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Emmalynn Cortes, Project Manager at The Boeing Company

The Basics:

Name: Emmalynn Cortes

City: Seattle

Company: The Boeing Company

Role: Business Operations

Industry: Aerospace

Education: University of Washington 

College Major: Bachelor’s in Business with a concentration on sales and marketing. Masters in Communication Digital Media.

What drew you to working in aerospace?

I was at a crossroads my sophomore year of college. During the summer, I worked as a retail sales associate during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. And in fall, I was wrapping up my first internship at a non-profit. 

I realized that I didn’t want to pursue the retail industry and I also wanted to try something outside of non-profit. I was drawn to Boeing because I wanted corporate experience. Boeing is a major employer in the Puget Sound and I landed a summer internship with the company after my sophomore year. I ended up loving my first summer internship and came back for a second summer internship. 

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you were entering the workforce? 

I wish I knew about “managing your manager”. My first manager out of college was a micromanager. I was so overwhelmed by the first 6 months of moving down to California and adjusting to a new job. Instead of giving me time to adjust, my manager got more hands on my work statement and harped on me for not hitting my sales targets the first 3-4 months. 

After about 6 months, I learned her hands-on management style and was able to manage her expectations better. 

What skills are most important in your field? What do you look for in employees?

In aerospace, there are technical roles like engineering or production roles on the airplane build assembly lines, but no matter what you do, you have to have team-working skills. Regardless of your specialties, you have to be able to work with a team well. All my roles have been cross functional and I’ve worked with all different functions in both production and non-production teams. 

What do you love most about your job at Boeing?

I love that my job gives me work-life-balance. I work my 40 hours a week and I’m able to explore and devote time to my blog and podcast. I was also able to earn my master’s degree on top of working full-time. And the Boeing Company paid for my graduate school education.

What was the best piece of career advice you ever received?

If it feels right, take the risk and figure it out later. 

What did you wear to your interview with Boeing?

I actually landed my summer internship and my full time job over a phone interview. To be honest, I don’t remember what I was wearing!

What do you wear on a daily basis to the office? 

I usually wear a pair of slacks, a blouse, flats, and either a cardigan or a blazer. 

What’s your go-to power outfit? (i.e., what do you wear when you want to feel confident and powerful at work?)

I’ll wear black heels, black slacks, a collar blouse, and a fitted blazer.

What is the biggest clothing faux pas you’ve seen a candidate wear during an interview? 

Wearing too short of a skirt! I’ve seen women wear black skirts that are too short (above mid thighs) to interviews. 

Parting Wisdom:

What was your first job?

I was a ride operator at Wild Waves Theme Park. I operated the Frog Hopper, the Kiddie Coaster, and the slides.

Who is one woman you look up to? 

My mom. She’s always been a strong role model.

What’s the best book you read recently? 

The Portable Therapist - it’s so good!

What one item should every young professional have in her closet?

A fitted black blazer - works for business professional and business casual settings.