By Chloe Riley
Seeing the world one flight at a time, alumna Alane Parris (BAJ 15) embarked on her journey as a flight attendant for United Airlines shortly after graduating.
As a journalism major with a specialization in public relations, even Parris was surprised by the turn her career path took. Looking for a job in April of her senior year, Parris applied to be a flight attendant for United Airlines on a whim. After a flight to Newark, New Jersey, and an in-person interview, she was hired on the spot.
“It got to be April of my senior year, and I was in denial that I would have to leave Oxford,” Parris said. “My itch to travel influenced me to apply for the job with United, and since then, it’s been a whirlwind.”
Upon completing her job training, Parris, a member of Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity, was relocated to Chicago. On call 24 hours a day, she has become well acquainted with O’Hare International Airport.
“A lot of us newbies are what they call reserve flight attendants, so we’re always ready, waiting for that next phone call,” she said.
For Parris, the unpredictable schedule is her favorite part of the job.
“You pack your bag with sandals in case you get sent somewhere warm, and snow boots in case you get sent to Anchorage, [Alaska], which has happened before,” Parris said. “I’ve been to so many places I wouldn’t normally go, and it’s made the world feel a lot smaller.”
In addition to experiencing new places, Parris has also checked an item off her bucket list.
“One of my lifetime goals was to visit all 50 states, and I’ve already added over 10 states to my list,” she said. “I’ve been to places like Niagara Falls, San Diego and the Pacific Northwest. It’s a special opportunity that most of the world doesn’t have, and I’m really grateful for that.”
Another benefit of Parris’ job is that she is able to travel for free, allowing her to visit friends from college who live all over the map.
“I recently spent a weekend in Washington D.C. visiting some of my friends who live there now,” she said. “I’m able to just pick up and go as I please.”
Enjoying the freedom to travel domestically, Parris says she eventually hopes to move to D.C. where she can fly internationally more often.
“I’ve found a job that allows me to pursue my dreams of traveling, and I can’t wait to continue with my career at United.”