Chapman Alumni Interview
Filed under Reflections on July 26, 2016
DODGE: What was the biggest adjustment you faced after graduation and how did you overcome it?
DANIEL: At Chapman I was able to fully express my diversity of interest by being involved in many areas of campus including film production, greek life, marketing, student leadership, event production, dance, spirituality, psychology, volunteering, and Spanish language. Even in school, I was helping to produce leadership events off campus, build brands for conscientious companies, publish psychological research papers, and direct spiritual youth groups.
The most difficult adjustment I faced after graduating was having to specialize and focus myself into more limited explorations so as to begin developing a career. Although I was not entirely sure about my ambitions, I made several short-term commitments in order to clarify my interests. I first worked at an event planning company that focused on educating young leaders with the latest organizational psychology tools. Then I worked for a reality production company creating Spanish versions of popular American reality shows. Finally, I got a job at Sony Pictures as a Graphic Designer and was eventually promoted to a Creative Director building brands for startups within Sony.
In order to bring my strengths as a leadership consultant and spiritual teacher to the same professional level, I enrolled in a two-year Buddhist studies program and went on to become certified as a Meditation Instructor, Life Coach, and Reiki Master.
Today, I have my own consulting company where I offer a range of services including full-service startup launching packages including brand conceptualization, web design and development, promo video production, and social media strategy. I offer private career coaching, life coaching, and integrative wellness coaching. My most popular events have been spiritual career workshops where participants explore their greatest passions, biggest road blocks, and learn powerful tools to help them achieve their goals.
DODGE: What is the best advice you have received and/or what advice would you give current students?
DANIEL: Finding a way to trust that everything is unfolding perfectly is crucial to success of any kind. It’s so easy to get lost in the obstacles of the day and lose sight of the exciting adventure that you are being taken on. Learning tools such as meditation to check in with your internal state and locate the voice of your inner wisdom is extremely important.
DODGE: What is your favorite memory from your time at Chapman?
DANIEL: I had an amazing professor in the Psychology department, Dr. Shari Kuchenbecker, who has continued to inspire me far beyond my undergraduate years. We have published several research studies together and continued to brainstorm, philosophize, and dream about exciting possibilities. Our classes were always unexpectedly exciting, but my favorite memory was when we arrived to class one day and there was a note instructing us to go to Memorial Lawn. We walked outside and proceeded to be led in a spontaneous yoga class. Afterward we continued to discuss the week’s material in the midst of a calm and grounded mindset. I learned more in her classes than I did in all of my other classes combined.
DODGE: What have you taken from the classroom and applied to your career?
DANIEL: Relatedly, I deeply understand the importance of being grounded, calm, and contented as a prerequisite for any type of work. I do everything I can to prepare my mind and body to have meaningful creative endeavors, spiritually healing conversations, and uplifted professional engagements.
DODGE: Have you received any awards or recognitions?
DANIEL: At Sony Pictures, I received a Marketing Award for fiscal year 2013 for “successful approach in new-style of marketing” from the Senior General Manager of Marketing of Sony Professional Solutions Group of America. I’m working on a new book that explores ways to bring spirituality into the corporate world.
Originally posted at blogs.chapman.edu.