May 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 1 
Main Feature

Sharpening the saw

Helicia ThompsonFourteen years ago, Helicia Thompson began pursuing a degree in accounting but didn't complete it. Today, Boeing's Learning Together Program is providing her an opportunity to finish what she started.

The Learning Together Program provides employees company-paid tuition to accredited colleges and universities. In 2004, more than 22,000 employees companywide participated in the program.

"Not finishing my degree was always a sore spot with me, but I was doing well in my job at the time, so it wasn't an issue," Thompson said. "But when I started job hunting after being laid off, completing my degree became important again."

Thompson joined Boeing last year as a business analyst at Renton, Wash. She participated in the Learning Together Program a few months later.

"The classes have helped me to more readily see the correlation between different aspects of business," Thompson said. "Combined with my Dale Carnegie training (also paid for through the Learning Together Program), I now work even harder to bring everyone together to approach projects from a team prospective."

Additionally, Thompson said that her English class was useful for writing business proposals—something that's become increasingly important in her job at Boeing.

"The best thing that's happened as a result of completing my degree is the renewed confidence I now have in myself and my ability to perform," Thompson said. "The next best thing will be receiving my degree with honors this month."


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