This blog was written by our campus ambassador Allison Shook, a Political Science and English Literature major from Bucknell University.
Across the country thousands of students are joining Greek Life every year. Although these organizations offer social and philanthropic opportunities, many college students overlook the post grad benefits of joining a Greek organization. Here are just a few of the wonderful connections and opportunities your fraternity or sorority can offer you.
1) First and foremost when you join a Greek organization you are welcomed into a family full of new sisters or brothers. While you get to know your new siblings you may find that their parents, aunts, uncles, or family friends work for your dream company. Through this new friendship you could be connected to a VP at a corporation that you never would have had the opportunity to meet previously. Your friends could have valuable connections that could help you post graduation so don’t overlook them!
2) Those of you in Greek life will attest that it is a tight-knit group, with traditions and rituals binding you and every other member together. In your chapter itself are many resources that you may not have even realized. Most collegiate chapters have a specific officer who sends information or newsletter updates to your chapter’s alumni. Take a look at this list to see if there are any alums working in your possible future career field, and reach out to them. Alumni are usually more than willing to help students through mentorship, an internship, or even a job referral.
3) Approach alums that visit campus. Homecoming weekend is the perfect opportunity to connect with visiting alums. Don’t be shy; you already have something in common with them to start a conversation with! You never know what opportunities could open up for you through a brief conversation with an alum.
4) Check out your organization’s national alumni network. Most Greek organizations have their own online communities created specifically for networking. If you do a few simple searches through the members list you may find alums that are working in your ideal career field. Reach out to them! Tell them how you found their contact information and ask them how they got to be where they are today. Meeting up for coffee or lunch can be extremely informative and helpful when going through the job search process.
5) Social Media is always an easy and effective go-to way to connect with other members of your Greek organizations. Twitter and Facebook allow members to reach out to one another through private messaging. Although these are two effective networking tools, make sure that your Twitter and Facebook account is professional. Always ask yourself the question “How would my grandmother feel if she saw this?” Remember to be respectful and appropriate when you comment or post on your friend’s walls or twitter accounts. Anyone you connect with can see these posts, so be especially mindful of your actions after you connect with an alumni member of your Greek organization.
6) LinkedIn is always a great networking tool, especially if you are in a Greek organization. Some fraternities and sororities have over 10,000 members in their LinkedIn group. Most nationals have also created groups divided up by location. If you are living in California take a look and see if your organization has a LinkedIn group for members in your region. With so many members and easy ways to connect, take the time to look through others in the group and reach out to them. Although there are so many potential connections, it is not enough for you to sit and passively join the group, you need to be active! Post in the discussions, respond to other posts, and connect with other members! LinkedIn is only as effective as you make it!
Greek organizations offer so many networking opportunities so make sure to utilize them. And remember that when you are working at a great job and an undergraduate in your Greek organization reaches out to you, be sure to pass along your own words of wisdom.