When I came to campus in the fall of 2017, I knew I wanted to join Greek life. The benefits of joining are endless: service and philanthropic events, social events with other organizations, a sisterhood that lasts a lifetime and a home away from home. Although I gained all of these through joining Phi Sigma Sigma, I found that the professional development opportunities nearly outweigh the social ones.
It is believed that there are currently over 9 million Greek members across the nation (source). On top of this, the first female senator and first female astronaut were Greek. And additionally, 85% of Fortune 500 executives belonged to Greek life. It goes without saying that Greek members are making an impact well past their collegiate years. When considering this impact, there are three main hidden benefits of Greek life: professional network development, resume crafting, and a job interview.
Networking naturally occurs through Greek life in college, as all Greek organizations often have social events. Furthermore, individual chapters typically hold alumni events multiple times each year where active members are able to meet with previous ones. Although these are all great starting points, it is important to go beyond this. Consider checking out the LinkedIn profiles of alumni from your org. This is an incredible asset to find alumni who are working in your industry all over the world. A personalized LinkedIn invitation to connect can go a long way and show a lot about your character. One might consider conducting an informational interview with an alum. Oftentimes, Greek members from the same organization share similar values and traditions. This can be something to go off of when sparking up conversation. A few informational interview questions tailored to Greek life include:
- How did your collegiate Greek life years help you get to where you are today?
- What would you recommend I do in my time before graduation to expand my network and prepare my resume?
- Are there any alumni or any other Greek members who you recommend I reach out to?
Resume building is the next advantage of Greek life. Think about starting an ongoing list of accomplishments you have had through your organization, both individually and as a group. Whether it be philanthropy, volunteer work, leadership, teamwork, or event planning, there are skills being developed every day that go unrecognized. An example for a leadership position on your resume could be as follows:
Public Relations Chair, Phi Sigma Sigma, Duluth, MN, Jan 2018 – Jan 2019
- Wrote blog posts regarding informational and promotional events
- Take photographs and post on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
- Managed chapter website on the platform, Weebly, and ensured content was up to date
- Designed graphics to be posted on social media and in print for events and fundraisers
The final way Greek life can aid in professional expansion is through a job interview. Answers to questions can often be pulled from leadership and learning experiences in Greek life. Here are a few examples of questions that could be applied to Greek experiences:
- Tell me about a time that you had to work on a team
- Tell me about a time you have had to use your time management skills
- Tell me about the type of leader you are
Clearly, the benefits of being a Greek life member, go far beyond service and socials. Professional development can be found in all aspects of Greek life and it is time to start taking advantage of it today!
Of Possible Interest:
• Building Your Resume – all our blog posts on the topic
• Obtaining a Leadership Position as an Introvert
• Boost Your Career in College – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources
Photo Source: Unsplash | Georgie Cobbs