Short-Term and Long-Term Career Goals
Short-Term and Long-Term Career Goals

Short-Term and Long-Term Career Goals

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  • Pages: 3 (1458 words)
  • Published: November 18, 2021
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I have worked at Boeing in different capacities for close to twelve years. For the first six years, I was not drawn to the financial or leadership aspects of the business. This is because am passionate about being an engineer and thus found great fulfillment in creating innovative designs and solving difficult problems. I was mentored and taught by some excellent engineers and was emulating their success quickly.

One day, a senior manager called me into his office and told me that the organization needed me to serve as a lead engineer on the upcoming KC-46A Tanker program. I was surprised and thrilled, but my first inclination was to decline the offer. I loved the engineering work, and I feared that this role would distance me from being an engineer. However, being an adventurous person, I was up for the challenge.

The role of a lead engineer was transformative. It was a fast-paced, tumultuous project which I was not skilled at first despite inordinate amounts of preparation; I was often terrified, overly-wordy, and unpolished. I discovered the project that had cracks from the foundation. I had to elevate design deficiencies to program directors and VP to seek expensively, compulsory design changes to meeting USAF requirements.

Thankfully, I received adequate coaching and practice making me grow better. I savored the challenge of those encounters with senior leadership. I was a witness to brilliant minds making difficult, far-reaching decisions in real-time. This is not to say I did not witness posturing and poor decisions made because of short-sighted

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political calculations. These experiences planted a nagging need in me that eventually caused me pursue a role as an engineering manager. Do I have what it takes to do better? The perfect answer is yes.

My long-term goal is, therefore, to grow and develop into an executive leader who is business savvy, confident, appropriately opportunistic and makes good decisions in the face of scarcity and pressure.

Being a contributor and member of the Technology MBA program at the University of Washington Bothell is a short-term goal that I am convinced is the best way to achieve my long term goal. From my research of the program and study of the model, and especially the idea of the cohort approach, I am convinced that this program will help me strengthen areas that I need to improve. I need a more technical knowledge in marketing and finance and have a thirst to know how other companies evaluate and reward performance. I am keenly interested in what academic research says about organizational behavior and decision making. I have gained experience at Boeing, and I am convinced that in many areas we could do better. Thus, my short-term goal is to use my current sphere of influence to apply the ideas and best practices I learn from my colleagues and professors in the TMBA program.

A little over a year ago I was earned an opportunity as a new manager to oversee an engineering team that provides temperature predictions to design teams at Boeing. I reviewed the team’s portfolio of projects and committed due dates. I lacked an in-depth understanding of what the project

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entailed, and mainly, whether the committed deadlines were achievable. The first important decision I made was to trust my team and believe that the existing schedules were achievable.

Things were running smoothly, and the team met several early milestones and released some smaller deliverables on time. However, one major project deliverable of growing concern was a thermal analysis that required constructing a numerical computer model of the new 777-9X wing. About a month before the committed due date, the work completed by five individual engineers had to be merged by the project lead. Almost immediately, this integration work began to take longer than expected. That is the point I learned that my team had never before merged sub-models of such scale and complexity.

I moved quickly to gather the team with senior subject matter experts as non-advocates. We brainstormed ways to recover the situation. As we tested these ideas on the detailed schedule, it became apparent it would be impossible to meet the original deadline without sacrificing quality.

The subsequent decision was either cowered down with my team, keep this problem a secret as long as possible. I would then drive the team ruthlessly and hope that everything would miraculously work out or elevate the situation transparently, ask for help and explain the resources I needed to recover.

I chose the latter. I explained the unfortunate situation with complete transparency to leadership and downstream customers. I then presented the detailed project schedule with a commitment to a new achievable completion date. There were a lot of frustration and disappointment on all sides on receipt of the bad news. Surprisingly, however, I received support and positive feedback that I was handling this situation correctly.

Unforeseen issues came up during the recovery period but despite these challenges and setbacks, I am incredibly proud to say that we “adapted, improvised and overcame.” The deliverable was provided to our downstream customers on the very day we projected in our recovery plan months earlier.

On my first decision, I learned a valuable lesson. Trust is earned and is two-edged, from the leader and the team I learned of valuable warning signs to look for and the questions to ask when determining the validity of project plans and status updates. On the second decision, I learned transparency is essential, and if I found myself in the same situation I would never choose differently.?
Third Essay (Optional): Address any other issues or factors that you believe would be helpful to the MBA Admissions Committee in considering your application.

I would like to use this space to give a little more insight into myself and articulate an idea that I am passionate about.

Some time ago at Boeing, leaders were challenged to develop what was termed a diversity blueprint. I was at a loss and felt I had nothing to say. I am a white, Anglo-Saxon male, born in the Unites States to a solidly middle-class family. As a child, we attended a very homogenous faith community with protestant origins. In my mind, it didn’t get more boring and less diverse than this. Thus, I tended to downplay and discount the diversity of my story.

In April

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