Eagles Get Down to Business with Boeing

A group of business students from all three Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University campuses recently got a unique opportunity thanks to the university’s longstanding relationship with Boeing.

Business students took part in a Boeing Business Fundamentals course focusing on key areas of the industry.
Business students took part in a Boeing Business Fundamentals course focusing on key areas of the industry.

The students took part in a special, six-week virtual course called Boeing Business Fundamentals, which ran between Feb. 1 and March 8 and featured representatives from different business divisions within the aerospace giant.

Each week showcased key areas that ranged from procurement to contract negotiations and included projects that students needed to complete.

“For example, we had one of the senior contract negotiation people from Boeing who was able to go through the process of describing how Boeing goes through that process,” said Dr. Jules Yimga, the department chair for the School of Business at the Prescott Campus. “It was really, really, really insightful.”

The course ended with the class, comprised of about 20 juniors and seniors from the Daytona Beach, Prescott and Worldwide campuses making presentations on different key business topics directly to the Boeing representatives. At least two students from the Prescott Campus left the course with full-time job offers.

Although the course was new, the collaboration with Boeing is not, Yimga said.

“About three years ago, Boeing actually selected our school as a focus school for supply chain management,” he said. “So, the company is always tapping into resources, and we've had students going to Boeing as interns and getting jobs. But we've always looked for ways to make that relationship a little bit more fruitful for our students, for them to know more about a company, even before they joined the company so they can just hit the ground running. I would say that was the impetus for us having this class.”

The students who attended were selected internally by faculty members, and Yimga said that an interest in the business of aviation – an Embry-Riddle specialty – was among the criteria used when choosing the class.

“We went through a process of coming down with a short list of students that would be heading into the job market soon,” Yimga said. “The class ended up being a huge success.”

Boeing and Embry-Riddle are now looking to build on that success and plans are in the works to hold the course again in the Spring 2023 term.

“If we have our ducks in a row and it becomes a well-oiled machine, we could think about a scenario where we could have this course every semester,” Yimga said. “We are very grateful for what Boeing is doing for our students.”

In addition to the practical learning and networking opportunities provided to students by the Boeing program, the first iteration of the course also provided another benefit.

“It was great to have this cohesion across the three campuses,” Yimga said. “We've been trying to have these types of synergies for a very long time and two years ago, we started a process of aligning our learning objectives across our business courses on all three campuses. And so, seeing this Boeing course sort of piggybacking on that project was really fascinating.”