Jaida West | Supply Chain Systems Procurement Intern
Business Unit: Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Location: Everett, Wash.
University: Morgan State University
Degree Program: B.S. Finance Major, Accounting Minor
What are you looking forward to during your virtual internship this summer?
I am eager to learn how Boeing conducts business with their suppliers and customers. Last summer, my role enabled me to experience a variety of internal dialogue with leadership and executives within Boeing. So, as I take on a new role this summer as a Procurement intern, I am excited to experience external conversations with Boeing suppliers.
How is your internship experience different to your school online learning?
This internship experience is very different. In college, the majority of online classes allow students to work at their own pace with minimum interaction with the professor. College also provides numerous hypothetical examples for students to comprehend. However, this internship requires meetings, trainings, and consistent contact with either a team member, or manager, to ensure all tasks are being performed correctly and effectively. It gives the interns the opportunity to move away from hypotheticals and experience actuals.
In five years, when you look back at this experience, what do you think will be your greatest learning as a Boeing intern?
The biggest learning opportunity would be how to communicate effectively and operate in a virtual environment. With everyone behind the screen, sometimes messages can get lost in translation. So, learning how to take advantage of the more personal avenues of communication such as phone calls or WebEx meetings can go a long way when working in a virtual environment.
How is the internship incorporating ‘fun’ into the experience with your team or other interns?
The interns this summer have been creative in making the best of an unprecedented situation and incorporating fun into a virtual environment. With game nights, weekly tag ups, and networking events, it has been great connecting with my peers.
What about Boeing's mission and the work we do inspires you?
The fact that Boeing connects people from all over the globe is inspiring and amazing. Growing up, I lived at 747 River Road and that number has such a significant meaning in the aerospace industry; it’s crazy that I am interning for an aircraft manufacturer. Call it coincidence, or fate, but I am glad I have the opportunity to intern with a company who brings people together, especially now when it seems we are more divided than ever.
How do you want to build the future?
I want to build the future by integrating, streamlining and automating processes that help move the workforce forward. Last summer, I completed a capstone project that reinforced the ideology. To capitalize on that experience, I will continue to find methods that create a singular approach to a business need and embrace a process that mirrors Henry Ford’s conception of the assembly line.
What Boeing product/s or service/s do you work on?
I am a BCA Supply Chain Systems Procurement Agent and support all commercial aircrafts for Flight Controls.
Describe one or two things you’ve learned as an intern, that you wouldn’t learn from your coursework.
As a Procurement Intern, I have learned so much about collaborating with those outside the organization to reach a common goal. Although improving your problem solving skills is taught in college, usually there is always one answer. However, after listening in on conversations with suppliers and Boeing representatives, it is apparent that there can be various solutions to any problem. My biggest takeaway from this internship, thus far, is the more creative and innovative you are, the better the solution.