The Lyre, Summer 2012 / MyJourney
Alpha Chi Omega’s four-year member experience, MyJourney, officially begins at every collegiate chapter this August. Alpha Chi Omega’s National Council; headquarters staff; and countless advisors, volunteers and alumnae share in the excitement of what this means for each and every one of our collegians.
More than four years ago, a team of Alpha Chi Omega staff members set out on a journey. It was a journey of discovery designed to learn directly from collegiate members their wants and needs in correlation to their Alpha Chi Omega experiences. To better analyze the information obtained, Alpha Chi Omega partnered with The Leadership Institute-Women With Purpose to conduct a comprehensive, experience-based research project.
There was an overwhelming response to the call for information with thousands upon thousands of collegiate members, including many who had resigned, completing surveys and offering feedback. Alumnae, specifically, participated in the research study in order to help fill in the blanks regarding what employers are looking for when hiring graduates and to offer a perspective on what would have been helpful to have learned or experienced before graduation.
The Leadership Institute-Women With Purpose conducted scores of one-on-one phone conversations to expand the “numbers” into real conversations with real women with real needs, wants and aspirations.
After crunching all of the numbers and sifting through all of the conversations, the response was clear. Collegians asked for three things:
- a way for their Alpha Chi Omega experience to include conversations about topics and ideas they were struggling with in the “real world”
- an intentional connection between Alpha Chi Omega’s core values and each member’s everyday life
- ways for chapters to help juniors and seniors stay engaged in the chapter
In response to these three core needs, MyJourney was created.
For two years, 10 chapters have been piloting curriculum designed exclusively for Alpha Chi Omega. The following are the MyJourney programs:
- Your first campus exam.
- Real, strong women know where they stand on their values.
How to make “laugh-out-loud, know-my-deepest-darkest-secret and most-embarrassing-moment” kinds of friends.
- Trials and tribulations: Working with the personalities in your chapter.
- Finances schminances.
- Dreaming for the future. Setting goals for today.
- Leadership from every seat.
- Why define, redefine: Learning to unlabel.
- I may need an eraser for my mouth: Using tact and diplomacy.
- A thing called love.
- A thing called love: When relationships get derailed.
- Living an intentional life.
- Advocacy: How to find your “why.”
- And the award for best actress in a drama goes to…
- Making time and space to do it all.
- Etiquette that has not gone out of style.
- The chemistry of stress.
- Yes, I do have an opinion.
- Dream big, give bigger.
- Why is she so lucky?
- Little sis appreciation, pay it forward.
- Help me, help you. The role of a good mentor.
- I’m trying to land an interview, now what?
- Last hired, first fired.
- When common sense is not so common.
- How to be more creative and innovative starting today.
- Giving and receiving feedback.
- What does sisterhood mean after we graduate?
- The difference a dollar makes.
- Don’t be that girl. Stay engaged.
- Embrace the change: Getting ready for my 20-something life.
- The art of negotiation.
- From politics to performance for groups and teams.
Educational and Fun
MyJourney is interactive and designed to give collegians the chance to have healthy conversations you are, most likely, not already having with your sisters—or your parents, friends or faculty members. Plus, the conversations collegians may be having in class about some of these topics are wildly different than the conversations collegians can have with sisters in a comfortable environment, and with no pressure for academic success.
“One thing that really surprised me about the MyJourney program was the amount of participation we had from our sisters,” said Jenna DeLuca, a junior in the Eta chapter at Bucknell University. “I’ll admit, I was worried that our chapter members might not be completely receptive to the discussion topics, but once we got started, the contributions were rolling in!”
DeLuca added, “Everyone has liked having the opportunity to share some lessons, laughs and personal stories. I also feel that, often, college students don’t have the opportunity to talk about important things, as we get caught up in the day-to-day goings on of university life. Sharing MyJourney sessions with our chapter gives us all the opportunity to slow down, even if just for a little while, and reflect.”
Jane Guemmer, a junior at the Beta Eta chapter at Florida State University, said, “There are only three sessions per semester. We just do one a month, and everyone is encouraged to do them as Chi Connections too!”
“There’s a part where you get to share with sisters your strategies for handling stress,” Guemmer adds in regards to her favorite program—the junior program called “The chemistry of stress.” “I not only learned from the book, but I learned so much from the girls I see every day! I still use the ideas sisters gave me, and I can honestly say the program has helped me this past semester.”
The programs of MyJourney have been created to be peer facilitated—a chapter sister will be facilitating each program. MyJourney facilitators are part of the collegiate chapter’s vice president of member programming’s (VPMP) committee. And, all chapter facilitators will have the opportunity to participate in headquarters-sponsored facilitator training.
VPMPs will have a MyJourney specialist who will work with the chapter to ensure a successful implementation of this program. These Alpha Chi Omega alumna volunteers will answer questions, offer implementation suggestions and help collegiate chapter facilitators succeed.
It’s About You
“This program is about you!” says MyJourney specialist Kristen Onkka, an alumna from the Xi chapter at the University of Nebraska. “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to become an improved version of yourself, all with the support of your sisters.”
When you joined Alpha Chi Omega, you were told you were becoming part of a sisterhood that cared about helping you become a better you. MyJourney is one very tangible way Alpha Chi Omega is fulfilling that promise.
“The outside world is hard,” says Anna Meldau, a MyJourney specialist and alumna of the Iota Tau chapter at California State University-San Marcos. “College will teach you some; Alpha Chi Omega will teach more.”
For more information on MyJourney, please visit alphachiomega.org or call headquarters at 317.579.5050.