As an undergraduate, I made sure to take advantage of the leadership opportunities that were affiliated with Greek organizations on campus. I joined my sorority, Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha Inc., and it was a life changing experience. It is an experience which continues to be fulfilling and bursting with growth. The networking is amazing, leadership chances are endless and of course the events are so much fun. Service was always really important to me; so I made sure the organization I chose made it a priority. All of these factors came into consideration. There are so many things we gain from choosing to #GoGreek. I would even go as far to say that the leader I grew to become was part of why I chose the field of higher education. I want to help create leaders, the way my organization and campus community helped make me flourish.
As a national board member for my sorority and working at my alma mater, I sometimes felt CONFLICTED. All of these roles I play need prioritizing and a certain level of ethics. There are things I know separately as a board member, a professional on campus, AND also as an alumni. Now what to do, right?
Here 3 of the biggest lessons I have learned by being an active member in my sorority and working in higher education:
1. Be unbiased! Our loyalties are spread out in various places; recognize that and make educated decisions. Think ETHICS. Make sure to separate these. When I am at work, I am a student affairs professional. When I am at home, I am fully committed to my sorority and the work that needs to be done.
2. Stay balanced. Take time for yourself, because you can’t excel in all roles if you’re stressed out all the time. This was a tough one for me to learn since I tend to get over involved. There was a point in my career, when I received a promotion at work and expectations were high for all of these commitments I have. All I could think was, “how am I pulling this off?” Fortunately, I have great friends, picked up a new hobby (HOT YOGA) and started reading for pleasure! That definitely did the trick to help me stay focused.
3. Public perception is important. If you’re campus is not Greek friendly, then you may need to think twice about having your Greek paraphernalia or a paddle on your wall. If your campus is Greek friendly, then just be wise about how you market yourself in the office. Everyone has an opinion on Greek organizations, so keep this in mind when you are in your professional role.
Being Greek is AWESOME! Being in Higher Education is INCREDIBLE! I hope you can take some teachable moments from my experience. This lifelong commitment we chose to devote to is important as well as our careers. Starting the conversation is key, so be sure to share your experience with fellow colleagues who are also in Greek organizations.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Josie Ahlquist on Digital Identity, Social Media & Leadership