Seattle: Boeing and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Day 4 of our week long excursion started out at Boeing, continued at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and ended at Seattle University.

While at Boeing, we “traveled the world,” so to speak. Our tour began in Nairobi and ended up taking us through several continents without even landing in a city. Although I wish we would have actually gone to Kenya, we actually started in a conference room. During the tour we learned about Boeing’s organizational structure, which included a grid system to help identify where a plane, or even an individual, was located. From there, each area within the grid was a different location around the world and then each conference room represented a different city in which Boeing works. The reasoning behind this system is because they use numbers within the grid system, Boeing found it easier to name their conference rooms as cities instead of confusing the workers with more numbers.

In addition to their structure, we learned about and followed the step-by-step process of building a plane, from the transporting of the fuselage (the body of the airplane) from the center of the US by train, to Seattle where the rest of the plane is assembled, painted and flown to the clients. The hanger we walked through constructed the 737 plane which included two types: Max and Next Gen. While each brings technological advances to flying, the Max allows companies to save 14% more on fuel.

A really interesting tidbit we learned is that Boeing is trying to become more environmentally friendly by creating a plane that uses petroleum only for take-off then switches to electric energy while in the air. Only time will tell when this plane comes out.

Following our journey, philanthropy became our focus where we toured the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. During this time, we learned about the structure of the campus (a LEED certified building), the art within the campus, the foundation’s efforts to eradicate wide-spread diseases around the world along with many other objectives, such as enhancing education throughout the states, ending homelessness, and improving water sanitation, while also seeing the shirt that belonged to Nelson Mandela; Mendela took it off his own back upon his visit to the foundation in the late 90s. Our time spent at the foundation really opened my eyes in the sense that one action can have an impact everywhere. This rippling effect is something that is displayed on the foundation’s campus with a net suspended above the “heart of the campus”, and is entitled “The Impatient Optimist”. This piece of art work represents the world around us, and how the foundation affects the world; whenever the wind blows, a portion of the net is moved, thus causing the entirety of the net to move symbolizing that one act here makes a difference all over the world.

In addition, we met with two alumni from Loyola who provided some exceptional advice during our panel Q&A. The major take away I gained revolved around this theme of the entirety of the week: “I didn’t get a job directly related to the major I had in college.” While this may discourage some, the alumni found that it is an opportunity for us to use the skills gained during undergrad and apply them in a different way than what we would traditionally think. Another take away is to embody what Loyola instills in us, which includes being an ethical individual, while also having some sense of humanity, and drive in all things we do.

To end the day, the group enjoyed some appetizers at Seattle University with some more alumni of Loyola. The conversations were great ranging from how it was working with Amazon, to hearing a free poet recite their current work. Reflecting on the day, it is important to recognize the importance of everything happening. While we are all tired from these jam-packed days, I think we find solace in hearing the outcomes of the day. Meaning, after meeting with the alumni, Dean Stevens mentioned to us how excited and wowed the alumni were with us. We all came here during our spring break, so that should speak to our characters in the sense we are trying to better ourselves. I’m only on the fourth day of the ramble and I have not regretted one decision since landing in Seattle and I hope other students recognize this opportunity in front of them. We met with only a few of Loyola’s many alumni, but these are not individuals who I would have met or even known about had I not submitted an application back in September.


Steven Hornik (BBA '18)
Marketing, Management