What it does: Provides and maintains military equipment
Staff stats: 1400 at 14 Australian and two international sites
The good bits: Supportive team culture
The not so good bits: Big-organisation bureaucracy
The Boeing Defence Australia story
The ‘Boeing Airplane Company’ was launched by American shipyard owner and flying machine enthusiast William Boeing a month after the US entered WWI in April 2017. In the 1920s and 1930s, Boeing sold planes to the US Air Force and postal service, as well as pioneering airlines such as Pan Am. The company really took off during WWII–Cold War period and is now one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers and defence contractors. Boeing currently makes airplanes, rotorcraft rockets and satellites and employs over 147,000 people across the globe. In 2016, it had revenues of US$95 billion.
Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Boeing Company. It’s part of Boeing’s Defence, Space & Security business unit and one of the largest aerospace enterprises in Australia. BDA has three divisions. Command, Control, Communications & Information (C31) Solutions, which manages complex and large-scale development programs (e.g. creating an integrated battlespace communication system for the Australian Army) throughout their design and development. Integrated Services & Support, which provides training, maintenance and upgrades for “military platforms and complex communication systems”. Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance, which enhances and sustains “all Airborne Early Warning and Control capability to the highest of standards with the Australian Government.”
Boeing takes diversity seriously, believing it’s “vital to creating advanced aerospace products and services for our diverse customers around the world”. It seeks to recruit and retain “diverse talent”, runs a number of inclusion-related programs and events every year and accepts guidance from internal ‘Diversity Councils’ made up of managers and junior staff. It also provides ‘Business Resource Groups’ for staff who are disabled, LGBT, female or from a particular ethnic background. In Australia, BDA encourages “women and people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island descent” to apply for grad (and other) positions.
Aside from helping protect the citizens of Australia and many other nations around the world, Boeing has long sought to make a positive contribution in the regions in which it operates. In 2016, it gave US$163 million to 11,579 ‘community partners’ around the world, along with US$8.5 million to universities.
The recruitment process
BDA offers both internships and graduate positions. Students in their fourth or final year of an Engineering, IT or Business degree can apply for a three-month ‘Summer Vacation Placement’. For a grad job, to be considered you’ll need to have a degree in Computer Sciences, Engineering, IT or Maths. You’ll also need to have Australian citizenship and meet defence security requirements. The recruitment process is straightforward. You fill in an online application and are invited in for an interview where you’re asked technical and general questions by BDA managers and HR staff. If that goes well, you receive an offer and join a team that’s working on “leading-edge High Frequency Communication technologies”.
BDA pays grads better than the industry average and offers an annual bonus based on individual and company performance. You can also expect pay rises every six months while in the grad program. Staff get an RDO every month and subsidised health insurance and gym memberships.
There are also plenty of opportunities to travel nationally and internationally.
The way to advance at BDA is to move from role to role, project to project. If you’re a strong performer, you will have the opportunity to move up the ranks in Australia and apply for positions elsewhere in Boeing’s global network. Boeing can arrange mentors and will offer study assistance if you wish to undertake further education.
The vibe of the place
While BDA encourages diversity, the STEM background of many employees means it skews male. Your experience will differ depending on what team you’re part of and what project you’re working on. But most BDA staff like their colleagues and socialise with them outside of work hours. You’ll probably only need to dress up if you’re dealing with customers and will most likely find yourself based in a well-appointed, open-plan office.
Star Rating: 4.1 stars
From the Employer:
"For more than 100 years, Boeing has shaped the course of human history through aerospace innovations.
Today, because of our amazing people and powerful technologies, our products connect the globe, protect our nation, and advance scientific discovery around the world.
From the depths of the ocean, to the outer limits of space, we’re inspiring the next century of explorers and we invite you to make your mark on the future of aerospace with Boeing Defence Australia.
We employ more than 150,000 people in 65 countries, with Boeing Defence Australia representing 2,000 employees across 14 Australian sites and three international locations.
Our graduates work on real-world projects using cutting-edge technology to design, develop, and support some of the largest and most complex programs for the Commonwealth of Australia, the Australian Defence Force, and international commercial and defence customers.
All graduates enter Boeing Defence Australia in a permanent full-time role before commencing a structured program to start them on the right path to their future career. Our interns really stand out with the majority of graduates having undertaken a paid internship while studying.
The 12-month Graduate Program features hands-on experiences to challenge and inspire including site tours, intensive personal and professional learning and development programs, mentoring to support career aspirations, and social and networking opportunities to expand professional networks.
As an equal opportunity employer, we strongly encourage women and people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent to apply.
So start your career with Boeing and redefine aerospace."