Before attending Boeing’s Job Shadow Day in the Seattle area, Jake David, a sophomore at Decatur High School in Federal Way, thought he knew what to expect. His mom, Shannon David, a senior leader at the company’s operation in Auburn, Wash., had him volunteer in the Cutting Tools Service Center during last summer’s Family Day.
“I was wrong,” said the teenager. “I had no idea there were so many career possibilities through Boeing.”
Job Shadow Day provides area high school students a first-hand look at what it takes to succeed as an employee at a global company. On March 23, about 375 Boeing employees supported 850 students at eight Puget Sound sites for the event, Experience Boeing with Junior Achievement. Students listened to presentations, toured facilities and participated in “speed mentoring” or mock interview events with Boeing employees. Meanwhile, the individual Boeing sites went out of their way to show off unique parts of the business.
“I learned how important math and science were to my future career,” said David. “Everyone from the engineers to machine repair technicians are using (those skills) in their daily jobs.”
High school students can participate in Job Shadow Day either through Junior Achievement or a Boeing sponsor. Attendee Kathy Nguyen, a senior at Auburn Mountainview High School, came with her entire physics class and toured Advanced Metal Structures in Auburn.
“You don’t realize how big Boeing is until you’re here,” Nguyen said. “It’s amazing that all these different jobs come together to make this cool airplane.”
Nguyen was recently accepted to the University of Washington and plans on studying civil engineering. While the tour she attended got her excited for her future, she felt the mock interview she participated in was the most valuable part of the day. “You got to listen to the people who are doing the hiring give advice,” she said. “Everyone you meet just wants to help you succeed.”
Lisa Oshiro, a senior at Kirkland’s Lake Washington High School, took part in the event at Everett and said the whole experience was “really cool.”
“Seeing all the planes and learning all about what structural analysis is and the whole world of 3-D, it was more than I expected,” she said.
Job Shadow Day project manager Samantha Rhodes said she hopes the students are able to take away ideas for a career and share that newfound knowledge with their friends and family.
“We love it when we get notes from parents talking about how the day helped their child find a path,” Rhodes said.
By Laura Haworth and Dan Ivanis