Siblings Teresa and Joe King are using their CWU educations and professional experience at The Boeing Company to give back to current students by becoming mentors.
After earning her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering technology (MET) and graduate degree in engineering technology from Central, Teresa (’91, ’02) has enjoyed a long career in the aerospace field. She has spent the last 17 years at Boeing, where she is currently the cabin development and integration senior project manager.
Likewise, her brother, Joe (’96), earned his degree in MET and has spent the bulk of his career at Boeing, where he leads the Functional Integration Single and Multiple Failure team for the 777X development program, supporting certification deliverables.
“The MET degree I earned at Central helped prepare me for my professional career,” Joe said. “I wanted to share this experience with CWU engineering students. Teresa and I recognized that soft-skill development is key to success in any professional career, so we developed the mentoring program to emphasize that throughout their senior project work.”
Not only do Teresa and Joe work with their mentees on topics pertinent to working in the MET field; they also spend time focusing on soft skills, such as communication, leadership, adaptability, and teamwork.
This soft-skill development includes facilitating in-person dry-run presentations of the students’ senior project presentations and a résumé writing workshop that helps them put their best foot forward when applying for jobs.
This well-rounded approach helped four of the students Joe and Teresa mentored last year find jobs with Boeing after graduation. This year, Teresa mentored five students, three of whom have already been hired into careers in their field. She is also working to place the other two as entry-level engineers.
“Both Joe and I have been very fortunate that we had such a great mentor in our MET chair when were at Central,” Teresa said of the late Walt Kaminski. “He was our champion. He truly believed in his students, and I personally feel I would not be where I am if it weren’t for his unwavering support. I thought this would be a great way to honor his legacy, and I saw it as a chance to give back.”
Looking to the future, both Teresa and Joe plan to continue mentoring Central students and encouraging other alumni to give it a try.
“A lot of alumni think the only way to give back is financially,” Teresa said. “I would encourage alumni to think outside the box because giving back can come in so many forms. Alumni are doing great things, and many students could benefit from their expertise. I have gotten so much out of mentoring that I wish I would have done this sooner.”
If you’re interested in becoming a mentor to CWU students, visit cwu.edu/alumni.