Alpha Chi Omega - Starting Conversations

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Inside the Business of Empowering Women By Callie Smith, Beta Nu chapter, University of Utah

I landed in Tucson, AZ, picked up my three suitcases, and began to slowly navigate my way to the curb.  I was met by a friendly chapter advisor and was on my way to officially begin my first visit as a chapter consultant. I was both nervous and excited to start this new chapter in my life.  I arrived at the house and was immediately welcomed by a hug from the chapter president.  I knew this was the first of many moments that would make me fall in love with this job over and over again the next month and year to come.

However, the real work did not begin until I walked in, introduced myself and was immediately met by a recruitment question.  There is no way to accurately describe the feeling you get when a group of 200 women turns around to look at you and expects you to know the answer to their question five minutes into the job.  Here was to hoping the six weeks of training paid off!  And you know what? They did.

I may not always have an immediate answer to the questions that are asked of me, but through training and having the opportunity to work alongside other chapter consultants as well as headquarters staff, I have gained the critical thinking skills and confidence needed to work through any problem that arises.  In just this short month I have sat down with executive board officers and members at large to find solutions and implement new ideas that work for their chapters.

Sometimes people tease that I never truly graduated from college, and while I spend most of my time on college campuses, I have yet to think of a better job.  Throughout my collegiate experience, I had the opportunity to work with many chapter consultants, each contributing in her own way to my growth as an individual and the success of our chapter.  When I applied for this job, I was looking to give back to an organization that had given me so much.  However, as much as I hope I am making an impact on the sisters I interact with, they are also making an impact on me.  It is the feeling you get when sisters you just met ask you to clear your schedule to take you to their favorite lunch spot on campus.  It is the feeling you get when even after staying up until 3 a.m. to prepare for recruitment, chapter members still show up the next morning with the same amount of enthusiasm they had the day before.  It is the feeling you get when you see a chapter’s year of hard work come to fruition as they welcome home a new member class to join not only their chapter, but our sisterhood nationwide.

I am in the business of empowering women, and I would not have it any other way. So, here is to a year of late nights, the never-ending struggle of looking for parking on a college campus, new cities, new friendships, a whole lot of laughs, personal growth and building the ever-growing network of real, strong women across the country.

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