Delta Air Lines Day: The Stetson Experience Connects To The Delta Air Lines Experience

Max Perez-Duel gives first-hand career development advice at Delta Air Lines Day 2022.

Max Perez-Duel ’20 spoke candidly about his connections and the similarities between the Stetson Experience and the Delta Air Lines Experience at the first-ever Delta Air Lines Day, Oct. 12.

Perez-Duel started as an intern in the Commercial Strategy Analyst (CSA) program at Delta Air Lines. In this role, he gained experience in various airline operations such as network planning and ticket pricing in a rotational model designed to help college students leverage for future employment opportunities and promotions. 

John Riggs, DBA, and students from the Centurion Scholars program shared excitement about Delta Air Lines Day.

“In my opinion, the CSA program is the best way to enter Delta from Stetson,” he said. 

Noel Painter, executive vice president and provost, called Delta “a wonderful partner for Stetson,” as he welcomed more than 150 students attending A Day In The Life of Delta networking event in the Stetson Room, including many students from Stetson’s Centurion Sales Program.

“What I am most excited about is that I get to meet someone who was in my shoes not too long ago and just to know that the [Delta] president is an alumnus of Stetson gives me hope for my future as a professional with a Stetson degree,” commented Stebrina Kisingiri ’22, an economics major and Bonner scholar. 

Shantra Laye, Delta Air Lines university recruiting manager, who leads emerging talent and emerging careers, along with her recruiting team members Fernando Mendoza and Adam Smith, shared their ‘Why Delta stories’ and delivered a special message. Said Laye: “Glen Hauenstein, Class of ’82 and president of Delta Air Lines, called me on my phone in my Uber on my way to the airport to make sure that ‘I let you know how proud he is of you all and how happy he is that we are here with you all today.’”

Mia Tejado is majoring in Marketing and hopes to work for Delta Air Lines one day.

“My favorite part about Ms. Shantra’s story and the others at Delta was that they were honest, they were funny and very professional,” said student Mia Tejado. “When I asked the question about internship opportunities being a first-year student, in the earlier event, they made me hopeful to apply next year and I appreciate that. Being from Dominican Republic and seeing Max [Perez-Duel] feels so rewarding and comforting that I am going to work hard and apply next year. I loved this event today and I am so proud to be a part of Stetson.” 

Students engaged in a Q & A session after the presentation from the Delta representatives. 

Students Sarah Kate England and Mirant Vyas enjoyed the one-on-one conversation about opportunities at Delta Air Lines with Max Perez-Duel.

Sarah Kate England ’24, a communications and media studies major, posed the following question: “Environmental impact is important to me as I look for companies that I would like to work for. Please share the actions or steps toward environmental responsibility and sustainability practices that Delta is involved in.” 

“Delta has launched a new sustainability and co-op partnership program, but Max is the one who can speak more to this topic,” Laye responded. Then Perez-Duel shared the innovation initiative Sustained Aviation Fuel (SAF) and Delta’s Electric Vehicle Take-off program to pick up passengers, set to launch in 2024 in Los Angeles and New York City. 

Added Laye, “I was so impressed to meet with you and learn about the skill sets that you all are learning here at Stetson. Your leadership training, flexibility, great questions and problem-solving skills that your president shared with us, plus your interest in the industry, are outstanding. These are all qualities that we love and want at team Delta.”

Shantra Laye, Delta Air Lines university recruiter, talks with Bonner Scholar Stebrina Kisingiri ’22 about next steps after using the Delta Air Lines QR code.

The event was filled with students networking and envisioning a future with Delta Air Lines. Students received a specific QR code for them to connect with a Delta HR team recruiter for their specific majors at Stetson. 

Laye concluded by adding another bit of information: “Remember, we provide free flight benefits for interns as well.”

-Alicia Scott