By Nikola Arsic
Ever since my admission into The Hoeft Technology & Management program, I knew fairly early on that Boeing was the company that I wanted to pursue out of each of the program’s generous corporate sponsors. As the world’s largest aerospace company and 2nd largest defense contractor, Boeing has an extreme breadth of opportunity for individuals of all backgrounds. It is divided into three main segments: Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Boeing Defense Systems, and Boeing Global Services. Its international presence combined with its technological expertise clearly stuck out to me and I felt that the company would be a natural extension of the T&M program into the workforce. Having been my first corporate experience, I was able to take on the company and each learning opportunity that presented itself with an open mind, despite having to do it all in a virtual environment.
This past summer, I had the chance to work as a Supply Chain Intern on the Bombers team out of Oklahoma City. My team fell under Boeing Defense Systems which is Boeing’s defense contracting branch. This part of the business sells mainly to governments from around the world including India, Australia, and the United States (think Air Force 1). My role allowed me to acquire a vast understanding of the entire procurement process, including source selection, price analysis, and negotiation through an extensive training bootcamp. Once I completed my training, I was able to begin accepting PRs for government procurements, sending out RFQs, and actually placing POs.
Clearly, I was doing the same type of work as an intern that full-time employees were doing on a daily basis. I felt that the internship did a great job at simulating what working for Boeing would be like. That being said, my team also treated me like I was a full-time employee and valued my opinions along with my work. It was great to know that if I ever needed support in a specific area, I could reach out to experienced members on my team who could guide me towards the right answer. Not only were my peers experienced in their current roles, they were also knowledgeable in other areas of the company since many of them had worked on multiple teams throughout their Boeing careers. One thing that stuck out to me was that most employees had been at the company for 10+ years which shows Boeing’s commitment to its employees by giving them the opportunity to work across a variety of business functions. In addition, it shows how Boeing is able to retain employees for that very reason, keeping its workers constantly motivated to learn new skills. Finally, it was clear how much Boeing valued its employees. Whenever I presented to leadership that was higher up, it was evident that they were truly interested in what I had to say and were quite open about their own professional experiences.
Despite having to be in a virtual environment, I felt that my experience at Boeing left a lasting impact on myself and on the company. It gave me a foundational understanding of what working at a large company is like and will carry over through the rest of my career. The company offers a multitude of avenues for those who are willing to take on new roles and responsibilities, while simultaneously making its employees feel like what they are doing is worthwhile.
Niko is a Senior in T&M Class XXVI. He is studying Finance and has recently completed an internship with Boeing as a Supply Chain Intern at the OKC office.