Anthony Gregory knew of Purdue’s reputation for academic rigor and extensive opportunities for students to get involved outside of the classroom — not to mention the quality of its faculty and success of its graduates. Gregory says he chose Purdue because it stood out clearly among the other institutions he considered for an undergraduate education.
After completing the aviation and transportation technology program, Gregory says he felt well prepared to enter the aviation industry as a competitive job candidate. However, it wasn’t until a few months into his first role at Southwest Airlines that Gregory realized just how well his Purdue degree — especially being able to serve as a co-pilot in Purdue’s corporate flight operation — had prepared him to lead projects effectively.
“The benefit to my skillset as a pilot is obvious,” he says, “but less apparent — and equally if not more important — was the impact it had on my ability to make logical, informed decisions and communicate effectively. These abilities are critical to developing and leading high-performance teams at Southwest.”
Today, Gregory works as a senior director in the ground operations department. He leads planning and management of Southwest’s operations across 30 airports in the Western U.S. and partners with others to influence corporate strategy, solve complex challenges, and identify ways to improve overall performance. Much of his daily focus is on developing leaders, engaging frontline employees, and effectively communicating business performance, goals and upcoming changes to the company’s operations.