Student Experience

The Vaughn Student Experience is Unique

Vaughn students receive more than just an education. They receive priceless exposure to internship and career opportunities, networking events, employer webinars and career fairs. The College supports student attendance at professional conferences to present research and to represent student club chapters of professional organizations at their annual meetings.

Professional Conferences and Networking Events

Vaughn encourages and provides resources for its students to attend professional conferences and networking events throughout the year, where they can position themselves for the right career or internship, meet the right people and even be interviewed—right on the spot. Attending and participating in conferences is another way in which students can up their game for a successful future and set themselves apart from the competition. In fact, recent Vaughn graduate, Atif Saeed ’20, said that presenting at conferences and submitting work for publication helped to land him his first job as a mechanical engineer at Lockheed Martin before accepting a new position at SpaceX. Some meetings and conferences our students have attended include:

Hear from a Vaughn graduate, Grace Davis ’19, who attended multiple conferences and received a job offer at the NSBE Conference:


Here are some of the benefits of attending conferences:

  • Priceless exposure to potential employers
  • Expansive networking opportunities
  • Unparalleled learning experience in the field
  • Opportunities to present research papers or projects
  • Learning about careers in industries worth pursuing after graduation


Vaughn has ongoing relationships with many employers in the aviation, engineering and management fields that may result in internship and career opportunities for its students. Many Vaughn professors have also worked (or currently work) at these companies. Read the inspiring stories of Vaughn graduates who had successful internships that led to career opportunities, including recent graduates Zarin Tasnim ’21, Kirei Watson ’18, Otha Ward ’19; Emily German ’18, Samia Oishi ’21 and so many others.



Northrop Grumman

Federal Aviation Administration


Atlas Air

Delta Air Lines

United Airlines

Lockheed Martin

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Endeavor Air



Hear from Vaughn graduates, Shmuel and Aderet Pantierer ’20, about the benefits of pursuing internships during their time at Vaughn


Student Club/Team Competitions

Vaughn students have the opportunity to participate in a broad range of student clubs, where they compete in national competitions, develop research and prototypes in their areas of interest and receive mentorship from our expert faculty.

Vaughn’s robotics team competes every year in multiple regional competitions for the opportunity to qualify for the renowned VEX U Robotics Competition World Championship. Here, the robotics team competes each year to defend their title, which they won in 2016, becoming the first US team to make it to the World Championship finals. The robotics team has made it to the semi or quarterfinals since entering the competition, and have won numerous awards including the Build and Amaze Awards.The robotics team also hosts and attends high school and college competitions, serving as mentors and judges for aspiring robotics students.

See and hear Vaughn graduate, Daniel Khodos ’18, talk about how his experience on the robotics team helped prepare him for his career in mechatronic engineering.


Vaughn Robotics Team Wins Build Award and Places Second in Mexico’s VEX U Reeduca Robotics Competition

Award Ceremony: Vaughn’s UAV team earned second-place awards in both remote control and autonomous categories of 2019 Vertical Flight Society Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) Student Challenge Competition.

As members of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) club, students have the opportunity to build and fly drones and compete in several competitions. In April 2021, the team participated in the virtual Design-Build-Vertical-Flight (DBVF) Competition.

The competition is designed to develop hands-on skills and familiarization with electric-powered vertical takeoff and landing and advanced air mobility technology at the university level.

Vaughn’s UAV team earned the second place award for their drone performance at the 2019 Micro Air Vehicle Student Challenge Competition and first place at the 2018 American Helicopter Society Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) competition.

The UAV team hosts International Drone Day at the College the first weekend in May annually. Check out the coverage from ABC News.


Vaughn’s aviation maintenance team competes in the Aerospace Maintenance Council (AMC) Competition sponsored by MRO Americas every year. Approximately 55 teams from around the world participate in 24 tasks taking 15 minutes each.

Check out our news stories about a few of our latest MRO competitions:
2019 MRO Competition
2018 MRO Competition
2017 MRO Competition

Vaughn’s Aviation Maintenance Team at the Aerospace Maintenance Competition, presented by Snap-On at the MRO Americas 2017 Convention.

Professional Projects and Publications

The Vaughn student chapter of Engineers Without Borders proudly partnered with the humanitarian efforts of Engineers Without Borders USA, an organization that utilizes the skills of engineers across the country to combat the challenges faced by some of the world’s poorest people in their struggle to live healthy lives. In February of 2018, Miguel Bustamante, PhD, assistant professor of engineering and technology, along with four Vaughn students who were pursuing engineering and technology degrees, visited the African country of Rwanda to test water supplies in the village of Kibingo. The students crafted an engineering solution system to provide enough clean water to serve over 250 families in this village. Read more about this humanitarian mission on our blog.

Tech Day Presentations Published in Vaughn’s Engineering and Technology Journal (VCJET)
Vaughn College’s engineering and technology department holds both an annual “technology day” and industry advisory council meeting. Dr. Hossein Rahemi, department chair, provides attendees with the annual journal, VCJET, which is a compilation of all information presented during the day and a recap of the department’s yearly activities which include student and faculty publications, attendance at professional meetings, research and alumni updates.

Download PDF:

Speaker Series

Part of Vaughn’s commitment to the success of its students is the industry experience so many of its instructors and professors bring into the classroom. The Engineering and Management Speaker Series takes that commitment one step further by bringing real-world knowledge to students through the exceptional reputations and experience of industry professionals that Vaughn has relationships with. These industry professionals also discuss what it takes to be hired at their companies, which is particularly helpful for students preparing to enter the job market.

Vaughn also invited numerous alumni to come back and speak at the College about their careers post-graduation and discuss how Vaughn students can prepare to be hired.

Robert Sumwalt of the NTSB presenting as part of Vaughn’s Management Speaker Series.

Here are some of the speakers that Vaughn has hosted:

  • John Allen, manager of Allen and Associates Consulting
  • John Brogan, president and chief executive officer of United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG)
  • Dr. Dilpreet Buxi, co-founder and chief executive officer of Philia Labs Pty.
  • Kim Day, chief executive officer at Denver International Airport
  • Hon. Christopher A. Hart, former chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, American lawyer, government official, and pilot
  • Hon. John Goglia, retired board member of the National Transportation Safety Board
  • William McGee, author of “Attention All Passengers” and former adviser to the Secretary of Transportation
  • Lysa Scully, general manager of LaGuardia Airport and Vaughn College Trustee
  • John Selden, general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  • Barbara Peterson, senior correspondent for aviation at Conde Nast Traveler and author of “Blue Streak”

Vaughn Partnerships

Vaughn partners with companies in the industry to provide programs and opportunities for students where they may apply their knowledge and prepare for the workforce while in college. Below are just a few examples of these partnerships and how they benefit students.

University Gateway allows students in flight programs from one of JetBlue’s AABI-accredited partner colleges/universities to earn a conditional job offer for a position as a first officer at JetBlue. Once accepted, students follow one of several prescribed paths to gain experience and build their flight time. Provided they meet all program requirements and pass required background and other related checks, those in the program will join JetBlue as first officers, and not be required to complete any additional JetBlue interviews. See the following link for more information. Learn more.

Vaughn’s Aviation Training Institute, which houses the aviation maintenance technician program, is one of 38 institutions to partner with Delta Air Lines for its Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) program. As students prepare for their careers, essential and applicable training is necessary to be able to transition successfully into the workforce. Delta Air Lines continues to recognize Vaughn’s ability to produce highly-skilled technicians. This partnership benefits the College’s students by expanding its relationship with Delta and making the company a resource for continuous improvement of the AMT program, along with Delta’s assistance with marketing the program to prospective students.

Find out what it takes to be an aviation maintenance technician at Delta.


Vaughn College partners with Heritage Flight Academy, where Vaughn aircraft operations students fly as they work to achieve their flight certificates and ratings in addition to earning their bachelor’s degree. Learn more.