Origins of WSU Corporate Scholars
Scott Carson, then CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, recognized the need for students to gain experience working across disciplines to build the the skills needed for the modern work environment. He also recognized that financial support for the students was necessary to ensure students could devote sufficient time to the program. With Mr. Carson’s support, Boeing endowed the Boeing Scholars, the original WSU Corporate Scholars Program. Since its establishment over a decade ago, many of WSU’s best and brightest students served as Boeing Scholars, with many going on to highly successful Boeing careers.
Why Participate in Corporate Scholars?
The Corporate Scholars Program gives industry personnel an opportunity to engage with our students in meaningful, impactful, and mutually beneficial collaborations. Potential benefits include:
- Obtaining fresh perspectives and new ideas on relevant problems
- Highly focused investigation, with access to University-wide knowledge and resources
- Energizing opportunity to work with talented, motivated undergraduates.
- Potential to pursue “passion projects”.
- Exposure to latest technology, tools, and practices being taught/developed in University.
- Chance to influence the next generation of employees.
- Establishes a potential pipeline of talented new hires.
- Increases exposure of the organization on campus.
- New Hires that…
- Become productive much more quickly.
- Have experience “starting from scratch” and contributing to their teams.
- Have advanced communication and conflict management skills.
- Better understand “big picture” issues.
- Have a strong personal network of colleagues across disciplines.
- Understand how different disciplines play key roles in meeting project goals.
What is the required commitment?
- Provide candidate projects
- Projects can vary significantly, however the best ones are open-ended, have a clear high-level goal or purpose, and require the integration of multiple disciplines.
- Provide Mentors
- Champions for the project who can provide guidance, expertise, and feedback.
- Time commitment could range from one hour/month (status meeting, answering email) to weekly interactions (the more specific the problem, the more mentor involvement needed).
- Executive Involvement
- For the final Report Out of the project.
- Potential for Internships/Future Employment
- Not a guarantee of a position – but opportunities are available with the organization.
- Funding (Annual Costs)
- Sufficient funding for a team of 4-6 students.
- $500 per student per semester Junior year
- $1500 per student per semester Senior year
- Administrative Funds
- To cover materials, services, lab fees, travel, supplies. Depends on nature of the projects.
What are the next steps to becoming a Corporate Sponsor?
- Contact one of the Points of Contact to begin discussions
- Participate in planning workshop to:
- Develop list of issues and opportunities specific to the organization (basis for potential projects).
- Identify majors your organization is most interested in.
- Define any organizational constraints
- Develop a launch plan for your organization (identifying mentors and candidate projects within your organization).
- Develop the roll-out & application process on campus (note: this needs to be coordinated with academic calendar and course registration deadlines)