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You have a job interview in the near future and you have been asked to demonstrate your business acumen. The company has asked you to develop and demonstrate your ability to analyze the problems and opportunities faced by Southwest Airlines. Along with analyzing key financial and other diagnostic information, you need to identify challenges the company faces, alternative courses of action to address the challenges and ecommend a viable plan of action for the firm. Academic considerations: Your written assignment addressing this company should be approximately 1,500 words. A list of references identifying information sources needs to be included. Use an appendix for any relevant data tables, spreadsheets, or statements rather than including them in the text portion of the assignment. The reference section and appendices do not count as part of the word count. Your paper should be written for a professional audience. These papers are used in the college’s annual assessment process, and are read and assessed by local business professionals, as well as faculty. The two accompanying rubrics will be used by the assessors to evaluate student work. Please format and include in your paper the following: Executive Summary Briefly describe the company, including what the company does, its size, and recent trends in growth and performance. Also include in this section the key issue you think the company needs to address and your final recommendation. This section should be one short paragraph. Strategic Analysis Describe current issues within the company and across the industry that influence opportunities for Southwest Airlines. Identify one or more critical issues, challenges, and/or goals Southwest Airlines needs to address in order to establish and/or maintain a strong industry position. Make sure to assess the financial health of the firm by analyzing the firm’s financial statements. Be sure to use key ratios and any additional indicators that support your analysis. These may include such measures as profitability, return on investment/capital, turnover analysis, margin analysis, liquidity/short term solvency, long-term solvency/leverage. Discuss the company’s leadership, any strategic tradeoffs that need to be considered, and macroenvironmental factors. Identify any trends, ethical or legal issues, and responsible business practices the company should address. Solutions and Recommendations Briefly identify alternative courses of action the company could take to address core issues. Recommend a course of action. Your recommendation should be comprehensive and in line with your analysis. Provide sound evidence-based justification to demonstrate why your recommendation is the best course of action.

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