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Former flight attendant Alycia Attaway is pursuing her MBA at Auburn through the Harbert
College of Business.
When Alycia Attaway talks about Delta connections, it might be regarding airline flights, or it might be about her admiration of the longstanding partnership between Delta Air Lines and Auburn University.
Either way, the Auburn MBA student has an interest in both.
“When I was in undergrad at Clark Atlanta University, many of our guest speakers had MBAs, and I knew that it would help me elevate my career in the future, but I wanted to gain a few years of work experience first,” explained Attaway, who began her career with Ford Motor Company in marketing and sales before becoming a flight attendant.
“In 2021, I had a gut feeling that it was time to pivot and return to school,” she said. “I chose Auburn because I grew up an hour away (in Wetumpka), and I always had respect and admiration for the university.
“I also found that Auburn has strong connections with Delta, and I knew that it was my goal to work there, so I chose the program strategically for this reason.”
Between a stint working for Spirit Airlines as a flight attendant and a summer internship in Delta’s marketing department, Attaway hopes earning her MBA at the Harbert College of Business will help her to keep climbing the career ladder with opportunities at Delta.
She already values the diverse range of people she has met.
“Flight attendants are truly the most interesting group of people I have met. They all have such interesting stories, career histories and future goals,” she said. “Many are entrepreneurs in addition to their flight attendant role and many have had awesome careers prior to joining inflight.”
She has met attendants with career backgrounds as diverse as investment bankers, lawyers, nurses, and even a finalist on the television series MasterChef.
Attaway praised the networking opportunities provided by Auburn and Harbert College. For example, the Graduate Career Services team facilitates “relationshipping opportunities” that enable students to engage with employers.
“I first interacted with Delta employees at Project Z, a relationshipping [and] resume review event for MBA students during our orientation; then again at the Harbert career fair, so I’m truly grateful for the opportunities.
“There’s also an amazing network of Auburn alumni at Delta, so it’s been great to connect with them.”
Attaway suggests participating in campus organizations to expand one’s network of peer professionals.
“The friends I have made in the MBA program are truly the best thing about Auburn, which is why I wanted to have the full-time, in-person MBA experience,” Attaway said. “I know I have made lifetime connections because of this program.”
She serves as vice president of marketing for Harbert’s Women in Business, which allows her to connect with business women while assisting other students in their career development.
She was also a member of the Harbert team that recently placed third in the National Black MBA Association Graduate Case Competition.
“Participating in the National Black MBA Association [Graduate] Case Competition was a great experience,” she added. “It was challenging but extremely rewarding. I’m grateful for the effort and support that the [Auburn] MBA faculty provided prior to the competition, which speaks volumes to the program in my opinion. I’m proud that my team and I were able to bring home a win for Auburn.”
What’s next for Attaway in her pursuit of becoming an airline executive?
“I graduate in December; War Eagle!” she said. “I’ll be taking six months to travel and relax before I start the Commercial Strategy/Customer Experience Development Program at Delta in June.”
Learn more about the Auburn MBA programs.
The Harbert College of Business which is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Raymond and Kathryn Harbert's transformational naming gift, is a nationally ranked hub of undergraduate, graduate and continuing business education that is inspiring the next generation of business leaders. Our world-class faculty deliver unparalleled academic rigor in the classroom, while our research-driven scholarship advances thought leadership and best practice across business disciplines. The largest college on Auburn's campus, Harbert enrolls more than 6,900 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.