August 16, 2012
Tiesa McElroy is responsible for core estimating at her internship in Boeing's finance department in Everett, Washington. Tiesa is a senior economics major and business and management minor from Seattle, Washington.
Tell us more about your internship and day-to-day experiences.
My main responsibility is to provide estimates for retrofit change requests (CNs) for the Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliners. Retrofit CNs are changes that need to be made after the aircraft has already been delivered to the customer. The people I interact with most are leads from finance, engineering, supplier management, fleet support, spares, business operations, and quality control. Together we decide who is at fault, what the change is, what needs to be done, etc. I represent finance and create the estimate for the CN so that the change request can be approved and the company can work with the customers to correct/fix the change.
Since the 787 program is so new, I am working with warranty estimators from other programs (737, 747, 777) to see how they do their estimates and explore if we can apply any of their techniques to our process. But, this is not an easy thing to do because the 787 is the first of its generation. No other company has anything like the 787 Dreamliner. So with that said, we cannot exactly do the same things that other programs (planes) do.
How did you learn about this opportunity? Did anyone from Knox play a role?
I initially found out about the opportunity through Rainier Scholars. I worked at Boeing last year in Engineering, Operations & Technology (EO&T) - IT Finance and was therefore able to return to the company once my summer break began. I also set up informational interviews with Boeing employees, managers, and execs, and from there I decided I wanted to do estimating for one of the airplane programs.
In addition, Professor Spittell helped me update my resume and prepare for the matching event, which is when new interns meet with four different managers and rank the position they want to work in for the summer. The managers also rank which interns they want, and from there you are 'matched.'
What has been the best part of your experience so far?
Being valued. Contributing to the team. Being trusted. My work is viewed and valued the same as the rest of the work that my team is doing.
How do you think this internship will benefit you in terms of your education and future plans?
I plan on returning to Boeing once I graduate. By applying to the Boeing Career Foundation Program (BCFP), I am trying to guarantee as much as possible that I will have job placement before returning to Knox in September or by the end of fall term/beginning of winter term. I am also working with the intern coordinators to find placement if I am not one of the few people selected in BCFP. Since Boeing has a program to assist with higher education, I plan on hopefully being placed in the company, getting my MBA one year after graduating from Knox, and staying with Boeing for another five years.