By Emily Rose Jacobsen
Iota Chi, Middle Tennessee State University
Inside of six months on the road I have encountered roughly 1,500 chapter members in five states who want to make an impact and leave a legacy in their chapters. The determination of our chapter members never ceases to amaze me. Conversations with these women have been important to creating the right chapter experience. However, when the time comes for me to leave my role as a consultant I am confident there are many other takeaways that, although may not have a place on my resume, will certainly have a place in my heart.
Some of my favorite moments on the road have been the times I spent with chapter members outside of officer meetings just talking. I have talked to women who I am certain will make a huge impact on their campuses, in their field and on the people who are lucky enough to meet them. Taking the time to talk to the women around me, even if I am a little tired or have work to do, is worth every last minute. I am a more patient, positive and adventurous person because of the opportunity to work with chapter members that radiate kindness, openness and optimism.
Another of my favorite experiences on the road is being in the chapter houses and hearing a series of knocks on the door usually followed with, “Emily Rose…?” The unknown of the conversation to unfold excites me. Sometimes it’s a chapter member who needs my help, wants to share something exciting – that may or may not have anything to do with Alpha Chi Omega – or just wants to see what I’m doing. These moments are the best in sisterhood. I get to play the role of consultant, mentor, friend and sister. Watching an officer take charge to solve a problem, sitting in my room talking about the day and giving hugs to chapter members who I am sad to leave are some of the most memorable parts of chapter visits.
As a consultant, there is much to be gained: new skills, knowledge of travel and experience working in the real world. I am lucky to have a job that makes me feel like I leave an impact. However, I know the impact our organization has on me is far greater. Alumnae volunteers have taught me the value of building and uplifting those who will come after us to continue an organization of integrity and high character. Collegiate members have shown me that innovation and teamwork are the tools we have to use in our pursuit to seeking the heights. I will take with me a new appreciation of Alpha Chi Omega because of the chapter members who have helped me grow as a person, sister and consultant.
By Molly Schuneman
Sigma, University of Iowa
As we ring in the new year and a new semester, I find myself thinking about the amazing opportunities that were presented to me in the previous year. I have been unbelievably blessed to have graduated from the University of Iowa and landed the job of my dreams as a chapter consultant. What I don’t always remember to think about is all of the people who helped make that happen.
I recently read a blog post by T.J. Sullivan, a student leadership guru who I really admire, called “The thank-you challenge.” His blog post is about taking the time and writing a handwritten note to those people who have helped you throughout your life or taking the time to thank those people who help you on a daily basis and who you know may not often receive thanks. T.J. notes in his blog that people are more likely to appreciate and save a handwritten thank-you note than they are an email or a Facebook post. This blog post really inspired me to take action and thank those people who helped me accomplish everything that I did this last year, and I want to share it with you!
Here is MY challenge! Find a package of super cute thank-you cards at your local Target and get writing! Time is ticking and if you are as blessed as I have been this past year, you have so many thank-you notes to write.
As a collegian, you could write to those people who helped you last semester: the professor who worked hard to make class enjoyable, your mentor who wrote you a stellar recommendation letter for graduate school or the friend in your really difficult class who stayed up late studying with you to make sure that you understood the concepts. As alumni, you could write to the barista at Starbucks who greets you with a smile and a sincere “have a great day,” the co-worker who is always there to lend a helping hand or the Jazzercise instructor who really cares about your well-being and inspires you to get in shape.
During recruitment last semester, I received two of the most beautiful thank you notes from sisters in the chapter with whom I was working. The notes expressed that they were thankful for everything I was helping them with as a consultant and that my hard work was not going unnoticed. No one made them write those notes. They just wanted to thank me. I felt so appreciated and I know that I will save those notes for forever. Make someone feel as special as I felt when I received those two notes.
Even though it is important to thank the people who help us out in small ways, we cannot forget to thank those people who make a great impact on our lives. Surprise your mom and mail her a thank you note! Write a thank you to your best friend! Send grandma and grandpa a note as well! These are the people who have greatly shaped our lives and we often times forget to thank them. Now is your chance to really tell them how much you appreciate them.
Complete my challenge some time this new year and write a thank-you note to those people in your life who have helped you. It will make you feel good and in true Alpha Chi fashion you will definitely “shed the light of love and friendship” around you.
By Jacilyn Kennedy
Gamma Tau, Oklahoma City University
I still remember senior appreciation week; amidst tears, I told my chapter sisters, “Alpha Chi Omega has truly made me a real, strong woman.” As a nervous freshman I joined this organization, but I never could have imagined how much I would grow in my four short years as a collegian. I gained so many skills that I never would have been able to gain without the programming offered by Alpha Chi Omega and the encouragement of my sisters.
As I walked into Alpha Chi Omega headquarters for my first day of consultant training, I felt just like my freshman self. I was starting something completely new with another group of amazing sisters. I already thought I was a real, strong woman, but being a traveling consultant would teach me so much more.
I’ve grown to appreciate my own company. I am meeting so many amazing women, but a large portion of the time I am alone. This has allowed me to not only learn more about myself but also enjoy my own company. I can confidently explore a city, eat at a restaurant and travel alone. I am independent and strong. While friends and sisters add to my quality of life, I now know that the source of my comfort and happiness comes from myself.
I truly believe I can handle any situation. Traveling across the country, I have had my fair share of interesting situations and have had to adapt quickly. I have navigated through these situations, even surprising myself at times. I will never have all of the answers, but I know I have the skills to be able to tackle anything that comes my way.
I’ve learned it’s okay to fail. So many times we agonize over things trying to make them perfect, or we don’t try things because we are afraid to fail. I have failed throughout this journey, and I’ve seen sisters who also have failed, but I now know that failing is what teaches you how to succeed. I am better for trying and for making myself vulnerable. I might have failed, but I did more than those who didn’t try.
I view every situation as an opportunity to stretch, not break. We all experience tough times, and often think we can’t make it through. However, these situations are what teach us new things and allow us to grow. Instead of shutting down and becoming upset, I have learned to see how I am growing. We can make it through, and we will be better because of it.
Most importantly, I have learned that becoming a real, strong woman never ends. We will constantly be changing and adapting to situations, and a strong woman must grow and learn. A real woman not only helps others but also works to better herself. Becoming a real, strong woman is a lifelong journey. I thought I had arrived at my destination at the end of my collegiate career, but I now know that I will continue growing throughout my life. Our tagline not only describes who we are, but who we are becoming.
By Sami Holley
Gamma Rho, Texas Tech University
Last fall, I was given the opportunity to visit the University of Southern Mississippi for the very first time. Little did I know that just a year later, I would be making Southern my home and supporting 100+
women in planting their garden for future Alpha Chis.
Three National Council members, five chapter consultants, eight interview team members and more than 100 new Alpha Chi Omega sisters was all it took to change my life for ever. After 391 days of preparation, it was incredible to watch the Kappa Sigma chapter celebration unfold. While at Southern, I have been on a roller coaster, and with every turn and bump I have had my hands in the air to enjoy this beautiful ride. But, I have not been on this journey alone. I have been so honored with bright, smart, and passionate young women who trusted our Alpha Chi Omega colonization team and embarked on this incredible journey with me.
There is something special about watching new members during the initiation ceremony. Their eyes so big, full of happiness and joy—that is what makes my heart full. I don’t know about you, but when I hear the Ritual of Alpha Chi Omega, I get the chills. I see the possibilities of our sisterhood, the compassion towards others and the inspiration to truly seek the heights with the women around you. In the words of Kappa Sigma chapter president Nicolet Hopper, “Our founding members have taken the title of founding membership and are working together to craft their legacy.”
It seems like every day I am learning about hard work and dedication, as our members learn about every aspect of Alpha Chi Omega. They are dedicated to serving others and look for the beauty in their sisters daily. They are constantly writing their story.
I want to leave you with something beautiful from our instillation ceremony:
Now in this story, there are sure to be some scribbles and scratch-throughs, some white-outs and smears, but I am certain that the outcome will be beautiful, because each of you are beautiful. As we work together to write the opening chapter of our lifetime legacy, may we remember that it’s our story that will be the foundation for generations and generations of sisters to follow.Together, let us seek the heights.
By Holly Thompson
Epsilon Lambda, University of Texas – Arlington
As Thanksgiving is upon us, it’s natural to reflect on our blessings and I cannot help but to think of one of the greatest blessings in my life: my decision to join Alpha Chi Omega. I was initiated in November 1997 at The University of Texas at Arlington, and am so thankful for the members of Epsilon Lambda chapter who extended a bid to me so that I may join their sisterhood. I can remember initiation well and looking back, now seventeen years after (which seems impossible!), I’m grateful to still have many of those sisters in my life as loyal friends.
As a new member I had heard sisters talking about this being a “lifetime commitment.” But I had no idea that Alpha Chi Omega would continue to bless me beyond my imagination after my collegiate years with unparalleled support, friendship and sisterhood.
As this is the season for thanksgiving, I have a few specific reasons to give thanks for this wonderful sisterhood:
I am grateful for Alpha Chi’s constant reminder to be a lifelong learner, to give back to others and to push myself to be the best person I can be. As a former educator (once a teacher, always a teacher) I understand the importance of modeling behavior to teach others. I owe a sincere gratitude to all those sisters who strive to be good examples of wise and devoted women, those seeking achievement in all their endeavors and inspiring women around them.
I am grateful for Alpha Chi’s volunteers who inspired me as a collegiate member. Volunteers, such as my sister Kara, have had a long lasting impact on my life. Personally, I owe her a great deal of gratitude for seeing potential in me as a young collegiate officer and recommending me for an internship that opened the door to my professional world and future career. Her support and influence not only helped me but also many other Alpha Chis, who can share similar stories of ways Kara has inspired them to seek the heights. Kara’s devotion of twenty-plus years is such a gift for which all sisters can thank her.
I am grateful for the values Alpha Chi instilled in me; like wisdom, devotion, and achievement. I am blessed to have a sisterhood that shares my appreciation of the arts, encourages its members to cultivate themselves personally and professionally, and values the importance of academic interest and lifelong learning.
By Anna and John Satterfield
Parents of Alessia Satterfield, Xi, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
It was the spring semester of our daughter’s senior year at the University of Nebraska and as her parents, we were eagerly awaiting graduation. We were also anticipating Alessia’s career decision. There had been some discussion about law school, possibly graduate school or pursuing a job back on the East Coast.
Alessia had loved her sorority experience and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the opportunities that she had been given, the friends she made and her growth as a real, strong woman. However, we certainly didn’t see it coming when all of a sudden Alessia called about a “GREAT” job opportunity. We were extremely excited to hear what new opportunity had presented itself to Alessia, convinced there was a job waiting for her in Connecticut. Much to our surprise, she expressed a sincere desire to continue her work in the sorority as a national consultant. She spoke with such enthusiasm and passion that we felt it best to allow her to interview for this new job opportunity, the thought being that once she went to Indianapolis she would realize that the job was not for her. The interview came and went but the passion and enthusiasm grew. It became apparent that this opportunity was one that she did not want to miss.
In retrospect, as we talked about this decision we are not surprised that this is the conclusion that Alessia came to. She felt that it would provide her the greatest opportunity to expand her horizons, present the most complete challenge possible and further her growth into the woman she wanted to become. But more than that, the decision really ran into her blood. The history of this decision goes back many years, actually many generations. Her great-grandmother, grandmother and two aunts on the paternal side of her family were all Alpha Chi Omegas at the University of Nebraska.
Alessia grew up on the East Coast and thoroughly surprised us just four years prior by telling us she had made the decision to go to the University of Nebraska. Over the course of eight semesters her passion for UNL, and more importantly for the sisterhood of Alpha Chi Omega, grew exponentially. It was that passion that convinced her of the decision to pursue the job as a consultant. But as her parents we were still concerned: the hours, the travel, the overall commitment and the list of associated issues seemed endless. The more we discussed it, the more certain we were that it wasn’t the right decision. She should just come back to the East Coast where everything would be “easier.” Well, the easy path held no interest for Alessia, and her relentless pursuit of the dream to continue her work with Alpha Chi Omega absolutely wore us down. For every argument that we could propose her counter argument was stronger and more impassioned. Our only option was to relent and do our best to support the decision she had made.
We saw her head off in the summer of 2011 to Indianapolis for her initial training. We heard countless stories of the hard work that was required of each of the new consultants as they learned how to be leaders of real, strong women. The fall semester began and so did the travel and what seemed like endless trips from one university to another; a new airport, a different hotel or another “fire” to put out at a different chapter house. It was never easy, sometimes it was very difficult, but not once did we ever hear any doubt in our daughter’s voice about the decision she made, or the passion she felt about her job as a consultant for Alpha Chi Omega. As a matter of fact, we became more and more convinced that her decision to become a consultant was absolutely the right thing. Alessia’s growths personally, professionally and spiritually were apparent: we knew without a doubt that she could not have had a better opportunity as a new college graduate.
The year flew by and we could not have been more pleased with all the experiences our daughter had encountered. We honestly believe that her time as a consultant was invaluable and the opportunities she has in front of her today would have never been possible if it wasn’t for her “year on the road.”
With Heartfelt thanks for the sisterhood of Alpha Chi Omega most sincerely,
Anna and John Satterfield
By Laura Urrutia, Alpha Chi Chapter, Butler University
Account Representative, Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey
“What are you doing after graduation?” “What’s next?” These are the questions you master answering as a senior with graduation looming just a few months in the distance. As a life-long ballet dancer and arts administration major at Butler University, I had envisioned working at a museum, theatre or ballet company. I was, and still am, very passionate about the arts and how they changed my life.
I also have a big passion for Alpha Chi Omega. In my senior year, I was finishing my term as VP recruitment and living and breathing Alpha Chi – and the job search. Days were busy, nights were long, but I was determined to find that next step for me beyond Butler.
My “next step” turned out to be as a resident consultant at the University of Arkansas. I was thrilled to work for Alpha Chi Omega and give back to an organization that had given so much to me. I chose a step that was out of my field and surprised people, but for me, my time as a consultant helped me land my dream job.
Here are just a few of the key skills I learned:
- Time management: As a consultant you are juggling more than just a few things at once. You’re making travel plans for one visit, preparing a presentation at your current chapter, following up with goals you set for another chapter and making sure you have some “me” time, too. Learning to use your time wisely takes on a whole new meaning and is a skill that will help you excel not only in a new job, but in life. Now, I am never afraid to take on a project and I always say yes to a new opportunity.
- Public speaking: I had given many presentations to my chapter as VP recruitment and was never afraid to speak in front of a big group. However, when you are giving a recruitment presentation in front of potential new members, Alpha Chi alumnae, Alpha Chi board members and university staff, nerves kick in. You learn very quickly to take a deep breath, speak slower than seems natural and when you need a moment to collect your thoughts, pause and smile. Everything from your body language, to word choice, to what you’re wearing will influence your audience and communicate your message. Now, I feel confident whether I am presenting my idea in a meeting or delivering a pitch in front of a client.
- Relationship building: Consulting is all about building relationships. Each day is an interaction with someone who will help shape your journey. You network with incredible Alpha Chi volunteers and headquarters staff, learn something new from each officer you meet, and build a lifelong bond with your consultant class. Beyond that, you learn there is value in every relationship, including with the kind barista at Starbucks who upgrades you to a venti after a late night during recruitment week.
- Crisis management: Now this sounds scarier than I intended. I simply mean, as a consultant you learn to expect the unexpected. No matter how much preparation went into the presentation, coordinating with the chapter’s schedule and making sure handouts are printed, sometimes technology will not be on your side and the projector won’t work. You find yourself in front of the chapter quickly editing your presentation to be most effective given the circumstances. Being flexible and thinking on your feet is a daily occurrence because let’s face it, most things never go as planned!
- Finding passion in life: Being a consultant taught me one of the most important lessons in life. Love what you do. I was fortunate to work with passionate colleagues, consultant sisters and volunteers who were living proof of this. Each day is a new challenge, so choose joy.
I can assure you that being a chapter consultant is not only one of the most rewarding roles you will have, but also a once in a lifetime opportunity to grow into a young professional alongside your sisters. Being a consultant gave me the poise, confidence, and transferrable skills to land my dream job at the Kennedy Center and beyond that role, advance to the next step in my career. Now almost two years out, I can confidently say I use the skills I learned as a consultant every day. So, what’s next for you?
By Maree Magliocchetti, Traveling Chapter Consultant
(Alpha Tau, University of New Hampshire)
I love fall for a variety of reasons, the brisk weather, the foliage, the pumpkin spiced everything, and the opportunity to celebrate both Founders’ Day and the anniversary of what I define as the best decision I ever made, to accept a bid to Alpha Chi Omega. Luckily I can keep celebrating into December, as that is the anniversary of the second best decision I have every made, to apply to be a chapter consultant. I could write a novel filled with all of the reasons why I have the greatest job in the world, but for the sake of time I have created the top ten reasons to be a chapter consultant!
10. Networking: With more than 200,000 members in Alpha Chi Omega, networking is something sisters in our organization are able to benefit from. As a chapter consultant you are able to network with sisters all across the country and from a variety of different ages and disciplines. As a consultant, networking is not limited to the incredible women in our organization. I have a collection of business cards and LinkedIn connects from administrators at different academic institutions as well as from the people who I have had the pleasure of sitting next to on airplanes and in airports. This position has brought about opportunities for my professional future I could have never dreamed of.
9. Sightseeing: As an undergrad I did not participate in any travel abroad programs. I was always envious of my peers who were able to independently travel to foreign places and try different foods and cultures for the first time. In serving as a chapter consultant I have been able to truly sightsee all over one of the most beautiful countries in the world, America. From the mystic evergreens of Oregon and the palm trees of California, to the skyscrapers of Philadelphia and New York, I have taken advantage of the food, cultures and sites that did not define my collegiate experience and I got paid to do it.
8. Travel skills: Before I took the position of chapter consultant, I traveled maybe once or twice a year. A year and half later I have racked up quite a few frequent flyer miles. I cannot help but brag to my friends and family about my “travel expertise.” I almost cried tears of joy when my sister asked if I was like George Clooney in “Up in the Air” when his travel skills lead him to know which line to wait in to get in and out of airport security as efficiently as possible. While I am not sure I would go as far as being compared to George himself, I am proud to say at my age that I am more than comfortable finding my way around an airport, train station, bus station, etc. In fact, I am even proficient at renting a car, something I assumed was only reserved for the population of adults twenty-five or above. At the pace I travel, I would say my skills are in line with professionals who have traveled for quite some time, which allows me to stand out amongst my peers in the professional sector.
7. Travel benefits: In addition to meeting new people, sightseeing, travel savvy, and exposure to different regions of America, as a chapter consultant you even get to reap travel benefits such as earning frequent flyer miles. The fun doesn’t just stop there, hotel points, status on travel booking sites (I am officially a Expedia gold card member, cough cough), rental car upgrades, etc. I have even been upgraded to first class and let me tell you, the legroom is totally worth it. So, yes, I actually feel like George Clooney more often than I let on.
6. Save, save, save: I graduated in 2013 with student loans galore like many other college graduates. I could not be more grateful that being a chapter consultant has enabled me to save money. I am able to save and pay back loans with my salary thanks to not having to dispose the money I make on my room and board. Thus, shopping seems to be the only expense that tempts my bank account, but what is wrong with that right?
5. To give back: Alpha Chi Omega granted me a lifetime of skills and opportunities to which I am forever thankful. As a chapter consultant I am able to wake up every day and give back to the organization that gave me so much. I cannot help but marvel in the idea that I am able to help enrich the lives of collegiate women through an organization I adore. Thus work never really feels like work as a chapter consultant.
4. Hard skills: As a chapter consultant you acquire skills that are applicable to any discipline or profession. Some of these resumé building ”hard skills” include public speaking, corporate reporting, small and large group facilitation, marketing, event planning, project and budget management and much more.
3. Soft skills: In addition to the variety of “hard skills,” chapter consultants are trained on and acquire soft skills as well. Some of these include conflict resolution, relation-ship building, cross-generational communication, interpersonal communication techniques, creative and analytical problem solving and you guessed it—much more.
2. Independence: I, like many other women, have always fantasized of living the i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t life that Beyoncé has promised us. As a chapter consultant you have the freedom to create your own schedule, one that works with you. I feel empowered every day knowing that I create my own schedule, book my own travel accommodations, and am my own roommate. So, yes, in addition to feeling like George Clooney, I also feel like Beyoncé on a regular basis. What more could you ask for?
1.The opportunity to inspire and be inspired: As you can see there are many reasons that I could not be happier to serve as chapter consultant. That said, the opportunity to inspire and be inspired by sisters from across the country stands above the rest and is why I have the greatest job in the world. Alpha Chi Omega women are incredible. As members, we are devoted to embodying the well-rounded Renaissance woman mantra that our founders imagined. We are kind-hearted, creative, caring, poised, role-models leaders, philanthropists and much more, doing amazing things for each other and the world. To say that I am inspired by fellow consultants, headquarters staff, alumnae and collegians on a regular basis is an understatement. I could not be more humbled to know that as a chapter consultant I can help to enrich the experience of Alpha Chi Omega women nationwide.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so what are you waiting for? Apply today!
By Kayla Wright, Kappa Xi chapter, University of West Florida
Can you imagine what it was like for our seven founders, looking at the future of the organization, seeing it grow and develop into numerous chapters from just seven members in the Alpha Chapter at DePauw University? It must have been an amazing experience to see our sisterhood grow. I am sure that if they could see what our fraternity has become today, they would still be proud and excited about what we have accomplished.
As a founding member of the Kappa Xi Chapter at the University of West Florida, I look upon Founders’ Day very fondly and with much appreciation. Since the founding of our chapter, on November 11, 2006, I have grown to love and respect the Ritual, values, and bonds of our fraternity. It is hard to think that just eight years ago, 45 young women embarked on a journey: to become the newest chapter of Alpha Chi Omega as well as the newest chapter at the University of West Florida, and to show the rest of our student body what it means to truly “seek the heights”.
To the founders of our four newest chapters this fall: I encourage each of you to not only take advantage of what the national fraternity and the chapter has to offer but also offer your skills to help your chapter grow and thrive. Run for an executive board position (most of our founding members did just that); and take the opportunity to learn from the consultants, headquarters staff, advisors, and other alumnae volunteers as much as you can. It’s such an exciting experience, and one that I am so very glad to have been a part of.
As your chapter celebrates Founders’ Day, remember the vision that Anna, Amy, Bertha, Bessie, Olive, Nessie, and Estelle had for our sisterhood. On this, the 129th anniversary, let’s encourage each other to seek the heights and continue to recruit new members and create new chapters filled with real, strong women.
By Alexa Gates & Lindsay Lausten
University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Though it is not a Fraternity-sanctioned holiday, bid day is often greeted by undergraduate Alpha Chi Omegas with incredible enthusiasm and excitement. And why not? Seeing the culmination of hours of preparation and planning – designing bid-day shirts, stuffing bid-day bags, crafting name tags, sealing bid-card envelopes and taking all those extra steps making sure each and every new member is welcomed with open arms – is a reason to celebrate!
Part of what makes the bid-day celebration so meaningful is how hard chapter members work to get there. Recruitment is tough; it requires long days and longer nights (and lots of late-night Jimmy John’s orders!), lots of togetherness and plenty of moments of exhaustion. In the end, the result of all the hard work is welcoming the chapter’s newest members on bid day.
Lots of things about bid day have changed since 1885, but one thing always stays the same: it is the first day of many great days to come for Alpha Chi Omega’s newest members. Bid day marks their first day of sisterhood, and it is a great way to mark the progress of the Fraternity. From one chapter to almost 140, Alpha Chi Omega continues to grow in strength and unity. That message is especially clear on a chapter’s bid day, and maybe even clearer at a new colony.
At a new colony, it is especially gratifying to look out over the crowd to see a whole chapter’s worth of fresh faces who know they are a part of something special and unique. To go from a colony to a chapter, full of members, in one day is an unexplainable feeling. The new members are filled with excitement and have no idea what the next few years have in store for them, nor how being founding members of a new chapter will profoundly impact their lives.
That excitement will soon turn into passion unique to the real, strong women who are part of our organization. That passion will come from sisterhood events, chapter meetings, mixers and date parties, late-night chats and learning Ritual.
After all is said and done, the best part about bid day isn’t the T-shirts or the decorations. It’s you. It’s our collegiate members and our alumnae who have come before and who have made it possible for these new members to better themselves and become Alpha Chi Omegas.