with CDOT. His close, tight-knit team of eight “are connections that will last forever.” On the other hand, Krafsur said, “getting to know a lot of the folks within the industry and Colorado” was one of his toughest challenges. After Krafsur’s time with CDOT “was like a family,” and a place where he was able to develop friendships and “keep in touch with every single one of the guys.” One of the most enjoyable things about his team was the “fun” they had going “out there connecting with local communities,” and building a “team environment.”

Chugging from the Hose

Krafsur shared the following advice with future interns:

I heard this twenty times and I realize the importance of it now, but always be asking questions, always be getting to know everybody you can. There were so many terms and acronyms used in the industry that you might not be familiar with. That is something I would definitely stress to anybody in internship roles: don’t be afraid to ask questions, don’t be afraid to get clarification or more detail on what’s going on.

How Do I Hire Interns?

Learn about how to utilize CDOT’s internship program in your division by referencing the CDOT Collegiate Internship Handbook.