Paying It Forward: A Conversation with Boeing’s Daniel Beggs
- September 29th, 2022
Daniel Beggs is an executive at The Boeing Company, based in Decatur, AL. A Culverhouse grad, he is heavily engaged with the College as a member of its Board of Visitors and over the years has helped organize experiential learning exercises that give students real-world experience. This interview was conducted over e-mail through fall 2022.
Where is home for you?
My wife, Mary Margaret, and I live in Decatur, AL but we spend a considerable amount of our time in Tuscaloosa and Orange Beach as well. Our daughter, Mary Catherine, who graduated from Culverhouse in 2021 currently lives in Mobile, where she is pursuing a Master’s in Occupational Therapy at the University of South Alabama.
Walk us through what you do in your current work.
I am in my 33rd year with The Boeing Company. In my current role, my organization has responsibility for rate and overhead forecasting for the Boeing Defense, Space, and Security division of the company.
Additionally, I am the Boeing company focal to The University of Alabama.
In this role, I coordinate Boeing’s giving/grants to UA, serve on boards and committees as requested, lead company brand messaging to students, foster relationships with the president, deans, faculty, and administration to ensure that Boeing is doing its part to support UA while making sure that we have a pipeline of UA talent coming into our company.
What are some ways you’ve seen the university — and by extension Culverhouse — change since you were a student?
Relative to changes at the university in the past 35 years, a number of things really jump out at me.
I’m impressed by the growth in the number of students at UA (particularly at Culverhouse), the notable fact that there has been growth in not only the number of students but the quality of the students coming to UA from across the country and the world.
Additionally, I am glad that the university has maintained a focus on the beauty and consistency of our campus and buildings even during a time of unprecedented growth in the student population.
You’re an alum of the college and member of the Culverhouse College of Business Board of Visitors. What led you to get involved? What does your BOV work look like?
As a first-generation college student, my days at The University of Alabama have had a tremendous impact on me both personally and professionally.
My wife, our daughter, and I are all graduates of Culverhouse. The experiences that we’ve had and the friendships that we’ve made while on campus have been big drivers in our lives. Having the ability to positively impact students, share experiences, and provide both professional and personal insights is meaningful to me in terms of giving back to the university and paying it forward to new generations of students.
From a BOV perspective, my focus is on the students and how can we help them grow, develop their leadership skills, and get a meaningful job after college. I also think it’s incumbent on BOV members to demonstrate the importance of giving back to Culverhouse after graduation.
I recently rolled out of the role as the chairman of the Student Enrichment Committee and the BOV Executive Committee. Over the past few years, our Student Enrichment focus has been on providing mentoring opportunities for the students as well as educating and helping them adjust to employer expectations relative to remote interviewing, remote work, and how to differentiate themselves from others in this environment.
When you work with Culverhouse students, what sets them apart from other college students that you encounter? Are there any particular traits that seem inherent to a Culverhouse student?
The Culverhouse students demonstrate a really good balance between academic skills and soft skills. This balance of demonstrating technical proficiency while communicating effectively — both written and oral — is attractive to potential employers. Additionally, I find Culverhouse students possess above-average leadership skills and are adept at working in teams to accomplish a task or assignment.
What excites you most about the direction of the college? What do your fellow alums say when they hear that you’re a UA grad?
I’m excited to see the addition of new facilities and the upgrading of older facilities to further enhance the student experience. As I walk through the halls of the Culverhouse buildings and see large numbers of students gathered in collaboration rooms, lounges, and open spaces, it confirms to me that the college is providing space and resources that students find useful.