By Holly Pyper
Beta, Albion College
Resident Consultant – IUPUI
As I’m sitting on a plane on my way to New York the man sitting next to me asks, “So where’s home for you?” Great question.
I’m a resident consultant, so I spend most of my time in Indianapolis working with the Kappa Omega chapter. I moved to Indy from Michigan in August, and I’m falling in love with the city and the incredible people. I am very comfortable where I live and I’ve found a great routine. Indianapolis has the Midwest atmosphere that I grew up with and a fun, young city vibe.
But I didn’t realize what home really meant to me until I got off the plane in New York and was greeted by my consultant sisters. I had never been to New York before, it is not home to me. Things were different from what I had been used to in the Midwest, but it felt more like home than anywhere I had been this year.
I was nervous going into consultant training in June. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to relate to women who came from completely different experiences from those that I had. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to have a close bond with these women because we are coworkers. I was worried I wouldn’t have close consultant friends. Instead, what I found was true sisterhood. The bonds that this group of 18 women made in just a few shorts weeks are a testament to the strength of the sisterhood in Alpha Chi Omega.
New York felt like home because I was with the people who felt like home. Even FaceTiming or calling a consultant sister gives me a sense of home, no matter where I am. I’m so thankful to have such close bonds and such supportive sisters.
This past week nearly the entire consultant team was back in Indianapolis for training. It was like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders just by being with them. I was myself, I was supported and I felt so loved. For that week, Indianapolis was home.
To answer your question, home is wherever I am with my consultant sisters.
By Haleigh Roberts
ΔΖ (Central Michigan University)
Resident Consultant, Syracuse University
October has arrived, and aside from it being one of my favorite months because of homecomings, hockey season, the changing of leaves, Halloween and the seasonal drinks at Starbucks, there’s also a pretty special holiday that always leaves a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. I am, of course, talking about Founders’ Day – October 15th – the day seven women changed the course of over 200,000 lives for the better.
Let’s just take a moment to think about the sleepless nights spent creating memories with women who will be in your life forever, about the ice-cream runs, the funny Snapchats and the moments spent wishing that the best four years of your life never end. Take a moment to think about every fun sisterhood event you’ve been to, every leadership position you’ve held and all of the money you’ve helped raise. Take a moment to think about all of the women you call sisters—the women who have stood by your side through tough times, through your successes, and who will stand by your side in your wedding or when you get that big promotion.
I can’t say for certain that Amy, Anna, Bertha, Bessie, Estelle, Olive and Nellie could have foreseen the vast impact their love and devotion to each other and this Fraternity would have on each of us today, but I know they’d be proud. I know they would be proud to see that over 200,000 women have vowed to uphold the values they held so dear to their hearts, and I know they would be proud that bonds continue to form in the name of Alpha Chi Omega.
Sometimes it is easy to feel removed from women we’ve never known, but our Founders are reflected in the very women who surround us today. Each and every Alpha Chi Omega is the result of what our Founders worked so hard to create, and that is something we should be thankful for every day.
I was just blessed with the opportunity to help re-colonize the Lambda chapter at Syracuse University. When I look at our new members and see the eagerness in their eyes, the fire in their hearts and the utmost desire and dedication to create a legacy that will benefit the lives of women now and in the future, I can’t help but think that this might just be the same passion that was felt by the seven women who started it all.
The next time you send a funny Snapchat, go on a late-night ice cream run or laugh for hours in your chapter room with the women you call sisters and think about how lucky you are, also take a moment to realize that the spirit of our Founders lives on through all of us. We owe them every thankful thought, but more than that, we owe them the responsibility of continuing to build upon the foundation they created for women to come.
So for this Founders’ Day, I encourage you all to think about the continuous foundation you are setting for your chapter. Let’s make a promise to continue making Amy, Anna, Bertha, Bessie, Estelle, Olive and Nellie proud.
To give back to the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation and contribute directly to one of the programs the Foundation supports, Take the Challenge today!
By Abby Rittenhouse
Zeta Sigma, Missouri State University
When I think of Founders’ Day, the first thing that comes to mind is the beautiful legacy seven determined and passionate young women created in Alpha Chi Omega. Seven women who decided to create the first and last musical fraternity one fall day in October. That one chapter of seven women has turned into 143 chapters and colonies full of real, strong women doing service, raising awareness and developing leaders. I owe everything to those seven women. They are my sisters, my role models and my Founders. Founders’ Day is so special to me because although Alpha Chi Omega has grown tremendously over the years, our values and Ritual have stayed the same. We still proudly wear the lyre badge, the colors of scarlet red and olive green, and continue daily to seek the heights.
I currently serve as a student trustee for the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation and chapter president for the Zeta Sigma chapter at Missouri State University. Being chapter president has been one of the greatest experiences of my college career. A chapter of 285 women can be overwhelming at times, but with a hardworking executive team and dedicated, loyal members, there is a constant sense of sisterhood. I find no greater joy than seeing the accomplishments of my sisters, whether on campus, in a new career or within Alpha Chi Omega.
Our chapter typically celebrates Founders’ Day with a celebration at our chapter house involving refreshments and a lot of cookie cake! We reflect on the history of Alpha Chi Omega by reflecting on our Founders, symbols, traditions and Ritual. We encourage members to partake in acts of service and friendship in the days surrounding Founders’ Day as well. This year, we are trying something new: a “carnation pass.” We will have seven carnations and will pass them around to sisters throughout the day to celebrate our founding.
In addition to our Founders’ Day celebration, we enjoy participating in the Founders’ Day Challenge benefiting the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation. This year, chapters will have the ability to decide where they want their donations to go, which creates an even more personalized experience.
By having our chapter participate at 100 percent, it means that every single woman wants to make a difference. They want to make a direct impact on initiatives such as domestic violence awareness, Leadership Academy, the Global Service Initiative, educational programs or other programs of their choosing. Every single woman wants to create a better collegiate experience for her sisters and a better community for all. Every woman wants to continue to support the Foundation so Alpha Chi Omega can continue to shape us as leaders, advocates and sisters.
When it comes to having a conversation about giving, I think the most important thing is to explain to members where the money is going. When some people hear “the Foundation” or “Founders’ Day Challenge,” they may not know what that means. The conversation starts with discussing the Foundation and the direct impact it has on all Alpha Chi Omega members. Without the Foundation, we would not have educational programs for chapters or initiatives for domestic violence awareness. The Foundation is such an amazing entity of Alpha Chi Omega, and every chapter member should be aware of it.
The conversation continues with the direct impact of donations. Last year, collegians raised $54,000, which was more than half the total amount raised during the Founders’ Day Challenge. We can make a difference, and we do make a difference. We discuss the personal impact the Foundation and Alpha Chi Omega have made in our lives. Something I am going to incorporate into the conversation this year is pictures of sisters volunteering at the Global Service Initiative, attending Leadership Academy and participating in other educational programs. None of those experiences would have been possible without donations from people just like us.
Just the small amount of $18.85 can make such an amazing impact. $18.85 is a few trips to Starbucks (I know I already went to Starbucks twice today, so I reached that limit), two trips to Panera, a new dress from Forever 21 or the newest Beyoncé album on iTunes. The conversation is not something to be feared; the most important thing about the Founders’ Day Challenge is having a meaningful conversation about the Foundation and bringing awareness to the great causes it supports.
“I support the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation because of the opportunities and experiences that arise because of the Foundation’s contributions,” said VP philanthropy and Global Service Initiative participant Jayne Sokolich. “If it weren’t for the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation, I wouldn’t have had the honor and privilege to attend the Global Service Initiative in Jamaica that impacted me so deeply. The Foundation offers resources to further members’ knowledge and awareness about the issue of domestic violence. The Foundation offers scholarships for my sisters who may not be able to easily have access to a college education. I support the Foundation because it helps foster learning experiences, helps foster new friendships, holds Alpha Chi Omega’s values to heart and helps every member reach their potential of being real, strong women.”
The 2016 Founders’ Day Challenge launches this week – check out this year’s event here!
Chapter: Delta Rho, University of Arkansas
VP Philanthropy: Shara Thames
Name of events: Volley Against Domestic Violence, percentage nights at local restaurants, Pizza Pie with Alpha Chi and leftover budget money
Amount raised: $18,000
Shelter that will benefit from the donation: Peace at Home Family Shelter
Tell us more!
1. Please provide a description of your philanthropy event (did you partner with other organizations on your campus or in your community? How long did it take you to plan the event? What were some of the highlights?)
Delta Rho did several events within the past year to help raise money for the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation and the Peace at Home Family Shelter. Our most successful event was Pizza Pie with Alpha Chi. For this event, we served pizza, salad, cookies and a drink, all for just $5. We invited the entire community – Greeks, non-Greeks, alumni, professors and even parents – to come out to have a great meal and support domestic violence awareness. We also had a silent auction for guests to bid on items as they were enjoying their meals. We normally start planning this event over the summer, and it takes place in October, so it does take some time to organize.
Another event Delta Rho hosted was Volley Against Domestic Violence. We invited the entire Greek community to come out and play volleyball against each other for a small fee to help raise awareness for domestic violence. To encourage our Greek community to play for the cause, we provided the winning organization with a prize of $200 for their philanthropy and a free function (date party) with us.
In addition, we hosted several percentage nights at popular restaurants in the Fayetteville community. Chipotle was our biggest success when it came to percentage nights because they give 50 percent of the night’s earnings back to your philanthropy. The others we hosted still had a great turn out, though! We promoted our percentage nights on social media and by letting other organizations know about them in advance via email.
Last, but not least, a number of our exec board members had leftover money in their budgets. Instead of just putting this money aside to be used later, we decided it would be more impactful to the families at Peace at Home, so we added it all together and used it to help us reach our goal of $12,000 for Peace at Home this past spring.
2. In your opinion, what made the event so successful?
Our events were successful for many different reasons. First of all, our Greek community is super supportive of one another, so that definitely helped a lot. Also, we promote our events a lot on campus, through things like table marketing in front of our student union, visiting other chapters, chapter meetings and social media. In addition, it is always important that we make our events fun. We are always brainstorming ways to make our event atmosphere more inviting and fun for our guests.
3. Why did your chapter choose to make the gift through the LPI process?
Delta Rho chooses to donate using the LPI donation process because it is the best way to ensure that we are donating not only to the Peace at Home Family Shelter, but also the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation.
4. Why does your chapter value giving to both your local shelter and the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation?
Delta Rho values giving to our local shelter because a lot of our women volunteer weekly at Peace at Home, and the women and children at the shelter are more than just our philanthropy or a charity opportunity to us; they are our friends. Also, this past summer we witnessed another local shelter almost get shut down due to a lack of funds. This really helped us see the importance and impact our donations make.
We also find it important to donate to the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation because that is the way Alpha Chi gives back to us. Without personal development opportunities like MyJourney and REPRESENT, we would not be the women we are today. It is important to us that Alpha Chi Omega keep giving us these opportunities to grow and better prepare ourselves for life after graduation.
By Claire Emmack
ΓΜ (Ball State University)
Resident Consultant, Florida Gulf Coast University
With The Chainsmokers blasting through my headphones and the city lights below me, I do my best thinking. I feel like I can solve all of life’s problems from 30,000 feet above. But then the fasten seatbelt sign comes back on and the pilot starts to talk about the weather in my destination city, which means it is back to reality. So what happens to all of those thoughts and ideas?
This past year, flying has become a normal mode of transportation for me. As a traveling consultant last year I was on a plane about once a week and this year, as a resident consultant, I am on a plane at least once a month. I still get puzzled at why people tend to rush the gate as soon as the gate attendant says the word boarding and I have almost memorized the flight attendant safety message. I know where all of the Chick-Fil-A’s are located in the Atlanta airport and I know which window seat on the plane to pre-select depending on where I am going to get the best view. I also know that I have done my best thinking in these airports and on these airplanes. There is just something about being surrounded by people going this way and that, reuniting with loved ones and leaving them for other adventures that inspires me.
When I am 30,000 feet in the sky, with my phone on airplane mode and surrounded by clouds I feel invincible and everything seems clearer. The conflicts, problems and worries of my 5-foot-5-inch-self seem trivial and silly. Flying above it all gives me a different perspective, and it helps me to really wrap my head around a situation. When we land and I am back in the muck of everything, it gets harder to have that perspective. Now I understand that flying is quite an expensive coping mechanism for those stressors in our life and not everyone has the opportunity to be on a plane once a week, or month, so next time you are stressed out just think of yourself at 30,000 feet. Maybe go pick up some Biscoff cookies, if that helps you set the scene, and just breathe. What would airplane passenger you think? Looking down on the situation, would it be that big of a deal or can you just shake it off and continue to go on living your best life?
When I am not on a plane and my problems get to be too much, my sisters act as that 30,000 feet experience for me. They support me and remind me of what is important.
My little, Alex, is my saving grace and honestly during college I think she taught me more than I ever taught her. She gave me clarity through all the silly drama, and always supported me through the ups, downs and everything in between.
My chapter sister Allisyn is one of the kindest and most welcoming people I know. She could make friends with anyone in minutes, and she reminds me not to take myself too seriously. She is energetic and vibrant, and life is more fun with her by my side.
My consultant sister Haleigh is just one of those people that makes you want to be your best, most genuine self. She is all about setting and reaching goals and being an overall “girl boss.” She makes me believe that I can do anything I set my mind to!
These are just a few examples of sisters who help me feel like I am invincible and flying at 30,000 feet. I know you all have sisters who do the same for you so I encourage you to tell them how much you appreciate them. Sometimes we don’t always tell the people who mean the most to us exactly how we feel, and we really should! Life is too short not to lift those up who continue to lift you up. So that is my challenge to you: Think about those sisters who give you the 30,000 feet perspective and thank them. I promise, doing it will make you feel as happy as it will make them feel!
(And yes, I most definitely wrote this blog post on an airplane).
By Brittney Sceals
Iota Chi, Middle Tennessee State University
Director of New Business Development at Education Advisory Board and 2012-13 Alpha Chi Omega Traveling Consultant
Looking back on myself five years ago, finding a job after college and having a firm next step in my career seemed like the most important task I would ever be assigned. I tried to create checklist after checklist to analyze my options and establish a formula for making these decisions—I nearly drove myself, my friends and my family insane.
A couple of years later, while reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, I stumbled across what ended up being one of the greatest pieces of career advice I’ve ever received and a solution to my constant career anxiety. Early in the book, Sandberg recalls a conversation she had with previous Google CEO Eric Schmidt, where Schmidt tells her “only one criterion mattered when picking a job—fast growth.” I hate to be hyperbolic in saying that this advice from a complete stranger changed my life, but it is not hyperbole to say that it completely reframed how I have evaluated the steps that followed in my career.
If you find yourself reading this, I hope it is because you are considering applying to be a chapter consultant. But regardless of your career trajectory, I hope this piece of advice is as helpful to you as it was to me: Always take the career option that provides you the greatest opportunity for growth. And I can say with confidence, after serving as a chapter consultant for Alpha Chi Omega, that there are few jobs out there in the entry-level terrain that will provide you with a greater opportunity for professional and personal growth.
While I could write for days about my experience as a chapter consultant and how I grew from it, I’ll leave you with two ways serving in this capacity for Alpha Chi Omega provided me with the greatest opportunity for growth I could have imagined—specifically growth as a professional and growth as an Alpha Chi Omega. I hope that if you are considering the chapter consultant job as your first post-collegiate career move, this will encourage you to dive head first into the opportunity. I think you will be hard-pressed to find a job at this stage in your life that will serve you better in this way.
Growth as a Professional
When my year as a chapter consultant was coming to a close, much like I had done in preparation for college graduation, I started worrying about what came next all over again. But what I didn’t realize was how much more poised for the workforce I was this time around.
From my personal observations, when most past chapter consultants summarize their experience, the most measurable growth they report having seen in themselves is the long list of skills they have gained—skills that proved to set them apart from other candidates when they moved on to search for their next job. My experience was no different. Still to this day, I credit my experience as a chapter consultant with my ability to adjust to sudden changes, solve problems and respond gracefully to challenging situations, and to communicate confidently and eloquently with professionals of all ages—and the list goes on.
One of the most valuable skills I took away from my time as a chapter consultant was my ability to rethink my approach to risks. The consultant job required me to step so far out of my comfort zone—walking into a room to teach a workshop about our Ritual and seeing 300 unfamiliar faces, traveling across the country alone for weeks at a time and completing my first job with great autonomy, walking up to a complete a stranger on a college campus to ask her if I could tell her more about the new sisterhood we were starting from scratch, being the sole person responsible for finding a solution when something inevitably goes wrong between recruitment rounds. While I didn’t really see it in myself at the time, I understand now that there were very few things a new employer could have asked me to do that I wasn’t prepared for coming off of that experience, and I have no problem arguing that few other first jobs would have primed me as a young professional for the workforce in the same degree this job did.
Growth as an Alpha Chi Omega
The hope I have for every single Alpha Chi Omega woman is that she will leave her collegiate experience a better person than when she received her bid card, and that the ideals of the organization will have provided her a roadmap for how to live a more meaningful life. I thought I believed in these ideals of Alpha Chi Omega when I graduated from college, but becoming a chapter consultant vastly widened that perception.
I saw firsthand that the values of our organization reach so much further than the 100 women I called my sisters in college. Alpha Chi was providing a safe space for women to find their voices, realize their potential and become leaders all across the country. I was given the opportunity daily to look at a woman and tell her I believed in her abilities when she wasn’t yet sure she believed in them herself. I experienced the selflessness and love the women in this organization were immediately willing to show to me, even though I was a complete stranger. I was, quite literally, moved to tears on so many occasions by seeing the difference the organization was making in hundreds of young women’s lives.
Through these types of experiences, my belief in the relevance of sorority and my appreciation for a much larger Alpha Chi Omega than I had known before grew exponentially. And because of these experiences, I strive each day to be a better alumna, a better volunteer and a better sister than I would have had the understanding to become had I not seen the experience from this vantage point.
And lastly, this wouldn’t be a Consultant Chronicles post if I didn’t add a warm and fuzzy plug. The ways I grew from my chapter consultant experience are infinite, but what I also want each of you to know is that I truly believe there are very few career opportunities you will find out there that will allow you to wake up each day and feel like you are directly impacting the lives and futures of thousands of women. In this job, not every day will be sunshine and rainbows. Admittedly, some of them will feel impossibly hard. But rest assured that, should this be the journey you choose to take, you will be able to reach out and touch the thing you are shaping and the lives you are changing, you will go on the best adventures and you’ll be amazed at the things you will learn about yourself and about this sisterhood.
Don’t miss the chance to apply for this one-of-a-kind opportunity. The link is live, so apply today!
For this Coffee with Celia post, we are featuring sisters who work in education.
These sisters in education have reflected on the themes “wisdom, devotion, achievement” as well as parts from the symphony and how our values impact the way they relate to their students.
Wisdom may sound like an obvious choice for an educator to reflect upon how our Ritual impacts daily life. When I teach medical students, dental students and graduate students, I am not only imparting wisdom to the students, but much more.
I want them to reflect, to evaluate and to critically think about the matter. In preparation for teaching, I often learn new facts and ideas about the subject at hand.
My style of teaching is an interactive one, whether at the lab bench or in a more formal setting. I frequently invite dialogue, which often leads to a student bringing forth a new perspective or a challenge to old ways of thinking.
Wisdom is not something static, it is constantly shifting and evolving in ever-changing, beautiful ways. We all have wisdom to share and to gain, no matter our age or our occupation.
Carol Lutz, PhD
Epsilon Chi chapter, UNC-Chapel Hill
Associate Professor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences-New Jersey Medical School
Assistant Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
As the Interfraternity Council advisor at the University of Maryland, it might seem strange to think that the Symphony of Alpha Chi Omega inspires me and helps me do my work on a daily basis. I am constantly surrounded by men; clearly I am not a member of any of their organizations, yet membership in my own helps me find patience, understanding and kindness with the students I work with.
To see all that is noble in another, be her badge what it may.
This line of the symphony coupled with our value of wisdom centers me in my work. Each day is a conscious journey into understanding others more completely: who they are, where they come from, how they contribute to their classroom, chapter or campus community.
This line and value remind me to be patient, stay curious and above all – let the student share their life with me in a non-judgmental, purely curious, accepting way. Each student, fraternity man or sorority woman, comes with a unique story and background that informs who they are and how they show up in my office.
The symphony reminds me to hit the “reset button” with each student, to give them the undivided attention and care that they each deserve – no matter how busy the semester gets, how many meetings or events are on the calendar. This, in turn, helps remind them that they also owe this attitude and mindset to their brothers and sisters.
The Symphony helps me create a culture of care for the individual, to see the many different fibers of our massive community, and see the amazing work students individually and collectively contribute to the Greek community at Maryland.
Alpha Omicron, The Ohio State University
IFC Advisor, University of Maryland
Oftentimes, academic goals are expressed purely in terms of achievement – that is, getting the highest grade, attaining a certain class ranking or setting the curve. One of the most important and under-emphasized parts of our Alpha Chi value system is our focus on a trifecta of values – wisdom, devotion AND achievement.
While excelling in the classroom is laudable, I try my best to encourage students to simultaneously develop all three of these values, and not just focus on the achievement part.
For college students, it’s a disservice to only impart facts and route information. Instead, professors and lectures should develop broader understandings, and prompt students to develop wisdom and an intellectual curiosity (as opposed to just knowledge).
It’s the wisdom — through scholarly devotion – that ultimately leads to achievement.
Pi Chapter, UC Berkeley
Doctoral Student & Instructor, Louisiana State University
When I think about my role as a teacher these words from our symphony come to my mind: “to let my lyre send forth the chords of love, unselfishness, sincerity.”
As a teacher, I consistently show my love for my students. I work at a school where there are many children from poor and/or broken homes, and I may be the only person that shows them love that day.
There may be times that I am tired or frustrated with my students; however, I have to remain selfless to ensure that their educational needs are met each day.
I also remain sincere with my students, fellow educators and parents regarding my expectations and goals for the students in my classroom.
Theta Sigma Chapter, University of North Florida
Second Grade Teacher
By Taylor Moody
Zeta Sigma, Missouri State University
Resident Consultant, University of Kentucky
When I opened my bid card five years ago, I was ecstatic. I was absolutely in love with Alpha Chi Omega, and I was ready to run home to the ladies I had met during recruitment. While running to the house, a scary thought hit me: What if they don’t like me? Of course I had fallen in love with the women I met, but I was now in a dead sprint to Alpha Chi Omega with a group of 70 new members who had no idea who I was, and I was terrified. When I got to the house, I was welcomed by more than just the women who talked to me during recruitment; I was welcomed by an entire front yard full of Alpha Chis, and I knew I had found my people.
I found my best friends in Alpha Chi Omega, just like they always say you will. Looking back on my college experience I have nothing but gratitude for the friendships I gained because of Alpha Chi. As a consultant, when I meet collegians a popular question I am asked is “What is your favorite memory of Alpha Chi?” When I try to think of one specific memory or event from my experience that I love most, it is that I was always surrounded by my sisters and best friends. I do not have one outstanding memory, but I can say with confidence that I have a group of outstanding sisters who have made every memory from my college experience one for the books. I knew for a fact that my Alpha Chi Omega chapter was full of wonderful members and I was beyond proud to call them my sisters.
When I found out that I was chosen to be a chapter consultant, I had the same ecstatic feeling I had on Bid Day. I actually ran out of the library (abandoning my group project team) to answer the call, and then called every family member I could to spread the good news. I was so happy to get the chance to work with other Alpha Chi alumnae, travel for work and share my passion for this organization with collegians across the nation. Once the initial excitement wore off (months later), I realized I was a little scared to work with other alumnae, and even more scared to be-bop all over the country to Alpha Chi chapters in states I had never even been to before. A familiar thought popped in my head: What if they don’t like me?
Little did I know, the beautiful thing about the bond of Alpha Chi Omega is that it transcends chapters, states and age. Every Alpha Chi chapter has welcomed me with open arms and genuine personalities. I have worked with some of the most motivated young women who are leading our chapters to seek the highest of heights possible, all while maintaining their academics and making lifelong friendships. I have had the privilege of meeting and working with the some of the wonderful women who serve, or have served, on our National Council and Board of Trustees, and I admire the love they have for Alpha Chi Omega and how hard they work to grow our legacy. I get to talk to my fellow consultant sisters daily, and from the outside looking in you would never know we only met a few months ago. Each of the sisters I have met, no matter where they are from, have that familiar genuine personality I fell in love with during recruitment, and I have never once had to work to fit in with these women.
Thank goodness for the beauty of the bond, and the 200,000+ women I call my sisters.
By Ashley Williams
Delta Zeta, Central Michigan University
Region 3 Traveling Consultant
When I was initially applying to be a consultant in fall 2014, I read a Consultant Chronicles blog post that said the best part of the consultant position is having the opportunity to not only inspire, but also to be inspired by daily interaction with Alpha Chi Omega sisters across the country. In that moment, it hit me: that was why I was so passionate about the chapter consultant role. I knew I wanted to inspire my sisters around the country to not only be the very best Alpha Chi Omegas they could be, but also to be the best women, sisters and students they could be. But I was also enthusiastic for personal growth and inspiration, and excited to see where this journey would lead me.
Every once in a while, while reflecting on the journey I have been on over the past year and a half, I think back to those few words I read that pinpointed my passion for this job and this organization: “Inspire and be inspired…” by the people, places and experiences that life on the road offers you. At the time I was applying for my dream job, I couldn’t fathom that this opportunity would allow me to grow in ways that, at the time, I didn’t know were possible, or how inspired I would be by the incredible stories of my sisters.
I am inspired daily by the importance and mission of sorority that I witness at every chapter I visit. By new members running home on bid day, welcomed with open arms, ear-to-ear smiles and even tears. By listening to members’ “whys” for joining Alpha Chi Omega. By chapter leadership overcome with emotion when they find they’ve met a goal they have been working so hard for. Even more, I am inspired by some of the most incredible Alpha Chi Omegas I have ever met: the 17 other consultants and the headquarters staff members I have the pleasure to call coworkers and sisters. These experiences and these women who inspire me on a daily basis fuel my love for Alpha Chi Omega and motivate me to do my very best every day.
But, some days are tough. As visits come and go, it is easy to get caught up in the travel and reports and meetings, and it can be easy to forget about all those moments that perfectly encapsulate the reasons I love this job. I am not big into journaling, and I have never been reliable when it comes to taking pictures, but what I knew I could do was create a running list of those moments in which I never wanted to forget. Instead of collecting things from each visit – tangible items that would easily be lost someday, or that would push me over my baggage weight limit (because, let’s be honest, that’s a real issue here) – I have committed myself to collecting memories, a list of experiences I could easily reference when I needed a little extra inspiration. Not that the T-shirts or water bottles or postcards or bid-day bags I receive from my chapters aren’t special; that’s not the case at all. But this long list of memories I keep reminds of me of each and every moment I have been inspired by the wholehearted, dynamic, intelligent, hilarious, downright incredible sisters I have met along the way.
So my question for you is this: What inspires you to be the very best [insert your name] every single day? Despite the path of life you are currently walking on, whether you’ve graduated from college, you recently began your senior year or you just ran home to Alpha Chi Omega a few short weeks (or days) ago, I challenge you to start keeping a record of those moments you never want to forget. Not only will you have the chance to relive these moments every time you read through your collection of memories, but I promise you that every time you read it, you will be inspired to be the very best Alpha Chi Omega, woman, sister or student you can be, too! How will you start your collection?
By Ellie Edwards
ΖΣ (Missouri State University)
Nationwide Chapter Consultant
Monday, June 27, 2016—the day 18 Alpha Chi Omega sisters from every corner of the country arrived in Indianapolis to begin five weeks of chapter consultant training. Some of us were returning, some of us were fresh out of college and all of us were ready and excited for this journey.
Jump ahead to the next day, June 28, which was our first day in the office and our first time together as a team. We began the day with everyone taking turns sharing a little bit about themselves, and I could hardly contain my excitement knowing that these simple introductions would soon turn into uncontrollable laughter, unforgettable moments and incomparable friendships.
These moments and friendships grew quickly and deeply in the following weeks. We did just about everything together. We drove to and from work together. We learned anything and everything about Alpha Chi Omega together. We went through tough simulations together. We practiced facilitation skills together. We ate a lot of ice cream together. We did post-lunch yoga together. Literally anything fun, new or challenging you could pack into a five-week training course, we did…together.
Fast forward two months to now, and we are already finishing up our first month on the road. We are sharing our knowledge and love for Alpha Chi Omega with sisters across the country; those tough simulations are situations we deal with daily; we facilitate a wide range of workshops; and we encounter a lot of fun, new and challenging experiences, just like we did during training in Indianapolis. Except now, we are not physically together. Some of us have been lucky enough to have a visit with a staff member or another consultant sister, but the majority of our team members are in different states and taking on each workday in a new city by ourselves.
This might sound sad at first, and believe me, I can’t wait for when we are all together again in December. But the cool thing about our team is that even though we are scattered across the country, we are all experiencing similar situations, and we understand what each other is going through. We may not live down the road from one another anymore, but when you have a team of 18 sisters who can instantly relate to you, will talk you through a challenge over the phone and will celebrate even your smallest wins (by emailing you pictures of puppies, of course), the number of states and connecting flights between us is almost insignificant.
A past consultant recently told me that this is what makes the friendships between consultants so special and so strong—the fact that they are based in being apart. We grow so close during training, and then we are apart more than we are together for the remainder of the year. However, we are able to create the feeling of being together without physically being side by side.
So, my friends, here’s to a year of learning experiences, challenges, delayed flights, GroupMe messages, a lot of ice cream and endless joy. Let’s do this…together.
Follow along on our Thursday blog posts to hear more about what our consultant team experiences together this year. If being a consultant sounds excited to you, visit our “Becoming a Consultant” page to learn more about the job. Check back in later this month for our application link to go live!