"I had so many questions about how our on-board products were designed and sourced."
"I had so many questions about how our on-board products were designed and sourced."

Landing your dream job: flight attendant to buyer

6 October 2017

Career paths in procurement come in all shapes and sizes

When Frederick Magana was a child in Nairobi, Kenya, he honed his business skills working in his parents’ café or travelling from city to city selling clothes. “This allowed me to interact with people, and develop negotiation skills,” he recalls.

More than two decades later, and Magana is using these skills as a procurement officer for Etihad Airways – with an unusual career path behind him. His height and outgoing personality made him perfect for a flight attendant job, which he began in 2007, after completing a business studies and economics degree.

“Flying gave me the chance to meet people from all walks of life,” he says. And the hours enabled him to continue his MBA studies alongside the day job. Being on-board a plane at 41,000 feet “blew my mind”, he says. “I had so many questions about how our on-board products were designed and sourced. I was curious about the cost of an aircraft and what it takes to put it together.”

Magana’s passion and potential were noted, and Etihad gave him the chance to pursue a career in procurement, which he believes offers a great career path as “it is the backbone of any business”.

He has completed his practitioner level MCIPS and is now working towards advanced practitioner status, with an ambition to become a CIPS Fellow. His studies have helped him acquire skills and given him confidence that “when I speak to procurement professionals, we speak the same language”.

“Thanks to technology, there are doors open to everyone to reinvent the way things work, and to leave a legacy,” he adds. The sky is the limit.

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