FLEX is a yearlong, transitional program for first-year students at Virginia Tech that is designed to foster their growth as both individuals and leaders alongside a community of peers and mentors in a diverse and inclusive setting!
If selected for FLEX, you’ll be exposed to fantastic opportunities for involvement that will help you form connections and get plugged in around the University. Over the years, FLEXers have taken what they’ve learned through the program and assumed leadership roles in organizations on every corner of campus. What are FLEX alumni currently involved in? Take a peek below.
- Orientation Leaders and Assistants
- Relay for Life Executive and Committee Members
- Residence Hall Advisers
- Residence Hall Federation Executive Members
- Registered Student Organization (RSO) Budget Board & Members
- Ring Dance, Ring Design Chair & Committee Members
- Student Alumni Associates Members
- Student Conduct Committee Members
- Student Endowment for Educational Development Members
- Undergraduate Representatives for the Board of Visitors
- University Honors Students
Applying for FLEX is one of the best decisions I have made in my college career!! FLEX taught me valuable, tangible leadership skills, such as active communication, emotional intelligence, and how to follow-up and follow through, and the program helped me find and develop a leadership style that works best for me. FLEX provided me with peer and university connections that I continue to use to this day, and the people I went through FLEX with have become a stronger support system than I could ever have imagined having. I will forever be grateful to the program for helping me discover my passions, for introducing me to some of the best people this university has to offer, and for giving me the tools and confidence to accomplish any goal I set my mind to. I strongly encourage anyone who has even the slightest interest in leadership and building themself as a person (which should be everyone!) to apply for FLEX. The program is an incredibly rewarding experience, and it will provide you with knowledge and skills that you will continuously use throughout your time at Virginia Tech and out in the world!!
Matt Schmidheiser. FLEX Class 2020
Coming to Tech, I didn’t know what I had in mind to do during my years as a Hokie.
During high school, I did a lot of student government related activities. As much as I LOVED those experiences, I really wanted to try something new. Honestly, Chocolate Milk Monday Club was the first thing on my mind as well as trying the well reputable food on campus!
But then, I was talking to one of my RAs one night, and she said that one of her favorite experiences at Tech was joining FLEX. Since it was a one year commitment, I figured I’d attend the info session. One of the things that sold me was the fact that you’re surrounded by some of the most ambitious and involved individuals on campus. There was a wide array of knowledge and mentorship from the people who came before me. Plus, they mentioned how this was a great way to make a lot of friends! This really interested me because you are your 5 closest friends. I figured it would make my freshman year a wonderful experience. Perhaps FLEX and the people in it could help shape me into the person I aspire to be.
Fast forward to after the last interview, I was beyond excited to find out that I got into FLEX! The meetings were always fun because it would always be something different. Perhaps, it was a retreat, Christmas/Halloween party, a lesson on vulnerability as a leader, or even exploring annual VT events, such as Ring Premiere! It was also always a great feeling to see the people who are as excited or happy to see you. Beyond the typical meetings, FLEX introduced us to so many opportunities that other current freshman don’t know about! This was really cool because it gives you a slight advantage of how to plan your time here at Tech and gain a greater appreciation for the things that go around campus. There’s a lot to do outside of the meetings too. We’d sometimes see each other after class and grab lunch, play bowling, host a movie night, and so on!
Now, let’s talk about my takeaways from FLEX…
First, like many others will say, I was able to find 29 of my closest friends from this program. Not to say that these people will be your only best friends, but they are people that I cherish and admire a lot. The people you’ll meet in FLEX will constantly AMAZE, INSPIRE, and BE THERE for you. I remembered I had a difficult Spring semester during freshman year since I would constantly fall behind in my classes. Two of my FLEXers ended up helping me catch back up, whether it was helping with a project or teaching me material that was hard for myself to understand. I was so appreciative of such acts because they both didn’t owe me anything, AND I honestly wasn’t the closest to either of them at that time. At the end of the day, they put their commitments aside, whether it was to talk to a long distance significant other or study for another exam, just for me. These are just some of the people you will find in this program. Also, the 30 FLEXers that are chosen are very diverse. You will learn a lot about each other…the different paths everyone took to get here and what you all aspire to be.
Next, I learned a lot about myself and servant leadership that I still utilize today. For example, you realize that a leader on campus, or anywhere, can be anyone. We have FLEXers who did everything in high school to FLEXers who were just great friends / students. That really doesn’t matter at the end of the day because FLEX ends up guiding you to be an impactful leader on campus. The people in it help raise each other up to higher standards. Leadership is raw talent. FLEX provides you with the potential to unlock it.
Finally, FLEX introduces you to a lot of great opportunities and networking. You participate in the biggest events, such as Relay for Life or Shackathon. The best part is that you’re not trying these things alone, but you get to experience it together with your peers. Because of FLEX, I was motivated to run for Class Office, be a part of the Student Alumni Associates, help plan Ring Dance, design products for my class, and various other things!
As cheesy as this sounds, my FLEX class’s takeaway was that FLEX is a Forever Life EXperience. It really is at the end of the day because the people you meet will be the closest to your heart. You’ll take away the things you learned with you wherever you go. Finally, you found a family and home that you’ll always be able to come back to.
I highly encourage you to apply for FLEX, no matter how much leadership experience you have or prior knowledge of this program. It’s literally a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it will make your 4 or so years here at Tech a wonderful experience. Go Hokies!
Gordan Quach, FLEX Class 2019