by Maree Magliocchetti
(Alpha Tau, University of New Hampshire)
The month of May in an even numbered year can only mean one thing… Alpha Chi Omega’s national convention is just around the corner! Yes, in just a couple short months, July 11-14, Alpha Chi Omega women from across the country will gather in Palm Desert, California, to celebrate our heritage and future.
I, for one, am incredibly excited to attend this “Symphony in the Desert.” This will be my second time at a convention. As chapter president of the Alpha Tau Chapter at the University of New Hampshire, I was lucky enough to serve as a delegate in St. Louis at the 2012 National Convention. I can remember feeling excited, anxious and nervous as I boarded the plane for a trip for the furthest west I had ever been. I had no idea what to expect, the only conventions I knew of were hosted by political parties, and I knew that we were definitely not electing the next candidate for United States President (although, that would have been awesome). What I found would change my Alpha Chi Omega experience forever.
During the 2012 National Convention, Diane Blackwelder, Alpha Chi Omega’s National President, said, “It is my wish that every member of Alpha Chi Omega might attend at least one national convention during her lifetime.” I could not agree more. So, what is all the hype about, and what should you expect to experience during the 2014 National Convention?
Ritual like you have never experienced it. Imagine the excitement of the first chapter meeting of the school year, then multiply it by a thousand, and you get Ritual convention style. I witnessed Alpha Chi Omega women from across the nation circle up to embark in the largest performance of our Ritual I had ever seen. Everything you love about our Ritual is exaggerated when at convention. You are linked hand-in-hand with sisters of all ages from all parts of our country. Not to mention, I was able to witness 50- and 75-year pinning ceremonies! I know that myself and many of my sisters would love to receive a 75-year pin from the Alpha Chi Omega National President someday!
A time to learn. The keynote speakers featured at convention are inspirational, entertaining and empowering. In St. Louis, I absolutely loved listening to incredible Alpha Chi Omega alumnae, such as Melissa d’Arabian, speak about her fascinating career and experience on Food Network Star. Luckily, she will be back again this year! In addition, I loved seeing the film Miss Representation. Not only was the film inspiring, but the discussion afterward was as well. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn from all the keynote speakers, as well as the breakout sessions. I still remember the session I saw regarding recruitment. It was lovely to discuss, brainstorm and engage in recruitment conversations with other collegiate representatives and headquarters staff. I could not wait to bring home to all of my Alpha Tau sisters the incredible knowledge I had learned.
A chance to give back. I’d say it is safe to say that Alpha Chi Omega women love to give back to the world in anyway possible. At the 2012 National Convention, I noticed many ways sisters could give back. One way was through the Star booth.
Quoting fellow chapter consultant Kristen Donnell, “I love that whether or not you are physically present [at convention], the Star Booth provides the opportunity to honor sisters that have made an impact in each of our lives, all the while contributing to the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation!”
Another way sisters were able to give back was through the Domestic Violence Awareness (DVA) walk. Sisters of all ages from different chapters and states around the country gathered the Sunday morning of convention weekend to walk for our national philanthropy. I cannot think of a better way to bond with sisters than through a philanthropic initiative such as the DVA walk.
Amazing meals. It is not just the delicious food that makes a meal at convention so amazing. Along with dessert served at every meal, I fondly remember engaging in conversation and laughter with collegiate and alumnae members alike! A favorite of many attendees is the reunion night, where collegiate and alumnae members from the same chapter of initiation gather for dinner.
Quoting fellow chapter consultant Alaina Cardwell, “I loved the reunion night dinner! My favorite part of convention was just spending time with alumnae from my chapter! Looking back on it now, convention was one of the few times as a collegiate member where I was able to spend quality time with alumnae for several days at a time.”
Many of the friendships I made, to which I still hold dear, started while passing the salad dressing around the dinner table.
Souvenirs. No, I’m not just talking about the swanky toiletries provided by the JW Marriott (although, who can complain about those, right?). It was a good thing I left space in my suitcase, as I flew back to Boston with my bags a bit heavier than when I left. One of my favorite souvenirs was the beautiful tote bag with a lyre on the side that all attendees got to use during convention, and, of course, got to bring home. I still use mine every time I go to the beach! I know what you are thinking, “That bag sounds great, but what about my big and little sisters? I promised I would bring them back some Alpha Chi Omega swag!” In addition, there were so many venders selling everything any Alpha Chi Omega woman could ever want. So, not to fret, there are plenty of opportunities for you to pick out the perfect gift for your big or little sister.
Some of my fondest memories during my Alpha Chi Omega collegiate career were from my time “under the arch” at the 2012 National Convention. I expect this and so much more from the 2014 Alpha Chi Omega National Convention! May 9 is the registration deadline, so sign up if you have not already. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest computer/smartphone/tablet to register for an experience like no other!
I look forward to seeing you in the desert! California, here we come!
Learn more about the 2014 National Convention >
by Nicole Del Mauro
(Iota Phi, Quinnipiac University)
“To shed the light of love and friendship round me”
This line of the Symphony has been the quote I have lived by throughout my year as a consultant. Being a consultant, I have had the privilege of meeting so many Alpha Chi Omega sisters all around the country. I have seen parts of the country that I never thought this small town, Jersey girl would ever get to see. I have gained life skills; made amazing memories; and, most importantly, I have gotten the opportunity to share my love for this amazing organization.
I wanted to be a chapter consultant because I wanted the opportunity to impact my sisters in a positive way. I wanted to have sisters fall in love with Alpha Chi as much as I am. I wanted them to be proud of being a part of such an amazing organization.
What I ended up learning throughout the year is that not only did I help other sisters fall even more in love with Alpha Chi Omega, but my love for this amazing sisterhood grew. I wouldn’t trade the stress, the tears, the lack of sleep, the late night In-N-Out runs, and the constant emails for the world. All of those things allowed me to bond with my sisters, and each of them allowed me to see the love I have for this sisterhood.
I am proud of all the chapters I have had the opportunity to work with this year. They have each impacted me in so many ways. They have helped me see how sisterhood truly is forever and how it is a bond we are all lucky to share.
However, one chapter stands out in my mind for helping me love this sisterhood even more. Helping to recolonize our Beta Lambda chapter at the University of Arizona was by far my favorite memory throughout this year’s journey. Watching these women build a bond with each other and fall in love with Alpha Chi was an experience I will never forget. There was no prouder moment for me as a consultant than watching each of those women become initiated members of Alpha Chi Omega.
When I think about the lifelong friendships I have made and the confidence I developed throughout my collegiate years and my first alumna year, I owe it all to Alpha Chi Omega. I was always proud to be a member of this strong organization, but now a year after starting this incredible journey, I am even prouder. I am proud of the service work we do as an organization. I am proud of the real, strong leaders we empower our members to be. I am proud of the genuine sisterhood we build within each of our chapters.
I am a proud member, a proud sister, of Alpha Chi Omega.
by Maree Magliocchetti
(Alpha Tau, University of New Hampshire)
Spring is here! The harsh weather is starting to calm down, I hope, and the flowers have begun to bloom. So, let me ask you, when was the last time you went outside and smelled the red carnations? Whatever corner of the United States you currently reside, it has a unique charm of its own. I have learned something wonderful by traveling this great nation these past nine months: America is all kinds of beautiful. No matter what part of our country from which you hail, there is beauty in your backyard. I must admit that I have taken for granted the wonders of New England—the corner of the country I call home. I have learned throughout my journey as a traveling chapter consultant to notice and appreciate the beauty in the people, history, landscapes, culinary treasures and favorite pastimes found in every region or state in America. When was the last time you saw beauty even in the common things of life?
I love history. This is of no surprise to anyone who has spent more than five minutes with me. What can I say; I am from the birthplace of the American Revolution. Thanks to Alpha Chi Omega and the chapter consultant position, I have been able to cross many historical landmarks off my bucket list. While visiting the Beta Delta chapter, College of William and Mary, I explored colonial Williamsburg—making sure to say “hi” to some personal heroes, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. At the Zeta Lambda chapter, University of Virginia, I received a personal tour of one of Thomas Jefferson’s greatest legacies, the university campus, making sure to stop by Monticello before leaving Charlottesville. On route to the Beta Mu chapter, Pennsylvania State University, I made a pit stop at Gettysburg. As if visiting the spot where my favorite president of all time, Abraham Lincoln, made one of the greatest speeches of all time wasn’t enough, it also happened to be the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address! This year, I also stopped by my future residence, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, during my first-time-ever to Washington D.C. I have enjoyed the local history of countless college towns, museums, parks and much more. I am forever in debt to Alpha Chi Omega and the amazing sisters across the country who have helped me experience my dreams this past year.
One of the greatest things about visiting chapters on different campuses around the country is that every place has their quintessential food item that you cannot leave without trying. Luckily, Alpha Chi Omega sisters, nationwide, have been wonderful hostesses and made sure I got my fill of their local must-try grub. While in Oklahoma, I let it slip that I had never tried Chick-fil-a; the lovely ladies of the Psi chapter, University of Oklahoma, ensured I did so before leaving the state. In Toledo, I saw more hotdog places than I could ever imagine. The ladies of the Beta Omega chapter, University of Toledo, brought me to the very famous Rudy’s for the full hotdog experience. Thanks to the women of Gamma Phi, Lamar University, I tasted authentic Tex-Mex in Houston, and the women of Beta Lambda, University of Arizona, made sure I had In-and-Out Burger while in Arizona. I’d love to return the favor if any sisters ever find themselves in New England, I know the best place to get a lobsta’ roll and clam chowda’.
The fact of the matter is that when you have my job, it is very easy to see the beauty in the common things of life. How many people get to wake up in the beautiful Allegheny Mountains and end their day sunbathing under the palm trees of Arizona? I have been able to start a month in New York City, spend some time on the seaport of Maryland, and end it in the mountains of Pennsylvania or West Virginia. Traveling from quaint college towns to big cities has been great; exploring these places with sisters by my side has made it even better.
I have loved seeing, smelling and tasting the unique attributes that every region, state and campus has had to offer. That said, the greatest beauty I have witnessed is the kindness, sincerity and grace that Alpha Chi Omega women offer to one another. I will be forever inspired by the sisters I have had the pleasure of meeting. Of all the souvenirs I will bring home as my time as the region 1 chapter consultant grows short, the one that I hold most dear, luckily, weighs nothing. I will return to New England with even more pride and love for Alpha Chi Omega then when I left, which, quite frankly, I did not think was possible! I am eternally grateful to Alpha Chi Omega for this amazing experience. This year will be a hard one to beat. I will continue to challenge myself, as well as my sisters, to see and appreciate the beauty in our backyards; in each other; in our chapter; and to, every so often, be sure to stop and smell the red carnations.
by Emeline Hansen
(Alpha, DePauw University)
Earlier this month, when National Ritual Celebration Week was celebrated across the country, I thought back to my first experience with our Ritual. It’s hard to believe that just four years ago, I was initiated into our wonderful sisterhood. At my initiation, I learned the meaning behind our core values and standards. I learned what our founders saw and hoped our fraternity would become. And at that moment, where I was welcomed into lifetime membership in Alpha Chi Omega, all I knew was that I was ready to become the best member I could be.
Throughout my collegiate experience, I had some of the greatest opportunities thanks to my membership. I was able to serve in leadership positions on both the Alpha Chi and Panhellenic executive boards. I saw my chapter celebrate 125 years of sisterhood. I watched my chapter grow and flourish. And as I look back now, as an alumna, I stop and think maybe I had something to do with that—maybe we had something to do with that. Did I leave a positive legacy? Did we?
As a chapter consultant, I constantly think about the best ways to motivate and improve a chapter. Ideas of improving sisterhood, or working on retention, or being more competitive at recruitment are always quick to jump out at me. But under all of those specific areas, for chapters to make improvements, is one general goal—leave a positive legacy.
We’ve always been told to leave something better than when we found out, but do we ever follow through?
When chapters face tough decisions or are at a crossroad to direct the chapter one way or another, members and officers should stop and think how their decisions will affect the legacy of the chapter. Officers can remember our BACKSTOPS while planning safe events. Seniors can commit to remaining active and supportive. The chapter can strategically plan to improve overall chapter academics or sisterhood. The crucial aspect is that we always have the opportunity to leave a positive legacy, and we should follow through with that commitment.
The majority of your time as an Alpha Chi Omega is as an alumna member. It is not just a four-year commitment. Your experience as a collegian is just a small part of the long journey in membership. Alumnae are vital to our chapters and to our organization. Another way to leave a positive legacy at your chapter, and with the organization, is to volunteer as an alumna. For graduating seniors, there is no better way to set a good example of leaving a positive legacy than by volunteering for Alpha Chi at the chapter and/or national level.
Remember your initiation and the legacy passed on to us in Ritual, and now look at the legacy you are leaving or have left with your chapter. Is it one you are proud of?
Standing in our chapter room four years ago at initiation, I heard the legacy of Alpha Chi Omega and the expectations our founders set for my chapter and our organization to follow. As we are charged to live our Ritual every day, as individual members and chapters, we are expected to leave a positive legacy for Alpha Chi. Continually, as I work with chapters, and volunteer in the future, I look forward to being able to ask myself, am I leaving a positive legacy?
So, I pose the same question to all of our chapters and members. Are you leaving a positive legacy?
By Alaina Cardwell
(Epsilon Lambda, University of Texas – Arlington)
In the midst of midterms or finals you may not think that college is moving by very quickly. But ask almost every senior right now and they would say those 4 or 5 years went by quickly. By the first half of senior year you are in denial that graduation is getting closer. By second semester, there is an unusual amount of anxiety to find a job. The best way to understand the job searching process is through formal recruitment we know all too well. And this time you are the PNM again.
The ICS or college recruiter profile you created that contained your grades, your high school information, extracurricular activities and community service has now been replaced with your resume – the one-page resume where you squeeze your accomplishments, past areas of employment, and list of skills perfectly tailored to each company you are applying to. You have researched the different companies on their company website to gain more information. The Jack Rogers sandals and JCrew dresses are now getting replaced with moderately sized heels and a neutral colored pant or skirt suit.
The nerves and excitement that ran through you before the start of recruitment come back for the first set of interviews. Depending on the company, you may have a phone or Skype interview first. These introductory interviews are similar to the first few rounds of recruitment. These types of interviews are critical, you must be able to sell yourself in a short amount of time and think on your feet. If you are on a phone interview, it is important to make sure you are smiling as you are answering questions and constantly change the pitch in your voice. Unlike Skype or an in-person interview, you can’t read the interviewer’s reaction. Experts often recommend dressing like you are going to an interview so you feel like you are ready.
Countless parties later preference round is here, the most important round of recruitment. After numerous interviews at several different companies, you have been asked to return for a final interview. It is now time to iron the suit and prepare questions to ask during recruitment. You rehearse certain questions-“Why do you want this position?” or “What are you passionate about?” You arrive 15 minutes early and have a small purse and padfolio in hand. After the interview, you send out thank you emails and thank you cards for every person you talked to.
On Bid Day, you waited anxiously for the envelope with your name scrolled on it. Your phone rings or an email waits in your inbox notifying of your job offer. Maybe you do a happy dance or send a quick tweet out to your followers with a nice hashtag #employed #finally. All the anxiety has finally gone away. You accept the offer and prepare for the first day of work.
Just like recruitment, the job application process is mutual selection. You intentionally chose the companies you apply to, and the company chooses the applicant it feels would be the best candidate for the position. There is a job that is perfect for every individual. In your search, remember all those leadership (and recruitment) lessons you’ve gained as an Alpha Chi Omega, and let them guide you to that perfect first job.
by Hannah Harris
(Zeta Xi, University of North Carolina-Greensboro)
February is one of my favorite months in the year. As a collegian, it was the time in the semester where I really hit my stride; I had found my spring semester routine. It was and still is a time for appreciating the wonderful people in my life—coworkers, friends, family and sisters. We get to really appreciate the amazing individuals in our lives, all while acquiring a ton of candy (as someone who cannot say no to sweets, I really love the latter part of this holiday). But as Alpha Chi Omegas, we’re blessed with another exciting reason to love February, and that’s MacDowell Month. We have an amazing opportunity to reconnect with and celebrate our founding, twice in a year—starting in February and again in October. Our sisterhood was founded to celebrate the arts, specifically music. Although we no longer require our members to be music students in order to join, we do celebrate our heritage through the musical symbol that unites Alpha Chis everywhere, the lyre.
The MacDowell Colony was established to help artists come together and work in an environment that stimulates and encourages their artistic natures. Many famous works, such as King Lear by James Lapine and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, have been produced through fellowships at the MacDowell Colony. Alpha Chi chapters across the nation honor MacDowell Month by encouraging their sisters to participate in activities celebrating the arts—going to plays; visiting museums; supporting sisters as they perform; hosting sisterhoods where they craft together (a personal favorite as it combines two of my favorite things); and so many other possibilities. In our tech savvy world, these chapters are posting amazing photos and reminding us of our beautiful heritage and encouraging us to find new, fun and creative ways to cherish our sisterhood. After all, it is the little things that make us fall in love with our sisters and our chapters. The small moments that we take to see and appreciate all that is noble in another are the moments that we cherish forever.
To celebrate MacDowell Month, I challenge you to explore the arts around you. I challenge you to see beauty in the common things on your campus. To celebrate the love and friendships you’ve made through Alpha Chi and create new relationships within your chapter. Reach out to a sister you may not know as well and invite her to lunch. Take a group of sisters to support that sister who is always in musicals or plays. Encourage your chapter to visit the exhibit that’s showing the work of one your chapter members.
February is a time of love and appreciation—for yourself, for your friends, family and sisters, and for your sisterhood. You joined Alpha Chi Omega because it made an impact on your heart, now it’s your turn to share that impact with others and spread the love.
Do you have MacDowell Month photos to share? Tweet them (@AlphaChiOmegaHQ)!
by Samantha Holley
(Gamma Rho chapter, Texas Tech University)
The new year brings the excitement of new classes, new friends and new opportunities. It is a chance to leave the past behind and carry on to a brighter future. We often think of ways to improve ourselves or express a desire to keep up momentum from previous goals. Within Alpha Chi Omega, to keep these improvements and goals in the forefront, an opportunity is given to the newly elected executive board officers as they step into their new roles and start leading their chapter. This opportunity is known as Leadership Academy.
Every year, two executive board officers from each of our 134 chapters are given the privilege to attend Leadership Academy in Indianapolis, Indiana. Leadership Academy is a weekend-long conference that invites each chapter president and a rotating executive board officer to have a chance to not only meet other officers and share ideas, but also provides them the opportunity to work with the headquarters staff while preparing to begin their terms in office. This past weekend, over 250 Alpha Chi Omega collegians worked with each other to learn and teach the importance of their roles in Alpha Chi Omega—how to be a leader and a friend, the importance of action planning, and how to be an effective mentor. They met our Indiana University, Alpha Mu chapter, sister Terrin Thomas, Miss Indiana 2013; swapped their “Alpha Chi swag”; and explored downtown Indianapolis.
As a collegian, I was fortunate enough to attend Leadership Academy. My favorite part was meeting sisters from across the country and sharing ideas with each other. I remember all of the fun my Big and I had when we came to Leadership Academy as chapter president and VP chapter relations and standards. It was such an amazing experience to explore a new city with a new set of friends that are also sisters!
This year, as a chapter consultant, it was really endearing for me to attend. I loved hearing the messages of accountability and sisterhood by headquarters staff, just like when I was in college. This time though, my experience taught me more than I could have expected. I saw sisters helping sisters, women from the west coast creating friendships with women from the east coast, and chapter leaders on a contagious Alpha Chi high.
So, as we continue on with the new year, I challenge each of you to take up a New Year’s resolution with me. As the excitement wears off and you begin to blend all of your days together, remain excited about Alpha Chi Omega. Even though our New Year’s resolutions of going to the gym or not eating chocolate often get forgotten, I urge you to not let your new found excitement for Alpha Chi Omega fade away. Continue brainstorming new ideas; develop new relationships; get to know your consultant (we love to grab Froyo or coffee, so make sure to show us the hotspots on our visits); and ALWAYS seek the heights!
by Lauren Taulbee
(Phi chapter, University of Kansas)
When I heard the exciting news that I had been offered a position as an Alpha Chi Omega chapter consultant, I was thrilled and anxious to share the news about this new chapter in my life with all of my family and friends. I immediately called my parents and told them I had been offered the job! My dad’s first question was, “What exactly will you be doing?” That was a great question that I could not exactly answer; I had seen consultants come to my chapter and I had read the job description online, but I did not feel fully prepared or educated to answer that question in a manner that would do the job justice. Throughout the months prior to training, I was asked that same question over and over again, “What exactly will you be doing?” I explained that I would be working for my sorority’s national organization, and I would be traveling to different college campuses throughout the Midwest, but I was not equipped with concrete examples. I tried to come up with different responses that described different aspects of the job, but in all honesty, I did not know what my day-to-day tasks would look like.
When I arrived at headquarters for summer training, one of the first things I learned was how to explain the chapter consultant job. I had not had the experiences yet to provide first-hand knowledge, but I had the wording and the knowledge to explain that I worked for a nonprofit women’s organization which helped women around the country develop leadership skills and foster community on their campuses. I was amazed by the immense change in reaction that I received from people when I introduced my job with that statement. I was so proud to share that statement as the summary of my position because every word was true. But, I was still waiting to attach meaning to those words, because I had not yet met with any of the chapter members.
Starting off on the road was exhilarating and intimidating, because I could not wait to put my training into practice. I knew the incredible women who had served as consultants before me, so I hoped I could live up to the standard they had set for the expectations of a chapter consultant. What I have learned on the road since I began traveling cannot be summarized; I have grown and learned more than I possibly could have imagined. Just to provide a glimpse of the changes that have occurred within me individually as a result of this job, I have enhanced my critical thinking and problem solving skills, developed different methods for conflict resolution, become an independent and resourceful traveler, increased my ability to adapt to any situation, improved my facilitation skills, and grown stronger as a woman. I am not just a consultant to the women I meet, but I am a mentor, sister, educator and resource. I have met incredible collegiate members across the country who have helped me to grow and have taught me more about myself than I could have thought possible. I have met many women that I admire, and I am thrilled to see what they have in store for the world.
When I think about my future career, the opportunities that lie ahead excite me. I know that I am a better woman personally and professionally thanks to my position as a consultant. I feel prepared to answer any question about the role of a consultant, and I know that my experience will set me apart in a positive manner.
As I meet people around the country and explain to them what I do, I can feel a greater sense of pride each time I describe my job. Every day I am learning more about the advantages and opportunities that accompany this position.
Now when someone asks me “What exactly do you do?” this is my response:
I personally get to help women grow together as they enhance themselves individually, and I get to provide women with resources to help them take advantage of all personal and career opportunities that accompany student life and membership in a nationwide women’s organization. I am proud to say that I work for a nonprofit women’s organization that strives to help women around the country develop leadership skills, enhance their professional opportunities, develop networking possibilities by connecting all members, be an agent for change in their community through philanthropic and service efforts, and learn the value of life-long membership in an organization that aims to encourage all members to be real, strong women.
by Janet and Scott Harrison
(parents of past chapter consultant Jennifer Harrison)
Our daughter, Jennifer Harrison, became a member of the Alpha Gamma chapter [University of New Mexico (UNM)] of Alpha Chi Omega in the spring of her freshman year. She had chosen not to do fall recruitment because she didn’t think “sorority life was for her.” Jennifer jumped into sorority life with both feet running and hasn’t stopped yet!
While she was an active member of her chapter, she often talked about when the chapter consultant was coming for a visit and how impressed she was with this person, the job she was doing, and how it might be something she was interested in doing after graduation. We encouraged her to talk to the consultant, find out what was expected, what the job entailed, how much she would be paid—all the questions parents want answers to.
Having served as Panhellenic president for Greek Life at UNM, as well as numerous positions in her chapter, we felt Jennifer was well prepared to represent Alpha Chi Omega as a consultant. We completely supported her choice to apply for the position and sure enough, she was selected. Jennifer was chosen to be the resident consultant responsible for the new colonization at High Point University.
Not only was she responsible for herself, but now she was the face of Alpha Chi for all of these prospective members who were looking at her and deciding if they wanted to join this brand new sorority. The amount of self-confidence that Jennifer built up through this process was phenomenal, and her leadership skills became finely honed. High Point has become a very successful chapter for Alpha Chi Omega, and as parents, we can’t help but feel that Jennifer’s role as a consultant was a big factor.
With this first year under her belt, we felt Jennifer was prepared for whatever came her way for the second year of being a consultant. Her region of responsibility included the chapters in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. Jennifer received very good training to perform her job, but had to use her creativity at times to overcome unforeseen situations and events. While she was a seasoned traveler before this job, we are envious of her ability to go on the road for six weeks, putting together a complete wardrobe with a few key pieces that she could mix and match and always looking professional and put-together! Jennifer learned about the best day/time to book an airline flight, how to master any kind of public transportation to get from smaller towns that weren’t serviced by airlines, how to timely complete the required paperwork from each visit before starting all over again for the next visit!
If Jennifer had the chance to do the consulting job over again, would we encourage her? ABSOLUTELY! With no reservations! She developed lifelong skills, experiences and friendships she will never forget and that will serve her well in the future. Every college graduate should pursue a job like this to give them the professional skills everyone needs in life.
Interested in the chapter consultant position? Apply today!
by Heather Renée Carrio,
Key Account Sales Representative, The Portico Collection-Dallas World Trade Center
(Psi chapter, University of Oklahoma)
Out of state tuition: $80,000.00
Sorority collegiate dues: $8,000.00
T-shirts over 4 years: $1,800.00
Alpha Chi Omega experiences of a lifetime: Priceless
As many graduating seniors today, I had the same experience waking up one morning not knowing what I wanted to be when I “grew up.” My chapter sisters, advisors, friends and family all knew what a trying time this period in my life was because I was the girl who always had a plan. Graduating with a business management degree, my opportunities were endless, so endless that I had no clue where to start. My mother came to me one day and said the cliché quote in so many words, “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” The two things I love to do: travel and talk about anything and everything Alpha Chi Omega. This lead me to the Alpha Chi Omega website, researching the ways I could make my dream come true.
Being an Alpha Chi Omega chapter consultant is to this day one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was an honor to represent Psi chapter and the University of Oklahoma on a national level. I met the women I traveled with, my consultant sisters, who became my second family. The networking opportunities that this “girl who had never met a stranger” received from being a consultant are, to this day, endless. I met people not only through Alpha Chi Omega, but many other Greek organizations, through national conferences and coffee-dates on the road. These elite men and women that I met over that two-year period will be in my life forever. I have learned that once you are selected as a chapter consultant for your organization, you are admitted into a new privileged fraternal group who will always be there to support one another to reach his or her professional or personal goals in life.
Nearing the end of my second term as a consultant, I heard of an opportunity of a lifetime to work for the company of my dreams. I quickly learned that this was a highly sought after position and upon my final interview, realized there were two front runners for the job: me, a 25-year-old with two years of experience as an Alpha Chi Omega chapter consultant, and a close friend of the owner who had 10-plus years of experience in the industry. I was aware that this was not an entry level position and that the company was one of the top 10 in the industry in the country. I do not remember the entire interview, but I do remember being asked what sets me apart from the other applicants and why they should select me. My experiences as a chapter consultant gave me everything I needed to be successful in this company and in life—dedication; passion; drive; professionalism; decision-making; conversation and public speaking skills; and, most of all, confidence in myself and my abilities. The skills I developed during my two-year tenure with Alpha Chi Omega lead to me be the first choice selection for the showroom manager position over all the other applicants, even though they had more experience and more beneficial industry contacts than I did at the time. I have been with the company for four years now, and I have recently been promoted to working in key account sales and product development for companies all over the country—The Container Store; Pier One; Mary Kay; and my favorite place to shop, Neiman Marcus, among many others.
My dedication to Alpha Chi Omega continues to grow day-by-day. Being an Alpha Chi Omega chapter consultant opens your eyes to the needs of our organization and provides many wonderful opportunities to volunteer. Alpha Chi Omega simply would not exist if it was not for the dedicated volunteers and passionate active alumnae we have surrounding and supporting our members and our Fraternity. Volunteering within the organization is what keeps me connected to all of the past chapter consultants and sisters I met while traveling. Most of the chapter women I advised as a consultant have since graduated and gone on to their own successful careers, but it is always a blessing when I get a text, email or Facebook message from one of them saying that having me as a consultant changed or added to their experience as an Alpha Chi Omega. I have gained professional and personal Alpha Chi Omega mentors through my consultant experience and have become a mentor myself to other sisters along the way. I am thankful for every “hat” I have worn in regards to my experience in Alpha Chi Omega—a collegiate member, a chapter consultant, a mentor and now a volunteer. No matter how much I give to our organization, the return on investment is priceless.
Want to gain real-world experience that will put you ahead of your competition in the job hunt? Apply today!