The Good Intern
New Year, New Goals
The First Day
Posted by Michelle Pence - - 2 comments

Honestly, when I decided to join a sorority my freshman year of college, I wasn't exactly thinking about how being a member was going to help find me an internship somewhere down the road (more like how cute each chapter's shirts were).  During recruitment, all of the sororities filled my head with thoughts of the lifelong friendships I could form, the amazing social events constantly going on, and just how much fun I would have in general; however, one thing I don't remember hearing was, "Joining will really help you with your career."  

After becoming a full-fledged member of one of the sororities, I quickly realized that being a member of a sorority/fraternity isn't all fun and games (the Animal House days are definitely over).  I ended up receiving both the friendship and the fun I was promised during recruitment, but was also encouraged to keep my GPA at a certain level, study so many hours per week, become involved with other organizations on campus, volunteer in the community, and other things I hadn't really anticipated upon joining.  I ended up getting to know both university officials and community leaders, and received a lot of extra opportunities I probably wouldn't have had if I hadn't decided to go Greek.

The more exciting aspects of being in a fraternity or sorority, like what was advertised to me, will probably always be the bait used to get those fun-loving freshman to join up, but for career-minded students, the benefits joining a sorority/fraternity may have for you professionally are definitely something to consider.

Here are some different ways being in a fraternity/sorority is good for your career:

"[I/my son/my neighbor's cousin] was Greek!"

Being in a fraternity or sorority gives you access to a network of others across the country who were also Greek in college.  I cannot tell you how many times I've personally been approached while wearing my sorority letters by complete strangers, excited because either their wife is an alumni of my sorority or their daughter is a member at another school, etc.  In job/internship interviews, if I bring up my sorority involvement, it's not unusual for me to end up bonding with the interviewer who, it turns out, was also Greek in college.  

This shared experience is an excellent topic to bond with people over and also a great icebreaker.  Who knows... with the right maneuvering, what starts as a casual conversation about your fraternity/sorority could easily turn into a conversation about your professional aspirations and a great networking opportunity.

The Leadership

It seems that as a member of a fraternity or sorority, you definitely get as much or as little out of the experience as you put into it.  You can either cruise along, doing as little as possible to retain your membership, or take full advantage of the opportunities available.  If you choose the latter, you'll most likely end up serving an executive or chair position within your chapter, or some other leadership position either within your chapter or with another organization on campus.  

In that capacity you might, for example, end up organizing a successful fundraiser that raises XYZ amount of money, overseeing 20+  chair positions, or planning an event for the whole student body to attend.  These type of experiences definitely help prepare you for internships and jobs to come, giving you tons of relevant skills, and look amazing on your resume.

The Connections

Ironically, the internship I'll be participating in this semester was made possible all because of an event I helped put on for a Greek organization.  A well-known local attorney came to speak to the fraternities and sororities on campus about local laws regarding alcohol and other topics college students would care about.  The attorney was young and charismatic, and when I found out he would be teaching a Legal Communication class as an adjunct professor, I quickly signed up.  Fast forward a year later and now I'm interning for his law office!

Being in a fraternity or sorority often gives you the opportunity to work closely with prominent university officials as well as professionals in the local community.  These people realize that you're a college student and, after you demonstrate how dedicated and motivated you are, will usually do what they can to help you out professionally.

How do YOU think being in a fraternity or sorority benefits/harms a person professionally?

2 Responses so far.

  1. Deanna says:

    I guess I'll have to wait and see! I just filled out my rush application and recruitment week starts friday.
    thanks for the tips!

  2. Awesome! Let me know how it goes.

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