Where Alpha Chi Can Take You
The benefits of becoming a chapter consultant are endless. This experience of a lifetime equipped me with a unique and particular set of skills and knowledge (not to sound like Liam Neeson from Taken) that opened up professional windows and doors, which allowed me to land a job I probably wouldn’t have without this position. Through this journey I became a better version of myself, physically, mentally and professionally. This better version of Maree, paired with the support of sisters nationwide, made for a powerful combination that allowed me to choose my next desired career move. Finance is where I found my home, yet the possibilities of where I could go after serving as a chapter consultant were limitless. This is evidenced by the various disciplines where you will find consultant alumnae such as law, higher education, medical industry, sales and a plethora of other impressive examples. So what is it about this position that leads to so many opportunities? Allow me to articulate the professional value of this unique experience the best way I know how, through my story of how I went from uncertain senior majoring in history to chapter consultant for Alpha Chi Omega to working in financial advising at Morgan Stanley.
Three years ago I was a senior majoring in history at the University of New Hampshire, and for the first time throughout my collegiate career I was unsure of my next move. I had always assumed I would go onto law school, but after a summer internship at a firm it dawned on me that law school might not be the right fit. So there I found myself, a ‘type-A planner’ in uncharted waters of uncertainty. It was then that a trusted role model suggested I look into the chapter consultant opportunity. I hadn’t even realized such an opportunity existed, it felt like I had found the perfect pair of Tory Burch shoes on super sale. A job opportunity traveling the country working for an organization that had brought me so much joy as an undergraduate, what else could I ask for?
Well, I got far more than I could have asked for; here are just a few of my favorites…
Experience working with all different types of people: As a chapter consultant you meet different people every week and have the opportunity to work and build relationships with collegians, volunteers and higher education professionals, from all different demographics. You never know where life will take you, and having experience working with all types of people allows you to be incredibly adaptable in any work environment. This ability has served me well in my current role in financial advising where I work with different types of people every day.
Developing the most important relationship of them all: In the words of the great Carrie Bradshaw, “the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself…” Of course for much of your journey as a chapter consultant, you are surrounded by incredible sisters who make you feel at home wherever you go. That said, there is only one person on whom you can rely to be there though it all: yourself. Traveling as a chapter consultant you often find yourself in unfamiliar places, trying new things and growing every day. In embarking on this journey, away from everything that I had ever known, I was able to better understand myself, what I enjoyed, what my strengths were, what I wanted to accomplish and what made me happy. It took traveling elsewhere for me to realize how much I loved and missed my New England home. I found law wasn’t for me but rather the stock market and finance that peaked my interest. Only after better understanding myself, was I able to decide where I wanted to go professionally and truly see all that I had to offer.
Independence: Before I started traveling as a chapter consultant I had never even rented a car. After my two years I could navigate through any airport, city, college campus, etc. I was able to rely on myself in ways I hadn’t before. Independence is attractive in any profession. The way I see it, if I can rely on myself to navigate my way around the country, there are few things that I can’t navigate my way around.
Even Tom Brady Can’t Win Alone…Teamwork: As I mentioned, independence is attractive in any profession and so is its cousin, teamwork. Fortunately, as a consultant you get experience in both. Whether it’s with other consultant sisters, volunteers, headquarters staff or collegians, consultants have numerous opportunities to develop their ability to work on a team.
Cultured: The idea of “becoming more cultured” is so often associated with the knowledge one gains when they travel abroad. Yet I would argue that there is so much to learn in our own vast backyard. As a consultant I saw some of the natural wonders of our country, including the evergreens of Oregon, the Rocky Mountains, the Mississippi river and the Pacific Ocean. I expanded my palette beyond my wildest dreams, from In-N-Out Burger to New Orleans crawfish, from Kansas City BBQ to Nashville hot chicken. I explored countless cities, towns and college and university campuses and I was able to meet and work with people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. Everyday presented an opportunity to see or try new things, and I experienced in my two years what some people would be lucky to do in a lifetime; not to mention I got to do it with sisters for an organization I love, enough said right? While enjoying myself on the tour de Alpha Chi Omega, I also gained a better understanding of what it means to “walk in someone else’s shoes.” Make no mistake I have not seen it all, but I did see quite a bit, which has allowed me to connect with people in a way I was unable to do before. Learning more about the culture of America has given me a leg up in building rapport in interviews, with clients, peers and people in general. To put it another way, I gained a vast amount of good ole life experience, and that never goes out of style
Renaissance woman: As a chapter consultant you are a Jane of all trades, a true Renaissance woman. You work in a number of disciplines, from finance to marketing, from sales to leadership; the list goes on and on. You participate in one on one and group meeting atmospheres; you facilitate workshops, develop your public speaking and exercise your ability to think critically 24/7. You become a professional chameleon. Not only that but you are also able to either taste-test what you really enjoy, if you don’t know already, or further confirm what it is that you are passionate about.
Strength of our sisters: The skills and experience I have described enabled me to stand out from the rest in a sea of applicants in this competitive job market, but what got me to cross the finish line was the fact that I had the strength of my sisters behind me. It was my sisters who put me in touch with people who helped me better understand industries in which I was interested through informational interviews. It was our sisters on headquarters staff who helped me to further develop my résumé, interview skills and better understand all I had to offer professionally. It was our consultant and collegiate sisters who were some of my greatest cheerleaders. It was our sisters who, through their own accomplishments and endeavors, inspired me to continue to seek the heights. As I have mentioned before, our sisters nationwide are marvelous, so if they believed I could do anything, the smart choice would be to follow suit. Thanks to the chapter consultant position and the support of our sisters, I am exactly where I want to be, happy, in a profession I am excited about, in a city I love.
So maybe you know what you want to do after college or maybe you don’t, maybe there are opportunities you want to explore but aren’t sure if you have what it takes; whatever your situation may be, I urge you to consider applying to be a chapter consultant. If you’re like me, Alpha Chi Omega changed your collegiate experience for the better, why not see where it can take YOU after graduation?