From yoga to international travel, Kaitlyn Hansen’s interests are all over the map. “Variety is essential in whatever I do,” she says. “I love new experiences.”
A senior in business marketing with an entrepreneurship collateral, Hansen graduates this summer after two years at the Haslam College of Business. She grew up in Knoxville and joined the United States Navy after high school, serving one term aboard the USS Ronald Reagan.
“I was the helmsman,” she says, “which means I drove the ship.” As she traversed the world, Hansen developed a love for exploring, finding her experiences with different cultures eye opening. “It made me realize I didn’t want to just live and build a business inside the US.”
When her time in the Navy ended, Hansen enrolled at a local college in San Diego to study business administration and management. Eager to pursue a bachelor’s degree, Hansen was accepted to several universities, but chose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. “I have family here, the cost of living is so much better, and I’ve always loved UT,” she says. “When I was young, it was my big dream to play basketball for the Lady Vols.”
Hansen didn’t join the basketball team, but she quickly jumped into the game at Haslam. This spring, she participated in a professional sales competition, served as vice president of the American Marketing Association’s local chapter, and received several awards and scholarships. In her free time, she stays involved with campus veterans’ groups and volunteers at local nonprofits including The Love Kitchen and Legacy Housing Foundation.
In May, she traveled to Ireland to participate in a capstone study abroad opportunity. “After I’m done, I’ll continue traveling through Europe until the end of July,” she says. “I’ll meet up with friends along the way and explore the United Kingdom and continental Europe.”
When she returns, Hansen plans to pursue a business-to-business sales position. She feels the fast-paced environment and face time with customers will suit her well. Her future goals include opening a yoga studio, working with nonprofits, and staying involved in the community. “I definitely want to keep giving back,” she says. “That is something I’ll continue to do no matter where my journey takes me.”