By: Kristin Austin
Theta Psi, Columbia
I started working for Alpha Chi right about one year ago. At that time, I thought I would be traveling in region 1 working with our established chapters in the northeast for the duration of my contract.
Fast forward to today, and I’m writing this blog sitting outside one of the many fountains at Stanford University in California, where I’ve been stationed for the last three months. When I started as a consultant with Alpha Chi I knew there would be a lot of situations where I would need to be adaptable: missed connecting flights, recruitment mishaps, you name it. What I wasn’t expecting, though, was the opportunity to completely change assignments over halfway through the year and become a resident consultant at Stanford. What I also wasn’t expecting was my own ability to handle that change gracefully and be successful in getting the Zeta Iota chapter off to a strong start.
In retrospect, I don’t really know why I was all that surprised. No matter what consultant role you have with Alpha Chi, you will learn. A lot. Sometimes those lessons come gradually over time, and sometimes they come at you pretty hard. You learn how to enjoy your own company, how to be a social chameleon who can mix and mingle with all kinds of people–and influence them too. You learn that collecting t-shirts from all the schools you visit will bring you dangerously close to your 50-pound suitcase weight limit (but you keep buying the shirts anyway, because they’re one of few physical things you’ll ever have to commemorate the experience of working with hundreds, if not thousands, of Alpha Chi’s). You learn that it’s okay to be yourself, even around a group of women you just met, because they are your sisters. And above all, you learn that this experience will make you more confident, more poised and incredibly prepared to take on whatever personal and professional experiences life throws at you once your time as a consultant ends. With my own time as a consultant ending this month, it is these lessons and more that I know will always stick with me, no matter what the future holds.