Alumni Profile: Alessandro Orellana, PHA '23 / UMass Amherst '27

What is your favorite thing about college so far? My favorite thing about college so far has definitely been the vast amount of extracurricular activities you can participate in, whether academic clubs, sports clubs, informational fairs, etc. There’s always something to do on campus which is where I learned to create more relationships with others. In my case, I have already joined a club for students of Latinx descent called “Latinos Unidos”. I have also joined the club soccer team and applied to join this club called “Diversity in Sport” which is a club for students from diverse backgrounds who are in or plan on switching into sports management. All these different clubs I mentioned are great and provide you with many resources and help you create great connections with others.

How did PHA prepare you for college? PHA prepared me well for college because through the college prep course I took my senior year, I had a better understanding of what I was going to run across once I stepped foot on campus. Activities such as alumni coming to our class to speak about their experiences were beneficial to my transition into college.

What is your major and why? I’m currently majoring in business management. I chose business management because I want to learn the necessary skills to be able to work in a variety of different roles/industries. The skills you learn through a business degree can be applied in both a personal and professional aspect which I find very beneficial.

What has been the hardest part of the transition to college? The hardest part of my transition to college is probably being more independent. In high school, I could always depend on my mom to help me with some things but now I’m on my own so I’m learning to do things on my own. This is also beneficial for me because at some point I will have to be independent and college is helping me learn that.

What are you most looking forward to? I’m most looking forward to the connections that I’m going to make with others. My first year is going to be vital since it's a backbone to how my next years will go. The connections I make may be beneficial and some may not but that's all part of the process.