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Doug Robillard, quality director for Boeing’s 747 and 767 programs, told College of Business students that his company wants its interns to question why the company does things the way it does.
“Your questioning and understanding of what we’re doing make us better,” said Robillard, one of the presenters April 21 at the Business Expo at Austin Hall. “It’s easy for a company to fall into doing things a certain way because that’s the way we’ve always been doing them, and a lot of those companies are no longer with us.”
Robillard, a 1987 College of Business graduate who’s spent his entire career at Boeing, conducted a workshop titled “Keys to a Successful Internship and Job.” His workshop was one of four, each given twice, at the Business Expo; the others were “Making the Most of Your Internship,” presented by Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance; “Networking Skills,” by Mass Mutual Financial Group and Cambia Health Solutions; and “Resume Writing,” by Enterprise Holdings.
Those companies were among 17 that took part in the Expo, which drew more than 200 students of all classes and majors and featured hours of networking opportunities in addition to the workshops.
“It’s a competitive world you guys are in,” Robillard said. “Internships are a big step in our company for getting your foot in the door.”
Boeing internships take place in the fall, he said. Most of them are in the Seattle area, and there are also opportunities in Troutdale, as well as around the nation.
Robillard noted that at his last count, he was one of 678 OSU alumni working for Boeing.
Oregon State also has a strong alumni presence at Cambia, and the company sent Michelle Scwhartz, diversity and university programs manager, to Austin Hall to help teach students how to network their way to career success. A key topic during her presentation was the informational interview – meeting with someone at a place you might like to work to learn about it and what potential roles might be, and also to make a key connection to follow up with over time.
Schwartz advised developing a list of questions to bring to the interview, and the questions shouldn’t include asking for a job or even a job interview, or asking the interviewee how much money he or she makes.
Schwartz also told the students to write a thank-you note to the interviewee, ideally a handwritten one.
“It’s so rare, it really stands out,” she said.
MBA student Huiying Huang, who’s graduating this year and wants to be a management consultant, said she found the informational interview tips particularly useful.