Vaughn students and industry leaders are enjoying a new engagement opportunity through Employer Engagement Days, an exciting career development program which was created to streamline the student engagement process with Employers after returning to campus during the pandemic.
This month, we sat down with the Director of Career Services Chaundra Daniels and developer of Employer Engagement Days, to learn how her decades of experience and insight into the value of internships led her to her new position at Vaughn and the creation of this new engagement opportunity.
Daniels’ path to Vaughn
For over 20 years, Daniels has devoted her career to helping others develop their career paths and employer relations skills. Over the years, she’s held several positions as a vocational counselor and job coach and developer, which included helping adults with learning disabilities. Daniels’ experience as a seasoned professional expands beyond higher education. She worked in patient relations in the healthcare industry and in project management in corporate America. After scaling back her hours in the workforce to care for her father, Daniels decided it was time to return to work full-time. Last November, she joined Vaughn as director of career services. “I’m excited about my role at Vaughn,” she said. “I believe my experience helped build the solid foundation I needed to bring me to where I am today. I feel like this is my calling—my passion.”
Employer Engagement Days
Last month, Daniels kicked off Employer Engagement Days as a new initiative to streamline the employer engagement process for Vaughn students and industry leaders looking to hire. “I developed Employer Engagement Days in response to both employer and student requests for a more efficient and convenient way for students and industry leaders to meet by accommodating both their schedules,” she explained. The program is designed to emulate the hybrid classroom style that is currently in place at Vaughn. The process is more casual and less stressful, thus allowing representatives from corporations to interview students on an individual basis, without the pressure and time constraints of traditional large networking events and career fairs.
Employer Engagement Days are offered both in-person—and virtually via Zoom—on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. “We have had a great response to Employer Engagement Days,” Daniels said. “Work is about building relationships. This program helps to level the playing field, removing the competition and giving both the student and employer the time they need to determine if they’re a good fit for each other.”
Where the jobs are
Daniels is thrilled to say that jobs are in demand. She explained how industry giants such as Delta and American Airlines—along with Republic Airways and Lufthansa—are “knocking on our doors” to fill positions. LaGuardia Gateway Partners recently approached Vaughn to set up an internship program for students which will likely roll out by fall 2022. The aviation and engineering job markets are booming—with management openings not far behind. “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to see our students’ dreams become reality,” said Daniels. “Vaughn students are disciplined, motivated and committed. They know what they want and can see beyond current challenges. There’s nothing better than seeing a student overcome obstacles and live their own passions. Internships are an instrumental way to make that happen.”
Adjusting to the “new normal”
The pandemic may have brought several challenges to the world, but it has also presented the College with opportunities for a brighter future. Daniels said she’s proud to see how resilient Vaughn students are when it comes to adaptability. “The trend is a new normal,” she said. “Our students are creating ‘the new’ by thinking outside the box and having these unprecedented job opportunities resulting from the pandemic. Today, the employers are coming to us.”
With years of career services experience to her name, Chaundra Daniels knows the value that students can bring to the table when it comes to facilitating the best career services experience. Shortly after accepting her position at Vaughn, she added two valuable members to her career services team. The first is Assistant Director of Career Services Rosario Sutton, HSI-STEM internship coordinator. The second is Assistant Director of Career Services for the Aviation Training Institute and Aviation Bryan Arias. “Students are our greatest resource,” Daniels said. “Our three-person team works wonderfully together and with students. Bryan and Rosario bring a fresh perspective to our department. We strive to work appropriately and effectively by bringing our A-game each day.”
Are you looking for an internship? The career services department at Vaughn offers valuable resources to ensure you will land a futureproof career.