Why this Boeing engineer moved to Oklahoma

With a career transition on the horizon, Alex Bethune traded rainy Seattle for Oklahoma’s wide open skies.

Alex Bethune is a structural design engineer at Boeing. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Alex moved to Oklahoma in July 2020 for a new opportunity within the company. She joined Live in Oklahoma to chat about Oklahoma’s aerospace industry and why moving here has opened so many new doors.

My name is Alex Bethune and I’m an engineer at Boeing living my flyover life in Oklahoma

When I started at Boeing right after I graduated college, I was living in the Washington state area. I came to Oklahoma as a transition in my career. I was kind of looking for a change of pace, and my parents had already moved here.

I figured if it was a good opportunity for my parents, it was probably also a good opportunity for me. With Boeing also being in Oklahoma, it was as easy as transferring to the site location here.

Alex Bethune posing for a photo, smiling in front of an airplane.

I think there’s a lot of opportunity at Boeing in Oklahoma, because we work on so many different programs — even more up-and-coming ones, like the B-52 Commercial Engine Replacement Program and the Radar Modernization Programs. Depending on what you’re interested in, you can go into either the surveillance or the weapons side of things. There are great opportunities for anyone who is looking for a place to land and a great job opportunity.

I love how many opportunities there are for women, specifically here in Oklahoma. I’m also the chair for the Boeing Women Inspiring Leadership Resource Group, and I enjoy that experience because it’s been a great learning opportunity for me. I don’t know that I would have had the same opportunities anywhere else.

Alex Bethune laughing with friends at a pick nick table by sand volleyball courts.

Finding a community has been pretty easy for me. I am involved in a Dungeons and Dragons group that plays twice a week. Also, after I moved here, I wanted to get back into volleyball because it was something that I had done in high school. Since I had some free time on my hands, I decided that I would look into it and I found a group through Oklahoma Sports and Social (OSSO). I’ve been playing with them ever since.

Since moving to Oklahoma, I’ve also bought a house. Buying a house in Washington is, I would say, outright unattainable for me at this point. But here in Oklahoma, I was able to find something that was way cheaper for a reasonably-sized first house. I love that I could come here and achieve one of the things that I always wanted. 

Alex Bethune zip lining surrounded by nature's scenic trees holding up a peace sign.

I think people get wrong that Oklahoma is a “no-name state,” but that doesn’t mean that there are not great things going on here, and I kind of like it more for that. It is kind of like this underdog state – a land of opportunity. I ended up really loving it here.

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