Manager at work

Aviation professional seeks new opportunities in management

After a successful 30-year career in aviation, Willy Hughes is ready to take the next step in management. So, he decided it was time to finish his bachelor’s degree.

“I’m working as a manager and it was highly encouraged by my leadership team and managers I work with who had completed the same degree program,” Willy said.

Willy HughesAs a manager in quality assurance at Boeing, his days are busy and varied, but that’s something he enjoys.

“I can begin the day with getting a crew started with work assignments; move to a meeting with senior leadership on strategy, mission and vision; move to another meeting on project management or data analysis; and then go back to a one-on-one employee interaction,” Willy said. “I don’t do the same thing every day. I’m fortunate to not be tied to a particular area, so I get a great span on different duties.”

Being in the Bachelor of Arts in Management program has given him the opportunity to learn more about management practices that are immediately applicable in his job.

“I’ve developed a greater understanding of business concepts, and the ability to see beyond the immediacy of the task that I’m working on at the moment,” Willy said. “I’ve started to see concepts from a different level – the larger macro level concepts of business operations – and learned new tools and tactics that I’ve incorporated into daily strategy and interpersonal communication.”

Support from family

Willy had previously earned an associate degree and started his bachelor’s degree through distance learning while in the military, but wasn’t able to finish. Now he has his family to encourage him through the program.

“My wife has been a really great support,” Willy said. “I was her rock when she went and completed her bachelor’s degree in education about five years ago, and now she is supporting me through my degree. During that same period we put our  two children through college, and they’ve been helping me along because they were in school at the same time.”

In fact, his daughter was even able to teach him a few things herself.

“My daughter graduated from Washington State with a degree in integrated communication, and she was helpful in some of my classes where we were doing marketing,” Willy said. “It was fun to work with her in an area where she was the expert.”

Plans post graduation

With only two quarters left, Willy is approaching the end of his program and looking forward to the finish line.

“I haven’t gotten there yet, but I’m pretty sure getting to the completed part is going to feel great,” Willy said.

Once he graduates, he plans to utilize his degree and work experience to seek advancement opportunities.

“I’m already in management and am looking for positions in the next level up,” Willy said.

Learn more about City University of Seattle’s partnership with Boeing, and about the Bachelor of Arts in Management program. For additional information, submit a request online or call 888-422-4898