Victoria Hannen ’21, ’24, is a different person than she was prior to 2019, thanks to being an orientation leader at Shenandoah University.
Hannen, who studied exercise science as a Shenandoah undergraduate before entering the university’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, has helped conduct summer orientation sessions since the summer of 2019, and literally has the T-shirts to prove it.
Different shirts are made for each orientation summer – and she’s collected them all for each year she’s participated. But, the orientation experience isn’t about amassing a wardrobe full of Shenandoah gear.
She’s balancing helping out with orientation this year with her responsibilities as a physical therapy student, and she even received an award for her five years of participation this summer. She’s offered her assistance each year because she feels orientation is something special. It’s a place where relationships are built, she said, adding that she’s still friends with people she met during her first year as an orientation leader.
“There’s just something different about the energy on orientation days,” she said. Before she became an orientation leader, she was so quiet that she wouldn’t even tell a waiter if an order was wrong, and she definitely never would have seen herself as someone who would begin an orientation day in a loud, exuberant way.
But, that’s who she became. Her parents told her that after being an orientation leader, she truly blossomed. “It changed who I am as a person,” she said.Become An Orientation Leader