“From Keggers to Capitol Hill” that was the title of the blog I found myself drawn to reading this past weekend. The blog, found in the Washingtonian, documented how nearly a third of the members of Congress are Greek- affiliated and their experience in their undergraduate fraternity and sorority chapters equipped them well for their future careers. While the article focused on how Greek organizations taught life-long skills like teamwork and relationship-building, I found myself wanting to expand on the short blog.
I’ve said it over and over again; membership in a Greek organization, when done correctly is one of the best leadership experiences out there for undergraduate students. These student- led organizations have you innately learning life skills by: managing the budget, running meetings, being a part of/or leading an executive board of your peers, managing a facility, working within risk management policies to host safe social events and the list goes on.
I completely agree that the life skills that have set many members of Congress up to be successful were learned and honed during their years as undergraduate chapter members; so my question is why are we not getting better personal PR? Unfortunately, to me the answer is simple; these skills serve no purpose if we don’t know how to market and sell the experience on job or internship interviews. We need to be helping ourselves and our members be able to easily articulate how serving as the philanthropy chair perfectly positions a person to do event planning or how managing the budget of a 140+ person chapter is great hands-on training for the world of finance.
Leadership opportunities abound in our organizations and teach lessons about time management, negotiation, public speaking, fiscal responsibility and team work. Without even realizing it, chapter members are putting in the time and walking away with a myriad of skills and experiences that leave them incredibly competitive and marketable in the working world. So I challenge you to spend some time critically thinking back over your Greek experience and figure out how you can beef up your resume to truly reflect the breadth of experience you have been afforded through your membership in your fraternity or sorority chapter.
Join us on Friday, October 22nd at 12:00 in Newcomb Hall South Meeting Room for the next installment of our Leadership Lunch Series and hear from Taurean Davis from University Career Services about how to market yourself and your Greek experience on your resume. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org before Wednesday, October 20th.