Student Spotlight: My First Week at Vaughn
International transfer student discusses how Orientation helped him transition and achieve his educational goals.By Vaughn College
In fall 2015, Fray Holness ’20, began his first week at Vaughn College. He was a transfer student from Kingston, Jamaica, and was looking to expand his education to land a successful career in aviation management. Vaughn was his clear choice for many reasons, but when he experienced the welcoming atmosphere during orientation (known as “Welcome Week” at Vaughn), his decision was only validated.
What Attracted Holness to Vaughn?
Holness was always on the fast track with one clear focus in mind: aviation management. He earned his associate degree in air transportation management in Jamaica, moved to New York in 2015, and then quickly enrolled in the fall semester at Vaughn to earn a bachelor of science in aviation management.
“I found there were few institutions that offered a double major in my field,” Holness said. “Vaughn’s airport/airline management program meshed with my interests and was the perfect fit for me.”
He also moved into the on-campus residence hall to get the full Vaughn experience.
How New Student Orientation gets you on the right track
Whether you’re an international transfer student like Holness, or just starting out, Vaughn’s Orientation is designed to get students completely prepared to dive right in and have a successful first year. Orientation is an opportunity for new students to meet fellow classmates and new friends, as well as get personal time to ask Vaughn faculty and Academic Advisers any questions they have. It also takes care of all new student logistics such as building fall class schedules, tour the campus, and getting your official school ID and parking passes.
What Holness Got out of the Experience
As an international transfer student, Holness has a unique perspective on what prospective students should do during Orientation.
Here are his top two suggestions on how to get the most out of the experience:
- Get involved and meet as many people as you can. Holness explains how Orientation was the perfect opportunity for him to seek out on-campus activities and clubs as a way to meet new people. “It’s a great way to promote a positive and inviting atmosphere on campus and bring students together,” Holness said.
- Ask other students and academic advisors for tips. This Includes finding out what classes to take and what activities are available that could complement your education. “We are all here to learn, and every student is in the same boat navigating new waters,” Holness said. “Vaughn is a very welcoming campus, with students and faculty that are always willing to listen and offer advice. Never think you can do everything on your own.”
During Orientation, Holness quickly realized that the networking and job opportunities he’d be exposed to at Vaughn would be invaluable. He knew his degree would be the stepping stone he needed to meet his long-term career goal of designing and building airports. “Companies look to Vaughn to recruit its students, knowing they have all the necessary knowledge, education and training to succeed in whichever field they choose,” explained Holness.
As he enters his junior year, Holness says applying to Vaughn was the best decision he ever made. “Vaughn prepares us with the knowledge we need not just for now, but in the future.”