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Boeing Internship Black Hole

Akilae729Akilae729 Registered User
edited February 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So I've spent the past two years as an undergrad trying to get a summer internship with Boeing in the Seattle area. I've been submitting applications online, talking to the Boeing guys are the career fairs, reading up on job requisitions, etc.

However, I have never heard anything. At all. Last career fair that Boeing attended, I chatted up one of the reps for about 45 minutes and when I asked him for his contact info, he said that it was company policy to simply direct everyone to the website. I got a few tips from him, such as the fact that the first pruning of resumes for a position was done by a computer so I should match keywords but that seems like general knowledge for online applications. My qualifications are good, I have a high GPA and 2 years of research lab experience (it is with satellite propulsion but it shows that I can work in an engineering environment and with teams). I'm tempted to decide to go to grad school back home at the UW to simply put me closer to the jobs that I want to have.

Do you guys have any tips for applying to jobs online and receiving feedback? I feel like I'm simply submitting my applications to a black hole and there is something that I am totally missing. I don't know anyone that works in the engineering side of Boeing in Seattle and I feel like the fact that I'm applying for these jobs from Los Angeles puts me at a supreme disadvantage.

Akilae729 on
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Posts

  • DJ-99DJ-99 Registered User
    edited February 2009
    I don't know about Boeing in particular, but in general, applying to selective jobs through the website is going to get you nowhere. You have a much, much better chance of even getting your resume read if you can get a physical copy of it into somebody's hands, ideally through somebody you know, but even by mailing the HR department.

    Generally, applying through a company's website will not even get you an automatically generated rejection letter. They can fill their jobs without the website, be it by targeting specific schools or some other means, so they generally ignore website applications.

    Then again, this is just me talking from experience, so it might not be true. But, I applied for about 10 jobs through websites and got 0 interviews, and applied to about 20 through more direct means and got like 18 interviews. However, this also could be because I only applied to the most selective firms through their website, because I couldn't find any other way to apply, and I would have been rejected no matter what.

  • Akilae729Akilae729 Registered User
    edited February 2009
    DJ-99 wrote: »
    I don't know about Boeing in particular, but in general, applying to selective jobs through the website is going to get you nowhere. You have a much, much better chance of even getting your resume read if you can get a physical copy of it into somebody's hands, ideally through somebody you know, but even by mailing the HR department.

    Generally, applying through a company's website will not even get you an automatically generated rejection letter. They can fill their jobs without the website, be it by targeting specific schools or some other means, so they generally ignore website applications.

    Then again, this is just me talking from experience, so it might not be true. But, I applied for about 10 jobs through websites and got 0 interviews, and applied to about 20 through more direct means and got like 18 interviews. However, this also could be because I only applied to the most selective firms through their website, because I couldn't find any other way to apply, and I would have been rejected no matter what.

    I was particularly discouraged after talking to the representative at the career fair and hoping to get some contact info and being funneled to the website. I do realize these are highly selective internships, but like you i don't really see another way to apply.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Mail them a resume and a cover letter. Actual physical mail. Address it to the right person. Good luck finding the persons name, but addressing it to a title should work if need be.
    To make sure your resume and cover letter are up to snuff, check out the Knock 'em Dead series of books. I got them for graduation and they are mighty fine. And pretty much what the recruiter said, all of the digital resumes are run through a system which will rank the resumes based on how many hits it has to key words they are looking for.

    Unfortunatly it is very hard for people to take the time to tell you no and why.

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • DJ-99DJ-99 Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Your best bet might be an envelope addressed to "Human Resources Department" or "Head of Human Resources Department" or something to that effect.

    The hiring process seemed pretty much like a crap-shoot to me when I was going through it. That was fall of 2007. Now that I see it from the other side, it makes even less sense.

    Good luck.

  • UsagiUsagi Feminazgul ~*special snowflake*~Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Are you ME, Aero, EE, CS? What year of school?

    Large companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, GD, GE, GA, DoD civilian engineers, etc., typically partner with a university or universities to funnel them engineering interns directly. For example, a local Navy field activity which shall remain nameless works with Cornell, UGA, URI and that's about it. Also keep in mind that engineering internships are highly competitive and unless you are 3rd or 4th year student you are probably out of your league, in my opinion. It doesn't help that there are relatively few internships, depending on your discipline, and the cool ones always have the most applications.

    My suggestion would be to find your university's career center, or if your specific discipline has a department career adviser that would be even better. Talk with them and see if your university has a relationship with Boeing. If they do, you probably now have a contact - if they don't, see what else is available and don't be disappointed.

    Jormungandr? Damn near killed 'er!
  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    ok, i have a friend who is a full time engineer with a high GPA in mech engineering from a highly accredited engineering school that is in seattle and can't find a job. you need to realize that compared to an engineering student (i take it you are not), boeing will probably not even consider you. even if you get past whatever electronic ranking system they have (which is probably just a secretary looking for keywords and not some elaborate program) you will be below anyone who has the word engineering in their major. its just how it works man.

    BUT, if you really want to work with boeing in the seattle area, i suggest you look into the government side of it. boeing is just a contractor for the major airlines, the us government and the FAA. you can get an internship for the FAA or any other government agency (they probably have a DCMA out there at least). government agencies specifically look for interns for summer and winter breaks (mostly summer). ask around. even AA or delta will have representation somewhere although they might not have internships.

    edit: if you want more specific information, PM me. i can help you out with what to say.

  • Akilae729Akilae729 Registered User
    edited February 2009
    I currently a Junior AE and I'm not sure about USC's contacts with Boeing. I will have to look into that.

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  • UsagiUsagi Feminazgul ~*special snowflake*~Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Akilae729 wrote: »
    I currently a Junior AE and I'm not sure about USC's contacts with Boeing. I will have to look into that.

    Your university is your best career resource. You are already paying them, let their contacts in the industry work for you.

    http://careers.usc.edu/

    http://viterbi.usc.edu/students/undergrad/careers/students/

    Jormungandr? Damn near killed 'er!
  • Akilae729Akilae729 Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Usagi wrote: »
    Akilae729 wrote: »
    I currently a Junior AE and I'm not sure about USC's contacts with Boeing. I will have to look into that.

    Your university is your best career resource. You are already paying them, let their contacts in the industry work for you.

    http://careers.usc.edu/

    http://viterbi.usc.edu/students/undergrad/careers/students/

    I've got an appointment with them next week since the career fair is fast approaching.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Also look into your Alumni association and see if any active members work for Boeing.

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • UsagiUsagi Feminazgul ~*special snowflake*~Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Good luck, I really hope they are able to help you.

    Other advice:
    - Be open minded - yes, it would be awesome to work at Boeing specifically, but there are plenty of other organizations that do very similar things and would be great work experience.
    - Learn something about the companies you'll be talking to. Sounds like you know what's the haps at Boeing, but what about Raytheon, L-3, GE, Lockheed or any of the other companies looking for AE's?
    - Get your resume in order. Don't use colored paper or crazy fonts because it will probably be scanned into their database but do make sure you describe any awesome things you're doing besides school (project teams, volunteering, research)
    - Learn to talk on the phone. There will, at some point in your life, be a phone-only interview and you would not believe how many otherwise intelligent engineers flub this terribly.
    - Take the FE Exam before you leave university. Even if you never plan to get a PE license, it looks fantastic on your resume and you will never be more prepared than your senior year of college.

    Jormungandr? Damn near killed 'er!
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Usagi wrote: »
    - Learn to talk on the phone. There will, at some point in your life, be a phone-only interview and you would not believe how many otherwise intelligent engineers flub this terribly.

    On that note, some wonderful advice from a relative who was very successful in sales.
    "When I interviewed people I would always ask, "Would I have them to my house for dinner?" If I said no, I wouldn't hire them."
    and
    "A good interview is one where they ask me just as many questions as I ask them."

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • LaOsLaOs Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Usagi wrote: »
    - Learn to talk on the phone. There will, at some point in your life, be a phone-only interview and you would not believe how many otherwise intelligent engineers flub this terribly.

    On that note, some wonderful advice from a relative who was very successful in sales.
    "When I interviewed people I would always ask, "Would I have them to my house for dinner?" If I said no, I wouldn't hire them."
    and
    "A good interview is one where they ask me just as many questions as I ask them."

    I think that last quote is a good idea for anyone to remember going into an interview.

    As much as the interview is for the employer to find out if you will work for their needs and with their company, it's almost more for you to see if you actually want to work for those people in that company. What I mean is, the interview is, at the very least, as much of an interview of them for you as it is the expected other way around.

  • NPNP Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Getting your first job is always ridiculously hard, I remember when I was about to graduate from school there would be so many positions where if I placed my resume and the job requirements side by side, they would be an exact match, but I'd never hear back from the company after applying.

    Your college probably has some website where you can apply to jobs directly through your school, you're much more likely to get a response from those, as they usually go to real people and not some resume database that they're not likely to ever check. Also, if you know anyone that works at Boeing, even if that person is a janitor there, give him your resume and tell him to give it to HR, you're also more likely to hear back that way. Contacts and connections will give you way way more of an advantage than actually knowing anything or being a good match for the job, which is actually quite tragic, but hey if you want to play the game you've gotta play the game.

    Also, don't get hung up on just Boeing, there are lots of companies that do interesting things in the same field that you should be looking at, i.e. Lockheed, Norththrop, etc. I'm sure they all have similarly styled internship programs. Do you know anyone in the internship program, or in any internship programs? All you really need is someone on the "inside" who's willing to submit your resume to HR, and it is guaranteed to at least be read by a real human being, and you'll hear a definitive yes/no.

    At my first job out of college, I applied to a major company through their website, and I never heard a single word back on if they even ever got my resume. A few weeks later, I happened to meet someone who worked at that company at one of my brother's high school plays (this guy's daughter was in high school, and in the play). I talked to him for a few minutes, got his email address, sent him an email the next day, and then bam, I had an interview scheduled within the week, and I ultimately got the job. After I was employed, I helped a few of my underclassmen by submitting their resumes, and even though I was just a lowly new-hire analyst, just by emailing their resume to the appropriate HR/managers, I at least got every single one of them an interview (if not a job).

  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2009
    Boeing specific info, since I used to work there:
    1. Yes, you have to do everything through the website. After I'd interned there twice, they wanted to hire me. In order to do so, they had to open a job through the site and I had to apply for it, then wait like two months for it to be finalized.
    2. That place is a black hole in more ways than one. Some groups were okay, but by and large it sucked hard. There must have been like four people in the company who actually do all the work, because I never met any of them. I was assigned to a doomed software project. When I told the project lead all the problems and what needed to be done to fix them, she started blaming devs and dev leads. Not a good sign when a PM starts shifting around blame when talking to one of her devs. I was on that project for a year and a half before I left it for another project. I'm pretty sure it is still active and failing hard; it may very well be one of the reasons that the 787 isn't yet in the air, actually. After three and a half years with the company I quit. It was hands-down the best move of my career. I'm in software, though, so your mileage may vary.

  • Akilae729Akilae729 Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Boeing to me seems like the prime aerospace company in the region and so that is why I'm targeting them hard.

    I did just find an online posting at Aerojet that I'm qualified for with my past work experience. They seem like less of a corporate giant than Boeing, maybe I can get an email address from one of their reps

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