Christine Corrigan used to describe herself as reactive. But recently, her colleagues at Delta Air Lines have noticed a calm demeanor wash over her. What happened? Corrigan earned an Executive MBA from the Robinson College of Business.
“I can stand back now and drive my decisions with data,” Corrigan said. “I let data validate everything, and for our executives, that’s indisputable.”
In her current role as Delta’s general manager for Corporate Travel, Meetings and Events, Corrigan built a department from the ground up to handle hotel and transportation arrangements for pilots, flight attendants, distressed passengers and Delta’s corporate travelers. Previously, separate teams like marketing, communications and technical operations handled accommodations themselves; now, under Corrigan’s leadership, travel services have been centralized to drive efficiency and savings.
“I tripled the size of my group,” she said. “People are working together instead of working apart. It’s created a holistic corporate environment.”
By showing hard numbers, Corrigan secured stakeholder buy-in for the recent One Delta initiative, which focuses on driving more than $1 billion in structural efficiencies gains throughout the enterprise by leveraging Delta scale. Corrigan exceeded her initial $15 million savings target by $8 million.
“Before the EMBA program, I would have laughed and claimed reaching that goal would be impossible,” Corrigan said. “Now I’ve learned to report to executives using statistics to support reaching our collective goals. Selling them with data made the process less emotional.”
An interesting aspect of Robinson’s EMBA is that the courses complement each other—depending on the class, a case study is examined from financial, organizational and marketing standpoints.
“Through one case, we studied the different dynamics that drive change,” Corrigan said. “That’s the beauty of the EMBA program.”