Integrity. Innovation. Impact.

Chris Buckner

Chris Buckner


MBA 2010


General Manager, SkyMiles Global Program Strategy, Delta Airlines

Responsibilities of current position: I work to find strategies, and analyze previous strategies we have implemented, to improve our pricing on trans-Atlantic markets.

When I first started my MBA, I knew that I wanted to stay in the aviation/aerospace industry, but I wanted to have a higher-level, strategy-type position that would have more of an impact on where the company was going, and less on the individual product (macro- vs. microscopic in focus). I definitely got closer to this goal in my current role, as I am now working on the entire entity rather than just a few markets.

The value of an MBA: As an engineer, my MBA was critical to getting this job as it gave me the key business skills needed to work in a business role. Without it, my career growth would have likely been limited to engineering departments. My MBA, combined with my engineering experience, opened the door to pretty much anywhere in the company.

I think the value of an MBA is different for everyone. The real value comes in what it creates for you—for me, it was a door into the business side of the aerospace world. For others, it may be a bridge to a higher-level position within business.

Why Iowa was right for me: I came out of Iowa in a much better financial situation than I would have going to a more expensive school.