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About Raytheon

Industry: Aerospace and defense 
Location: Waltham, Massachusetts  
Company size: 182,000+ employees

Meet Bill Forbes, Senior Director of Global Supply Chain at Raytheon

Q: How did you come to work with Northeastern's Full-Time MBA program?

A: About 10 years ago, I ran our leadership development program for supply chain at Raytheon Missiles & Defense and recruited from a number of top MBA programs in the country. Northeastern was one of those schools, and over time I got more engaged with the university and eventually became a member of the Career Advisory Board.

Q: What impresses you about working with the D'Amore-McKim Graduate Career Center?

A: Their faculty and staff are engaged, they interact with you, and they really take care of their students during their residencies. I flew out to a big school once for some student interviews and nobody showed up. When I went to their career center to ask why, the staff didn't even know who the students were. At Northeastern, the staff know all the students by name and what they want to do with their careers. I don't see that anywhere else.

Q: What stands out to you about the typical Northeastern corporate resident?

A: Northeastern MBA residents are always prepared and professional—they speak the right language. They're self-starters; I can trust that if I give them an assignment, they're going to go figure it out. They have the digital skills and tools they need to do the job, and they're good communicators. The fact that they already have mentors in their chosen industry to guide and prepare them is a huge advantage also.

Q: How has the residency program brought value to your business?

A: Because the residency is typically six months long, we can give Northeastern residents real responsibilities that increase our capacity. We gave one resident the opportunity to manage a third-party logistics organization for us, and he's done a fantastic job. Another resident is leading a team negotiating important deals. Some of our students manage material content for different programs, acting as the liaison with supply chain and management.

Another thing I find valuable is that the students often take different approaches to problems compared to the way I do things after having been here for 30 years. They bring a fresh perspective.

Q: Do you typically hire residents after they graduate?

A: Most of the time we do—it's worked out well for us. When you hire externally, there's always a risk. But with Northeastern residents, we already know the quality of their work and the caliber of their education. We've challenged them and pressure-tested them and given them tough assignments over six months and found out where their strengths and weaknesses are. It just makes so much sense to hire them, and it makes for a smooth transition. That's huge for us.

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