Posted On: June 6, 2019
Flying through Opportunities at Boeing
By Annie Donnell and Dylan Farmer
Emily Thompson enthusiastically welcomed DREAM BIG students to Boeing today. She then shared her story about working at Boeing as well as the career opportunities in different fields at Boeing including HR, IT, engineering, graphic design, supply chain, and program management. “A lot of these companies are a lot bigger than I thought they would be, and there’s a lot of different jobs that are needed to make the company successful,” said Ryan, a DREAM BIG student.
Afterward, Starkloff staff gave a lesson on Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) and 504’s. Students reflected on questions related to learning styles, what tools students use to help achieve tasks, and what accommodations needed. Also, the presentation focused on the importance of access offices on college campuses, and how important it is to ask questions. Students also gained advice on communicating with professors, and how valuable building relationships with professors early on in college makes a difference.
Students then toured the Prologue Room where they had an opportunity to learn about Boeing. The categories of airplanes Boeing makes include military, space, and commercial airline planes. Boeing employee Allison gave the tour, and everyone was engaged. Participants touched aircraft models and asked lots of informative questions.
Next, everyone had an opportunity to work on STEM hands-on activities such as a flight simulator, using “makeymake” kits (a piano using a Raspberry Pie similar to the one at the Science Center yesterday,) and had a chance to watch plastic materials printing on a 3D printer. The flight simulator projected a route on the screen demonstrating where the student must navigate using the joystick and pedals to practice what it feels and looks like to fly an airplane. This gave students the task of understanding the complex process of flying a plane, and students attentively paid attention to ensure the plane landed on the green dot on the screen. Students were also interested in watching the 3D printer, which produced a small airplane. Ryan remarked how “I thought watching the 3D printer was really cool. I had seen 3D printers before, and the career path I want to go into is IT and video editing.”
After lunch, Starkloff led a recap activity on topics covered previously throughout the week. Students reflected in their journals on what they learned about elevator pitches, self-advocacy, and personality types. Luke shared that his biggest takeaway from the day was “all the different technologies and new ideas that they’re using and coming up with.”
Next, students met employees from Boeing and went through five mentor rotations. Students learned about careers at Boeing, and participants asked questions to understand a typical day in their department. Students enjoyed getting to know employees in many areas at Boeing. I talked to a mentor Tarah who explained the importance of accessibility at Boeing. An initiative at Boeing called Boeing Employees Accessibility Awareness Association (BEAAA) focuses on ensuring employees self-identify, and accommodations are provided to employees. One employee said, “We care about what people are able to do and are willing to make accommodations, all you have to do is ask.”
Another Boeing employee added, “We all try to help each other and build a good culture.” Lots of mentors today received an email about the program and were interested in talking to students about career opportunities. Students learned lots of great advice about college as well from mentors at Boeing. One employee shared “If you think your classes are boring, you’re probably in the wrong classes” and another advised, “If you’re interested in a specific job, meet with people in that job to learn what qualifications you need.”
Starkloff concluded the day with an overview of safety tips on college campuses, campus safety offices, and the importance of self-awareness while navigating on campus. Students gained lots of information while flying through opportunities at Boeing!