As an anchor attraction, the roller coaster is the high point ride for any child who visits an amusement park. But, for Dionna Dunbar, the roller coaster was more than a favorite ride. “As a child, I was amazed by [its] mechanical ingenuity,” said Dunbar. At a middle school career day, her interest piqued even more when she met a parent who was a mechanical engineer. After that, Dunbar’s curiosity blossomed into full-grown college-seeking interest.
While her parents wanted her to attend Georgia Tech, she was interested in attending a historically black institution. Upon learning about the Dual Degree Engineering Program at Clark Atlanta University, Dunbar said she could not have chosen a better path to success.
“[When] I realized I could attend an HBCU and a major engineering institute, I immediately applied for CAU with all intentions on attending Georgia Tech,” said Dunbar who is senior manager for Venturing and Emerging Brands at The Coca-Cola Co. “I was blessed to have both experiences and ingest from amazing experiences, along the way.
As senior manager for VEB Supply Chain and Procurement at Coca-Cola, Dunbar coordinates the brands’ logistics, plans the supply strategy and financial outputs, sources materials and services, manages manufacturing, controls delivery/shipping, and monitors the quality system.
“When I graduated from AUCC/DDEP, I worked for eight years in the aerospace industry with General Electric, Aviation Business,” said Dunbar, who spent all her college summers working internships with organizations like the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., Milliken in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the Georgia Tech Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, and General Electric’s Energy Division in Atlanta.
“There I used my technical background and built a supply chain expertise, and I quickly realized the people making money and decisions were the same people ‘managing’ the money.”
Based on that summation by Dunbar, she enrolled in the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and received her master’s in business finance, further leveling the professional playing field.
“DDEP was the best thing that happened to me and provided a safe zone while transitioning between CAU and GT,” said Dunbar who holds a Six Sigma Black Belt certification. “DDEP taught me discipline and work ethic, and I’ve built lifetime relationships with other DDEP grads, corporations and administrators.”