In late March, representatives from the Boeing Company and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering gathered to celebrate the launch of Boeing’s new Accelerated Leadership Program (ALP), an innovative educational opportunity that invites sophomore students from partner universities to a wide range of engineering and product-focused activities, including access to top-level leadership that will help develop future Boeing leaders. Seven of USC Viterbi’s sophomore engineering students were chosen for this highly selective program.
Boeing launched the ALP program in 2022 with the goal of augmenting educational opportunities to “identify, support and invest in future leaders of the company,” said company representative Steve Villa.
“Boeing is looking for the leaders of tomorrow,” he added.
In addition to two paid summer internship sessions, the ALP cohort will receive full tuition and expenses for their junior and senior years, as well as a full-time position at Boeing after graduation.
This elite leadership program selected students from six partner universities: Washington University of St. Louis, Virginia Tech, University of Washington, Tuskegee University, University of South Carolina and University of Southern California. In 2023, 199 candidates were interviewed, with 43 receiving an offer to join the ALP program, including seven from USC Viterbi.
One of the USC participants in this year’s ALP cohort is mechanical engineering major, Ava Landen. She is a highly involved student with experience in the USC Laboratory of Advanced Plasma Dynamics, the AME design lab, and an engineering internship with SpaceX last summer.
“My work for a startup called Remedy encouraged me to think in novel ways preparing me for the Shark Tank style pitch to Boeing executives,” she said. “I am so excited to work at the largest innovator in the aerospace field and have the opportunity to explore different sectors of such a big company!”
The application cycle for this program began in early September 2022, requiring applicants to submit a resume as well as a letter of recommendation. From there, the process consisted of a virtual interview, digital puzzle matching game and an in-person business case presentation with the Boeing committee.
USC Viterbi’s partnership with Boeing goes back decades. The distance learning platform, DEN@Viterbi, owes much of its success in continuing education to engineers at Boeing. The early demand of the DEN platform allowed Boeing engineers to receive their master’s degrees remotely, and enabled USC Viterbi to become a leader in distance education.
Now, the company supports USC Viterbi by providing scholarships, sponsoring student organizations, helping to expand K-12 STEM outreach and collaborating on research with USC Viterbi faculty.
The first cohort of Boeing’s Accelerated Leadership Program features a diverse selection of passionate students from USC Viterbi’s class of 2025.
For sophomore Tammy Truong, the intersection of aviation and software engineering has always fascinated her.
“I always said that if I wasn’t in software engineering, I would want to be a pilot,” said Truong, a computer science and business administration major. “Since I was younger, my favorite part of traveling was always watching the planes come and go in the airports. [This program] is just a really neat way to combine my interests.”
The selected students are eager to start their five-year journey with Boeing, where they will gain hands-on experience on cutting-edge engineering projects, specialized learning and leadership development opportunities and a mentoring program with senior company leaders.
“I am excited to be introduced to the world of engineering at Boeing and have access to some of the world’s greatest engineers, technologies, and goals,” said astronautical engineering major, Jose Alejandro Torres.
Published on May 26th, 2023
Last updated on May 26th, 2023