2. What company do you work for? How long have you worked for them?
I work for Boeing! We build defense and commercial aircraft. For the past year and a half I’ve worked on the 787 program out of Charleston, SC.
Currently, I’m on expat assignment for a few months as a process consultant for Boeing Defense Australia.
2. What is your position within the company? What are your responsibilities?
I’m in a leadership development program so my job changes every 4 months! So far I’ve been a project manager, a financial analyst, and a process improvement specialist. All of my roles have been so different but have the same end goal – make the planes cheaper and help us build them faster! Sometimes my job is figuring out how to cut our inventory of certain parts in half or doing network optimization to lower our transportation costs. And sometimes it means grabbing a tool kit and installing a stowbin with a mechanic to see if it can be done more efficiently. Each day is different and that’s what makes it exciting!
3. What are some challenges you face within your job? How do you overcome them?
Starting a new job can often feel like drinking out of a fire hose. I have the pleasure of doing that every 4 months. Whenever I start to really master what I’m working on, it’s time to move on to something I know nothing about! As the perpetual “new girl”, I had to get comfortable being uncomfortable. And now I’ve found it’s those moments that make me grow.
I learned to be comfortable admitting when I need help. To stop apologizing for asking the dumb questions! The best career advice I got this year was from a friend who said she starting taking the word “just” out of her emails. Start paying attention and you’ll realize how many times you “just” have a question or “just” need a minute.
I’ve found having good mentors and open relationships with my teams is what keeps my head above the water. I may be experiencing baptism by fire, but that doesn’t mean I have to go through it alone!
4. Throughout your undergraduate career, what steps did you take to eventually secure this job?
Having the right grades and the right attitude got me the internship. Performing in the internship got me the job.
I thought there was no way a company like Boeing would give me the time of day. Thankfully Brother Jake Taylor forced me to go up to them at the career fair anyway! I had some decent leadership experience and a previous internship at a company you’ve never heard of – just enough to get a recruiter to talk to me. When he asked me why I wanted to work for Boeing I said “To be honest I couldn’t tell you the difference in a C17 and a 787, but I’ve been on a plane so I support what you do.” By the grace of God he cracked up and gave me the interview because I made him laugh!
An internship is nothing more than a 3 month interview. Treat it accordingly! I freaked out and took 4 GSCOM classes in one semester so I’d know what to do. That summer I put in overtime, job shadowed anyone who’d let me, hung around on the planes and learned the basics of how we built them. None of which my internship required me to do. But it made me stand out from the other interns!
5. What kinds of internships/previous jobs have you had? What was your role?
Publix Supermarkets – Cashier and Pub Sub Girl
South Carolina Senate - Page
Diane Dal Lago Ltd – Marketing/Ops Intern
The Masters Tournament – Sales Associate
Boeing – Lean Manufacturing Intern
6. How has your study abroad experience and involvement at USC and SOU prepared you for an international career?
I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to study abroad during my time at USC. But travel was always an interest and SOU kept the dream alive! I like to say I’m living proof you don’t have to be an IB major to become an expat!
Hands down the most valuable experience I got at USC was being the president of my sorority. Trying to manage 400 20 year old girls prepares you for just about anything! I had to learn obvious skills like time management and commanding the attention of a room. But I also learned the hard lessons – like how to give and receive negative feedback with candor or learning when to cast the rules aside and show compassion instead. 365 days in that role is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.
7. What do you like to do in your free time?For the past few months, every second of free time has been spent traveling! I never thought I’d be lucky enough to live in Australia so I’m taking advantage while I can! My team laughs every Friday when I come to work with a suitcase because I’m catching a flight or train right from work.
When I’m living my regular life – I spend 99% of my free time with friends! I’m a huge people person so I always make the people in my life a top priority!
8. What advice do you have for brothers?
Personal and professional development is a continuous process! Every so often, check in with yourself to make sure the path you’re on is still the one you want to be on. Goals change and that’s ok! Find mentors in your work and personal life who will challenge you and ask you the hard questions you avoid/forget to ask yourself.
Most importantly, cherish your time left with the other brothers and keep in touch after you graduate! The people I met through SOU will forever be the most impressive and genuine people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. And you never know who you’ll run into / work with one day! (shameless shout out to Brother Matthew McCalister for being the best coworker/roommate/friend a girl could ask for!)
I could go on for hours more but if you want that you’ll have to reach out! I, and so many other alum, will always make time for current members. Leverage that network!