During my sophomore year at Rutgers University, I decided to join a co-ed professional fraternity on campus called Phi Chi Theta, and I can easily say it was one of the best decisions of my college career. Not only has my experience in the organization helped me build my professional and social demeanor, but it also played a significant role in helping me land my summer internship at JP Morgan. Here are some of the benefits of joining Phi Chi Theta:
1) Direct Access to Employer Events: While we are a new fraternity, our corporate events team this year put on fantastic workshops with representatives from Google, Target, and Deutsche Bank. This allowed me to have extended one-on-one time with the recruiters from each of those companies instead of the usual elevator pitches. Since these events were only for our fraternity, the brothers of Phi Chi Theta were able to really connect with the employers and impress them. In fact, one of our brothers is now a Google Campus Ambassador and another is interning at Deutsche Bank this summer!
2) Internal Interviews: In order to gain leadership positions in our fraternity, the executive board conducts interviews. This is a great opportunity to gain feedback from peers. Last year, I interviewed for several positions and was often told that I talk too much and don’t use my time wisely. I took this critique and applied it to my interviews this year, and I can gladly say that I have improved on keeping my words concise and convincing.
3) Professional Networking: Similar to social fraternities/sororities, professional fraternities also have a week of events where we promote ourselves on campus through various networking events. This allows brothers and potential members to meet and network; however these events are kept professional. While there is no exchange of business cards or emails, these events have definitely taught me how to spark a conversation with anyone I meet. I know those experiences have definitely prepared me for the networking events I will attend in NYC this summer.
4) Building Relationships by Leveraging Your Network. In my opinion, Phi Chi Theta has offered me both brotherhood and professionalism. By building relationships with other members, I have gained an immense amount of support whether it comes to homework help or getting my resume critiqued. Whenever I need to do a mock interview or reach out to someone from a company that I’m interested in, I know that one of my brothers will be able to help me out. In fact, we have many brothers who have worked at similar companies and can easily help out other members follow a similar career path.
Overall, Phi Chi Theta has truly taught me how to act in a professional setting and leverage my network. After many “Dress to Impress” workshops and “Professional Networking Night” events, I think I am finally getting the hang of being in the real world. I would definitely recommend joining a business fraternity for anyone who wants to get involved and learn what being professional is really all about!