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MBA Program Alumni Profile and Spotlight: David J Williams

Career Takes Off at United Airlines and Boeing

David J. Williams, MBA '01 Alumni Profile

David J Williams, MBA '01

Beginning as an intern at United Airlines, Williams progressed to the role of senior economist at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, David Williams leveraged his Brandeis IBS education to help his career soar to high levels.

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. As senior economist for Boeing, he took a long term view of the global airline business, contributing macroeconomic perspectives to the company's market forecasting activities.