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Twenty aviation students land careers thanks to Auburn partnership

Blake Adkins

Twenty aviation students have job offers in hand thanks to a partnership between Auburn University and Delta Air Lines. Delta Propel, a highly selective program which provides participants a Qualified Job Offer (QJO) detailing a defined career path, allows Auburn students to participate in an accelerated timeline to become a Delta pilot.

For Blake Adkins, a professional flight major who grew up near Delta’s headquarters, the opportunity solidified his decision to attend Auburn.

“Growing up, it was always my dream to be a Delta pilot,” said Adkins. “When Auburn began the partnership with Delta, I was in high school. I knew coming to Auburn would give me the best opportunity to see my dream come true.”

Auburn is one of only 14 universities in the nation, and the only in the SEC, that partners with Delta to secure career placements for students through the Propel program.

“We’re proud to partner with outstanding universities like Auburn around the country to give aspiring pilots a clear and defined path to a Delta flight deck,” said Patrick Burns, Delta’s vice president of flight operations and system chief pilot. “We’re looking forward to welcoming even more Tigers to our Delta family as we continue to bring the world’s best aviators to the world’s best airline.”

In addition to the qualified job offers, Propel students receive leadership development and personal mentoring from active Delta pilots.

“The College of Liberal Arts’ commitment to student excellence includes preparing our students for success during and after their time at Auburn,” said Ana Franco-Watkins, interim dean. “The partnership between Auburn and Delta is proof of the work being done at Auburn to ensure bright futures for our students.”

Auburn Aviation, one of the longest continually running aviation education programs in the country, provides the latest training in the classroom and in the cockpit. Adkins credits this training with making him a competitive candidate for the Propel program and a previous internship placement with Delta.

“The leadership opportunities and amazing professors in the Department of Aviation helped prepare me to take this next step,” said Adkins.

“Our partnership with Delta is a game changer for Auburn Aviation,” said James Witte, chair of the Department of Aviation. “In addition to providing career opportunities for our students, the resources Delta and The Delta Air Lines Foundation have provided ensure that our students receive a world-class aviation education.”

Auburn and Delta have a long-standing relationship that has served students for many years. In 2018, Delta Air Lines, The Delta Air Lines Foundation and the Jacobson Family Foundation granted $6.2 million to support multiple programs at Auburn. The gift funded the construction of the Delta Air Lines Aviation Education Building, which serves as the home to the Department of Aviation. It also funded the purchase of an aircraft simulator and created endowed faculty professorships in the Department of Aviation.

Tags: Students Aviation

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