Auburn University’s Executive MBA Program: Expand Your Possibilities

EMBA student uses program as springboard to further expand her career with Delta
Auburn's EMBA 2024 Class adult students standing on law

Auburn University & Catherine Coleman’s EMBA Class of 2024

Catherine Coleman has always enjoyed challenging herself. From middle school English teacher to supervisor of training and online learning systems at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to managing for Delta Air Lines, Catherine has found herself changing directions and pushing her limits in her career. Passionate about her education and future, Catherine studied pre-law in college, then

woman with long hair smiling at camera

Catherine on Delta flight

ended up getting her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of West Georgia and LaGrange College. After teaching for years, she said she felt like she “had come to a place in my education career where I felt like there were limited opportunities for personal growth.” She started her second career studying adult education and then decided to empower her passion for travel by working for Delta.

Now, she is looking to further her career as the Manager of Customer Care, Warehouse, and Logistics Operations at Delta Flight Products by pursuing an Executive MBA (EMBA) from Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business.

Three people smiling at camera, a son and parents

Catherine and her family

“I am also a mom and wife with a job that requires domestic and international travel and many hours beyond my forty a week. I knew I couldn’t go to an in-person class every weekend or every other weekend without missing my son’s sporting events or time to catch up on work. Auburn’s one week per semester residency gives me time and space to focus on learning to get the semester started and gives me the connection to my peers and allows me to keep up with work and home,” Catherine says.

The Auburn EMBA was created for working professionals who want to grow in their current careers and expand their future possibilities. The program is designed in such a way that you don’t have to sacrifice the community of the collegiate experience to gain the flexibility of online learning. By offering a hybrid program with both online and in-person learning, the program gives already successful professionals options. It gives them the space and skills to pivot to a new career or fully realize their potential in the one they currently have.

The program focuses on the cohort concept. It’s a diverse group from various backgrounds who are pursuing different career paths. They support each other, learn together, and build a community that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Catherine says, “I think one of the incredible things about the Auburn EMBA program is that it gives you a skill set that is applicable in so many arenas. Our EMBA cohort is incredibly diverse in its titles and roles. We have small business owners, engineers, individuals in the medical field, salespeople, police officers, and everything in between. These skills are so applicable in so many ways and really open a resume up to a world of possibilities. Knowing that has certainly helped me feel like I can take these skills and apply them to whatever my future holds.”

Auburn has designed an executive curriculum that allows students to specialize in areas of interest or career relevance. In the program’s second year, students choose electives relating to cybersecurity management, healthcare, leadership, and operations.

A man and two women standing on the grounds at Delta

(From left) Catherine Coleman with Rick Salanitri, President of Delta Flight Products and Emma Johnson, both proud Auburn alumni at tour at Delta.

For Catherine, the program has already given her more confidence in her recently expanded role at Delta. In a recent meeting, she was able to apply financial concepts she had learned to a real-world challenge.

“Honestly the most surprising thing has been the immediate return on investment. I thought I would come out of the program with a skill or two under my belt, but I didn’t expect to finish my first semester and immediately see an impact on my day-to-day. My first accounting class taught me skills that I put into practice that week. The organizational leadership class has given me some skills that I am using to help manage a new team of people through organizational changes.”

Auburn University understands that where you start off in your career isn’t necessarily where you want to end up. People change and so do their goals and Auburn wants to empower business professionals on every step of their journey.

In addition to its EMBA program, the Harbert College of Business offers full-time and online MBA programs, as well as a physicians executive MBA.

For more information regarding Auburn University’s EMBA or to apply, visit us at

Photos courtesy of Catherine Coleman.
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