Hands-on Learning Focus of Boeing Bootcamp

  • March 06, 2018

Students at Boeing WorkshopCulverhouse students participating in the Boeing bootcamp.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.--- Twenty-eight University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce sophomores and juniors participated in a simulation that took them beyond the classroom with Boeing.

Selected through a competitive process, students gathered in the parlor of Culverhouse’s Mary Hewell Alston Hall Feb. 2 for the Boeing Bootcamp where they worked through a simulation to acquire and build a helicopter, much like what Boeing does every day.

“We are here today to allow these students to understand what happens beyond the theory of the textbook,” said Daniel Beggs, senior accounting manager for Boeing and Culverhouse grad (’88 Corporate Finance Investment Management) and Board of Visitors member. “We’re giving them a real-life Boeing simulation.”

The bootcamp put students into multiple working groups. Each group was assigned a Boeing mentor and given the tasks of writing a proposal to build the helicopter, pricing the proposal, and developing a timeline. At the end of the simulation, each group delivered a presentation to Boeing and were evaluated.

Students working

The Boeing bootcamp featured a group effort to build and market a helicopter concept. 

“I was expecting some lectures and some activities today,” said one student. “[But today’s bootcamp] was a lot more practical than I thought it would be. If you want to work for Boeing in a financial aspect, the simulation is something that the job would look like.”

Through Culverhouse’s experiential learning initiative, Culverhouse seeks to provide students with experiences similar to those in the workplace. While experiential learning can take many forms, like an internship or simulation, its common thread is to give students the opportunity to critically analyze and evaluate the relationship between academic knowledge and real-world contexts. Additionally, the program aims to provide students with an insight on how business and culture come together.

The Boeing Bootcamp not only served as beneficial for student participants, but also for the industry partner. 

Beggs explained the value that such bootcamps provide: “This gives the students a chance to understand what will happen in the real world, but at the same time, the Boeing team gets early eyes on a pipeline of talent. It’s really about seeing who stands out in the crowd, who’s going to be a leader, who’s going to do a good job, and who will fit into our culture at Boeing.”