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Engineering students take flight with Boeing

Aerospace partner offers engineering scholarships, career opportunities

The University of South Carolina is one of only six institutions in the country selected to partner with Boeing on its Accelerated Leadership Program, in which a select group of students will gain hands-on learning experience working with engineering projects and innovative technologies. Participating students will complete two summer sessions with Boeing and will have the opportunity to work for Boeing full-time upon graduation. Boeing will pay the students’ tuition and other expenses for their junior and senior years.

Why it matters: The program comes two years after the launch of USC’s undergraduate aerospace engineering program and speaks to the university’s efforts to prepare students for South Carolina’s growing aerospace industry, which employs more than 136,000 South Carolinians and has a $28 billion economic impact in the state, according to the state Department of Commerce. Both USC and this program are filling the needs of South Carolina’s workspace with our undergraduate program graduating the state’s first ever class of aerospace engineers.

What Boeing is saying: “Our senior executive leaders came up with the idea to secure and retain engineering talent. We’re looking for students that are already displaying leadership skills with their involvement in different activities in school. The students hired through this program will have more exposure to various sites and learning environments, and more access to our top leaders. They also have access to our learning and development team to build and apply their foundational business skills. This program has the ability to catapult careers into higher level positions at an earlier stage.” — Kelli Hodges, global talent acquisition manager for Boeing's Accelerated Leadership Program

What USC is saying: “In my 36-plus years of being on the faculty of an R1 university, these are the best internship and hiring packages I have ever seen. It only strengthens our relationship with Boeing by providing a cohort of graduates who will be immediately prepared for careers in aerospace. We are honored for our students to be selected by Boeing for this opportunity.” — Haj-Hariri, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing