Shane Decker: Dad, Boeing Employee, CityU Student

download (4)We had the pleasure of talking to Shane Decker, a student in CityU’s Bachelor of Management (BAM) program. With several years of professional experience under his belt and a full-time job at home and at Boeing, CityU’s performance-based method was a great choice for Shane. This option allowed him to continue his life and improve it.

Here is what we heard from Shane about his experience in this innovative program…

Q: Tell us a little about yourself – where do you work and what brought you to City University of Seattle?

I’m a 39 year old Dad, student and full-time professional at the Boeing Company. I restarted my education in 2013 after an 18 year break, thanks to the opportunities City University of Seattle created for working professionals. With the busy schedule and ever changing environment at Boeing and in life, I never thought I would be able to complete my education.

In the 4 ½ years I’ve been at Boeing, I’ve traveled and held multiple positions on every imaginable shift. Some of them include: Production Management, Lean Management, Staffing / Hiring, Education and Training. Boeing has been great for my career development.

How I ended up at CityU started before my employment at Boeing. Prior to Boeing I spent almost 15 years in the construction industry, most of which was in large land development. During that time, I worked in nearly every conceivable job before I left as a Project Manager in 2011. That year the talent pool was flooded with competition that not only had experience and outstanding performance records, but educational backgrounds that gave them the edge as companies began to upgrade their workforce. Often education would be the tie breaker that decided which candidate would be hired. Since that time I’ve always maintained the mindset that I need to complete my education, not only for my future but to make sure my kids know how important it is to take advantage of every opportunity you can when it presents itself. Thanks to my wonderful CityU advisor, Kathy Herdeck who has made this all possible along with the CityU staff, I hope to complete this goal in 2016.

Q: Why were you drawn to CityU’s Performance-based Bachelor of Arts in Management?

CityU’s BAM Program is perfect for working professionals who want to be in Leadership. For me, specifically, the ever changing environment at Boeing wasn’t conducive to long term plans or a traditional program. The flexibility of the curriculum made it easy for me to transition from shift to shift, job to job and still find time to complete homework. The second and equally as important factor was the direct relationship to my current work. There is no shortage of material for the assignments at the Boeing Company.

Q: What made this program different from others you looked at and how did or has this program helped you in your career?

This BAM program came to me at the perfect time in my career. Your direct work experience and the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned, literally the next day, make it an amazing learning opportunity. As I drew material for assignments from my work experiences, I was forced to learn more about myself as I transformed them into analytical writings. Some things were hard to see in writing and gave me new perspectives on what I was doing and how I managed a business. It was what I needed to continue my development as a leader in the corporate world and validate the growth I achieved.

Q: What was your favorite course, why?

Honestly, it was a shock to me. . . . Math with Dr. Middleton. I hadn’t taken a math class since 1993 as a junior in high school. He was patient, encouraging and never let us feel inadequate. My experience with Dr. Middleton gave me confidence in knowing I could be successful moving forward with my education.

Q: Is there anything you are taking away from your experience in this program that surprised you ?

I learned the importance of a good Human Resources department. Human Resources did not interest me in any way. I never took the time to engage with them and handled everything I could within my teams. I had no idea of the vast role Human Resources play in the entirety of the business. Like most people the phrase H.R. didn’t exactly resonate with me. I now have a new appreciation for their role behind the scenes and the support they can provide.

Q: Was getting a bachelor’s degree a goal of yours? If it was, tell us more about that and how this unique program helped you achieve this goal.

Always. It has been since I can remember. I thought I lost it at one point. With the LTP program (Learning Together Program) at Boeing and the great opportunities at CityU it’s within my reach.

Q: Who do you think this delivery mode – performance-based – is good for? Everyone or just a few? If just a few, who are they?

I think working professionals will gain the most. The ability to apply its curriculum daily adds to the retention and comprehension of the material. With that said, any person aspiring to be a better or future business professional will be prepared for success.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add? 

My experience with CityU and its staff has been a personal success that I can’t thank them enough for. A special thank you goes to my amazing student  advisor, Kathy Herdeck who has prepared me and my peers every step of the way. I will continue to recommend City University of Seattle to anyone seeking an opportunity for education.


11935593_1136402143053895_7029607756700194727_n (002)Shane was honored to meet China’s President Xi and be among the few Boeing’s representative to meet him at Boeing when he visited the headquarters in September 2015.

If you want to learn more about this performance-based program go here or email an advisor at

Published September 3, 2015



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