Starting college or transferring to a new one can be a daunting experience. Luckily, Merrimack College has students like Orientation Coordinator Jandeliz Hernandez ’25 to help new students with the transition.
“I found myself isolating my freshman year out of fear,” she recalled. “I think everybody has a fear of escaping their little bubble that they have when they first come onto campus.”
It wasn’t until she engaged with campus life that Hernandez began to thrive at Merrimack and she hopes to pass these lessons on to new students.
In addition to serving as a Unity House lead student coordinator and a first-year experience mentor, Hernandez decided to become an orientation team leader the summer entering her junior year. She and her partner pairings were assigned groups of students to guide their first few weeks at Merrimack.
“I can definitely say it has made the greatest impact on my campus life thus far,” Hernandez said. “I’ve connected with a whole bunch of students, faculty and staff and I’ve learned so much through orientation from my peers and the first-year students.”
Hernandez had her hands full as of late with this year’s January Orientation, which was held on Monday, Jan. 15 and Tuesday, Jan. 16. Activities included attending a women’s basketball game in Hammel Court and a meet-and-greet lunch with assistant deans.
“Orientation went pretty well this year,” Hernandez said. “We had between 40 and 45 students in attendance.”
This marked the first year Hernandez worked as an orientation coordinator. While her main job is social media promotion, all coordinators have a hand in scheduling and overseeing guest presenters, preparing merchandise and training orientation leaders. As a marketing major, she said she felt right at home in her position.
Now, Hernandez has her eyes set on Fall Orientation.
“We will be going through a hiring process to find our next orientation leaders,” she explained. “Applications go live Wednesday, Jan. 24 on Handshake. Once we get through the hiring process and have our group finalized, orientation leaders go through training before orientation begins in the summer.”