Williams, a native of Canada, received his MBA in 2001 from what was then GSIEF (now Brandeis International Business School [IBS]) after starting in the PhD program. He began his airline career in United's Financial Planning and Analysis group, then parlayed his summer work into full time positions in Financial Analysis and United Express. When he was not managing the financial relations with United's regional jet partners, Williams took full advantage of his company's travel benefit and recommends those with wanderlust to explore careers in the airline industry. "If you hunger to travel the world, it's a great place to go," he said.
Williams credits Brandeis IBS with instilling in him a "genuine intellectual interest in finance" which combined with "the nuts and bolts courses-accounting, corporate finance--served me well" at United.
Feeling the tug of the west coast, after three successful years at United's headquarters in Chicago, Williams packed up his car and drove to Seattle where he eventually was offered a position as manager, pricing strategy at Boeing. In that role, he addressed the question, "What are the market values of Boeing's airplanes now and in the future, as well as the values of competing products?" His Brandeis IBS education was an important factor in his success. "The rigor of economic modeling has stuck with me and has contributed to the quality of the work I do," he said. Recently, Williams was promoted to his current role. As senior economist for Boeing, he takes a long term view of the global airline business, contributing macroeconomic perspectives to the company's market forecasting activities. He needs to understand not only the near term demand for aircraft, but what the market will look like twenty years out.
No doubt Williams will continue to thrive at Boeing and in the airline industry which, while a challenging environment, presents those with a curious economic mind a place to grow and, perhaps, to see the world.