April 19, 2017

Transitions - All About Careers



7 Ways to Make the Most of Internships

Getting a job after college has its hurdles; one of the biggest is your lack of experience. If you worked while you were a student, you’ve got a head start. If not, you should consider an internship to fill in the hole. “An internship can benefit your career in a multitude of ways,” says Gabrielle Risi (Theta Phi-CNU), a recruiter with Treliant Risk Advisors. “It can provide you with experiential equity that will equip you with insight and hands-on experience within an industry or career of interest.”

1. Some students are deterred by internships because they often pay little or nothing. You can look into a part-time job to pay the bills, and consider the internship your sweat equity that will pay off in career muscle later. Internships generally last a year or less, so remember, it’s a short-term commitment for long-term gains.

2. An internship helps you learn about a particular field and may either confirm that you are headed down the right career path, or it may warn you that this isn’t what you expected. Either way, make the most of your internship by soaking up the experience and its many lessons. It might simply be the advantage of trying something new or living in a new city—or even a new country. Another great bonus to being an intern is that employers don’t expect you to know much, which means they’re prepared and expecting to teach you.

3. Stand out from the crowd by doing more than what’s expected. Go that extra mile. Be willing to jump in on projects that weren’t in your internship description.

4. Watch what people on the job do, how they behave, even what they wear.

5. Take notes when someone is training you, whether you think you’ll remember everything or not (you probably won’t). Then, if you make a mistake, it won’t be because you weren’t paying attention. It’s how you deal with that mistake that matters; rather than mope, blame someone else or get angry, reflect on it as a learning experience and take note for the future.

6. Take advantage of the wisdom around you. Talk to people at the company. Ask questions that extend your knowledge or help you gain further insight into the profession—its pros and cons, opportunities and challenges. You’re not only building your resume, your building connections. If business cards are made for you, take some with you whenever you go out. You have clout now and can talk about what you do with others outside of work, thus further expanding your network.

7. In the case of some internships, you may even be eyed for a job within that same company. If there’s an open position, it makes sense for human resources to look at the intern who not only has experience in the field, but experience within that organization specifically. You aren’t obligated to say yes if offered, but at least say no with grace and gratitude.

8. Your internship will now be an important part of your resume. When the internship ends, don’t be shy to ask one of your superiors for a letter of recommendation to keep with your file.

Transitions - All About Careers



5 Ways to Translate Your Greek Experience into Job Skills 

Sure, you’re low on real-world job experience and, with some negative stereotypes perpetuating about sororities, you may even fear your Greek connection is a drawback. But being an Alpha Phi gives you amazingly marketable skills you may not have even considered.

First of all, remember, there’s also a positive connotation about Greek life that precedes you. “I’ve found that many managers for entry level roles love people who were…involved in the Greek system, because they’re usually outgoing.” says Laura Keidel (Beta Iota-West Virginia), a senior corporate recruiter at Movement Mortgage. On top of that, says Molly Ahadpour (Gamma Kappa-CSU Long Beach), director of recruiting for customer service and sales at Wayfair, “If you participated, shared ideas, helped on a committee, gathered donations or helped in recruitment, these are skills that companies claw for.” If you held any office position, that interview boost gets even bigger. “Running a chapter is equal to running a small business,” Molly says.

Break down your Alpha Phi experience into job-relatable concepts.

1. Time Management. You may fondly remember all the required Alpha Phi events as being a ton of fun, but you combined those with keeping your GPA up, participating in extracurricular activities and maybe even working. Translate that to a job interview and you might say, “Required attendance at Greek functions and maintaining minimum GPA improved my time-management skills.” Showing up on time, getting your work done on deadline and knowing when to take breaks are all crucial elements of any work situation.

2. Teamwork. Being a member of Alpha Phi means that you often worked with your sisters to plan events, volunteer, even keep your house clean and generally keep the chapter running smoothly. The ability to function well with a group of people and achieve your goals together has huge implications for your career.

3. Commitment. When you were initiated as an Alpha Phi, you made commitments to follow policies and procedures. Maybe it wasn’t always easy, but you did it. You followed through, which is a valuable quality to an employer.

3. Communication Skills. During your time in college as an Alpha Phi, you have become an Alpha Phi brand ambassador, educating potential new members and then fulfilling traditions and lessons for new initiates. All of this has left you with the very useful skill of being able to convey a message in a clear and informative way.

4. Money Management. If you had anything to do with the chapter budget, planned an event or collected donations, you likely managed money. If not, you certainly learned to manage your finances, budgeting enough for essentials and Alpha Phi expenses—maybe you saved up to pay for your red dress or an Alpha Phi sweatshirt. This shows budgeting know-how.

5. Leadership. What role did you have at your chapter? Even if you weren’t an executive officer, what about being a Big—you were a mentor and leader of some sort, and it’s worth mentioning.

6. Community Involvement. Undoubtedly, you took part in some volunteer work. It shines the light on your philanthropy, as well as your ability to look outside of yourself and see the bigger picture. If you ran a charity event, talk about how much money you brought in, how many volunteers you recruited, the growth from previous years, etc.

A Few Don’ts:

1. Don’t use Greek, Alpha Phi or school jargon, unless you know your interviewer will understand the references.

2. Don’t use the terms sister or brother; stick with “member.” It’s more professional.

3. Don’t talk about all the fun parties you went to every night, unless you’re referring to the planning that went into them and how you were involved.

4. Don’t gush. Expressing your passion for Alpha Phi is OK, as long as you balance it with the specific aspects of your experience.

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Savvy Networking

You’re already starting with a network of Alpha Phi alumnae, so use it—your sisters want to help. But there’s more to do. Networking is about building a community, and people who don’t learn to network are less likely to succeed. You might resist the idea of networking because sometimes it gets a bad rap as “knowing the right people” or “kissing up to the powerful.” It’s time to learn to embrace the best of it. Networking cannot substitute for good work done, but good work cannot substitute for networking either. You’ll have an easier time getting a job—or recognition for your accomplishments—if you keep up-to-date with the people in your community. When you nurture professional relationships and involve yourself in professional communities, you not only learn a variety of interesting points of view, but you will also become more comfortable in your subject knowledge because you’re constantly engaged in conversation with people you know.

In turn, those people you know can be your advocates and supporters. After all, don’t we like to get recommendations for restaurants or products? It works the same way with jobs and career advancement.

Networking Basics:
• Know your goals. Networking is important no matter what stage of your career you’re in. Whether it’s finding a new job, getting a promotion, being invited to a conferences, developing leadership skills, or simply filling your life with intelligent conversation, having a goal for your networking ventures can help get you there. When you know what you care about, you’re more likely to make it happen.

• Identify relevant people. This would be more of a targeted networking tactic, and it may seem calculated—it kind of is—but it helps keep you on track. Think of people (maybe start with three or four) who can assist you to reach your professional goals. Now, how can you find these people? Most of the methods are quite basic: Ask people who have worked in your industry for a while, attend social and/or professional events, and mention them in conversation—maybe someone knows them or knows someone who does.

• Communicate your goals with the right people. The point here is to develop relationships with people, and relationships are founded on commonalities. These commonalities might include shared values, shared interests, shared goals or anything else of a professional nature that you might share with someone. Now, practice explaining your goals with these people, so you’re prepared when you come in contact with them.

• Get involved. As part of your professional development, you should already belong to at least one professional organization. But don’t just stop at paying your dues: Volunteer to serve on a committee. This is a great way to meet others in your field in a non-threatening and collaborative way. Through your service, you will meet people to add to your network and be able to interact with them in a positive and natural way.

• Talk and listen. Networking isn’t just about telling your story; it’s about learning about others. Have your “elevator speech” down, then have a few questions in your back pocket to pull out to get other people talking: “What do you enjoy about your job?” “What are the challenges you face today?” or specific queries you feel are relevant to your industry.

• Remember the little guys. Don’t reserve your networking for bigwigs only. Everyone has a different network and probably different goals. You’ll probably meet people who are at the same career stage as you are, but they will continue to change and develop as well, and the bigger your network, the better.

• Follow up. Ask for business cards from people you talk to so you can contact them later to say thanks for chatting—and to make sure they know how to reach you too.

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Why Get a Mentor

Having a mentor can mean the difference between advancing in your career or remaining stagnant. Any upwardly mobile professional should actively seek out at least two mentors. The first should be someone influential in your current company, but not your boss or your boss’s boss. The second should be someone influential in your industry—a great place to start for that is your Alpha Phi alumnae chapter. See if anyone in the chapter could make a good mentor or knows somebody who could fulfill that purpose.

If you’re not sure who to choose, try on a few for size. Spark conversation with some possible mentors by asking their advice on a topic or situation. You can gauge by how they answer—the time they give you, the thoroughness of the response, the attitude (helpful? Condescending?), the general vibe you get—whether they’d make a good mentor or not. You can also ask the potential mentor’s subordinates what they think of him or her. Also, don’t rule out a peer mentor. Someone at your career level may not have all the experience of a mentor at a higher echelon, but a peer can provide many other aspects of mentorship. In general, you want to choose someone you feel will care about your success, because you’ll get more out of it if they are dedicated to the “cause,” so to speak.

A mentorship can be formal or less structured, but either way, the relationship should be considered a long-term commitment, not a one-off conversation. The key to having a mentor is being able to listen and having contact at least three times a year. Your mentors can then refer you to other influential individuals as well as organizations that will be valuable to your career.

Once you’ve narrowed down your potential mentors to your favorite, you can ask them directly whether they’d be willing to be your mentor. If they say yes, arrange a short meeting to set up expectations, topics of discussion and a meeting schedule. Be sure to express your gratitude throughout the mentorship.

What can a mentor do for you?
1. Share their knowledge. Sure, you can read all about your profession, but a mentor is there to tell you what it’s really like and how things are actually done.

2. Urge improvement. You’re not going to know everything at first, and you’re not expected to, but a mentor can point out your weaknesses with a different agenda than a boss. A mentor wants to see you succeed under their “wings,” so they’ll provide the constructive criticism for you to improve.

3. Encourage learning. Like a teaching hospital where doctors constantly test their interns and residents with questions, a mentor can do the same. Maybe he or she will help you set some goals or ask you open-ended questions to ponder and discuss later.

4. Serve as a cheerleader. No question, your Alpha Phi sisters will always have your back, but in your career, it’s beneficial to have someone close by who knows first-hand what you’re going through. Again, your mentor wants to see you do well and will keep cheering you on as you grow. If you’re having a bad day, your mentor can be the person you turn to for a pep talk, assistance muscling through a difficult situation and a boost of confidence to keep going.

5. Act as therapist of sorts. You should be able to tell your mentor anything, no judgments. And in turn, your mentor should be able to provide an unbiased opinion or suggestion.

6. Help you network. Here’s an older, wiser, more experienced person right at your disposal. Use them—they shouldn’t mind. They can share their networks and make introductions when the time is right.

Transitions - All About Careers



6 Interview Tips for a New Job Seeker


The job search process can be overwhelming, especially if this is your first job out of college. Now that you have your resume ready to email and post—and you’re prepared to tweak it when necessary—here are a few tips to help you prepare for your dream job interview.

1. Set-up practice interviews to help you become confident as an interviewee. Many universities offer career services to alumnae, so check out the resources available to you at school. You can also ask your big sister or someone that has been in the workforce for a few years to do a practice phone or in-person interview. Take the constructive feedback you receive and revise appropriately for a real interview.

2. Scout it out. Make sure you know how to get to the interview location and how long it will take you. There’s no excuse for being late. If you want to go the extra mile, pop into the office and see how people dress there, meet the receptionist, pick up any literature about the company that may be at the main desk, and ask how to pronounce your interviewer’s name. By the way, if you do run late due to unforeseen circumstances (the bus broke down, for instance), call as soon as you can, apologize and offer to reschedule.

3. Have a clean resume and most importantly know your resume well. Even though you’ve emailed your resume, and the interviewer will likely have printed it out, you should always bring a few printed copies of your resume with you to the interview, especially if you have made changes since you submitted it with your application. Some interviewers may refer solely to what you have listed, while others may not reference it at all. If an interviewer does ask questions based on your resume, respond with more than the bullet points on paper. Rehearse some extended answers that are relevant to the job in question.

4. Study the job description for which you are applying, and research the company. As you read the job description and learn more about the company, you will develop talking points for your interview, especially concerning how you can be an asset to the organization. Through this process you should also formulate meaningful questions to ask during your interview. Interviewers always ask if you have any questions—and you need to have at least two that aren’t about the salary or time off. Those are not things you’d discuss in a first interview.

5. Dress appropriately. Many hiring managers agree that the biggest interview faux pas for recent graduates these days is their attire. Always present yourself professionally and be sure to plan your outfit ahead of time. If ever in doubt, it’s better to be overdressed! There are a lot of blogs, Pinterest boards and articles on professional women’s fashion, so before you go shopping be sure to have a clear idea of the items you will need to create your perfect interview look. You don’t want to be rushing out the night before.

6. Ask for your interviewer’s business card. This will help you remember the interviewer’s name and gain their contact information. Getting contact information is important, because you should always follow up with an email thanking them for their time and affirming your interest in the position within one day of the interview. Do this for both phone and in-person interviews.

7. Lastly, before leaving the interview, ask about the next steps in the interview process. This shows your interest in the job and will give you an idea of the timeframe for hiring. You want to start working asap, but the interviewer may explain that the process will take several weeks. This should put your mind at ease as you wait to hear back about your dream job.

Special thanks to Megan Vallone (Beta Pi-USC) for this article.

Transitions - All About Careers



Choosing the Right Job

You may want to take any job that’s offered, or whatever job offers the most money. But, keeping in mind that you might need a few steps up the ladder to land your dream job, it pays to take a breath and ask yourself, “Is this really the right job for me?” Trust your instincts and consider these other practical matters:

1. The office culture. Even with all the right checkmarks for a job, you might not enjoy being at this particular office. Take note of the environment when you go in for an interview. You can also ask the interviewer about the office culture or ask for introductions to your potential coworkers. If it seems fast-paced and high-stressed and that’s what you thrive on, that’s great; but maybe you’d be more comfortable in a low-key space. Or is it noisy and chaotic, and you prefer quiet and organized? Maybe it’s staffed mostly by young people, and you’d like to be part of a more diverse work force. If any of these is a deal-killer for you, that’s OK. You don’t want to get overly dramatic about it, but you want to set yourself up for success.

2. The benefits package. Having employer-provided healthcare is only going to get more important, so even if you’re still on your parents’ plan, find out how much you’ll pay for health coverage and what it covers. Also find out about 401K plans, vacation time, telecommuting opportunities and other perks.

3. Commute time. Is it going to take you two hours to get to your job and two hours home? That’s a lot of time spent commuting. It could also be a lot of money; add up the commuting cost—gas money, public transportation, tolls, parking—to see how much of a chunk that takes from your salary. Is it worth it? If it’s not, then you have your answer.

4. Room to grow. A fair question to ask an interviewer is, “What are the opportunities for career growth here?” In your beginning stages in the working world, you don’t want to be immediately stuck in a rut. Ask about the steps, milestones and success markers for advancement or whether there are training programs, post-graduate school reimbursement or other educational benefits.

5. Community involvement. As an Alpha Phi, you likely took part in many charitable activities, and you might want to keep that momentum going. While you could volunteer outside of the office, you might find that you respect and feel a closer affinity toward a company that supports or encourages volunteering as a team.

6. The next job. You should think next steps when you’re taking that first one, because each one leads to another. In other words, this job may have the cool self-serve latte machine, but does it get you where you want to be down the road? If the job responsibilities aren’t in line with where you see yourself in the future, then put the brakes on now, because it’s easier to start on the right path then try to get to it later.

March 29, 2017

The Power of Legacy



It is crowded on the main staircase and all of my sisters are wearing blue dresses that range from carolina to cobalt. I am squeezing the waist of the sister beside me and the tip of my heel is resting on the calf of the sister directly in front of me. We are all getting ready to smile and preparing to walk down the staircase as one like a cascading waterfall and not like a rippled wave. There is a knock at the door and the recruitment chair opens it just enough for a recruitment counselor to slide a hand decorated clipboard through. The clipboard contains a hundred names of potential new members who are waiting in the Florida summer heat on the front steps of 123 N. Copeland, eager to come inside.

“Jones, Siedman, Colella, out of line,” our recruitment chair calls up the stairs after looking over the all of the names on the clipboard. “Joura, Putnam, Stelter, legacies!”

As our recruitment chair calls my name, my heart begins to pound in my chest and the smile on my face becomes real, no longer rehearsed. Because she is an Alpha Phi legacy, the young woman that I am about to meet has more in common with me than she knows.

A few years ago, I was late into my terrible teens and dying to run off to college at Florida State, a thousand miles away from home. I craved the independence that comes with being a collegiate. Unlike most parents, my mom wasn’t worried about me, especially because she had already signed me up for formal recruitment. She knew that I would soon belong to a chapter, a sisterhood of more than two hundred women who would have my best interest in mind. They would take care of me the way her Alpha Phi sisters took care of her at Penn State.

I am definitely my mother’s daughter, but I was eager to be my own person. The power of legacy didn’t quite click in my head until I went to Alpha Phi on skit day of recruitment. On stage, four sisters met for brunch; the youngest sister was about to go to college and her biological sisters were trying to persuade her to go through recruitment. Each of the three multi-talented older sisters—a singing southern belle, a brainiac dancer, and an all-star fashionista—had been a member of Alpha Phi. Despite their differences, they all found a home there and thrived, becoming the best versions of themselves. This skit alleviated any qualms I was having about joining the same sorority as my mom.

All of that week, my mom stayed unbiased. We’d talked every night about the amazing women I was meeting, about the involvement opportunities I was learning about, and about how excited I was not only for bid day, but my first day of college. I kept it a secret until bid day that I knew I wanted to be my mom’s sorority sister because I knew I could still be my own independent self, creating my own experiences and also strengthen our bond. On bid day, my mom could barely hold in her excitement on the receiving end of the phone call as I told her that I was a new member at the Gamma Phi chapter of Alpha Phi. We have always been close, but becoming sorority sisters has brought us so much closer. My mom has always been my mother first, but she was also my first role model and my first friend. Now, she is my sister. My mom has walked the same walk as me and it is an absolute honor to follow her footsteps!

The multi-generational legacies in Alpha Phi are ones to truly treasure. At the Gamma Phi chapter, there are many sets of biological sisters sharing incredible experiences. Many women, like me have Alpha Phi mothers and others also have Alpha Phi grandmothers. In Alpha Phi, legacy isn’t just tradition, it is an extended family. For this reason, chapters even initiate the unaffiliated mothers of Alpha Phi sisters so they can experience the incredible bond between Alpha Phi sisters and grow together. The power of the Alpha Phi legacy is in the celebration of sisterhood. Each generation of women contributing to this legacy is what makes Alpha Phi so timeless!

Sydney Stelter is a member of the Gamma Phi chapter at Florida State University. To read more about her, click here.

March 2, 2017

Being Greek: Breaking Down Stereotypes


From the singing and clapping by the massive front door as a welcome ritual to last minute formal dress shopping frenzies to bursting over the news that you got a Little, being in a sorority is full of unique—and to the outsider, eyebrow raising experiences.

When I first joined Alpha Phi as a freshman in college, I was asked multiple times by old friends from my high school days if I was sure what I had got myself into. They asked questions about what the process was like to join a sorority; they commented with rolled eyes about the stereotypes and challenged me to explain my choices to them. They were curious if it was a party culture and demanded to know if it was “like the movies.” 

Now, after being an active-member in Alpha Phi for four years, I can openly laugh at the ignorance of these conversations, because being Greek is nothing like that. Being Greek isn’t partying every single night of the week, although it is being willing to drop everything and get to your sister’s side any minute of the day with a warm hug and a Diet Coke when emergencies come up. Being Greek is more than a perfectly organized Lilly Pulitzer planner, color coded by function. It’s having a sister there you can call for help when your math homework is confusing. Being Greek doesn’t mean using daddy’s credit card to pay for a third Starbucks of the day; it means raising money—thousands and thousands of dollars—for the Alpha Phi Foundation and for women who suffer from heart disease. 

Being Greek is a chance to meet people—people who want you to succeed on campus and in life. When I joined Alpha Phi, I was involved on campus at a very minor level. I met women in my own chapter who urged and pushed me to join organizations that fit my talents, my passions and my dream-career. They encouraged me because they were already involved; they brought me to meetings for different organizations and eagerly welcomed me into more than just Alpha Phi. I finally felt like I had a place on my college campus and I had room to grow. And, more than my campus, I’ve formed a sisterhood with more than just Alpha Phi. At an airport, it’s not uncommon to casually strike up a conversation with another woman waiting to catch her flight proudly wearing Greek letters. I know in the future that I will proudly meet others who were members of the Greek system in my work environment, and see that they are lawyers and doctors, and watch them on television.
 
As a member of the Greek community, I’ve heard it all. The good, the bad, and the mean. I’ve responded with boldness towards opinions from others. Being Greek is more than a club or an organization that is only four years, it’s for life. 

Julianne is a member of the Beta Sigma chapter at the University of Utah.To read more about her, click here.

February 20, 2017

Alpha Phi Overseas Photo Contest 2017


To celebrate our flourishing Alpha Phi Overseas Facebook group, Alpha Phi is holding its fifth overseas photo contest. The contest will showcase creative and unique photography taken by Alpha Phis around the world.

To enter, submit your favorite photo from anywhere outside the United States and Canada. You or Alpha Phi sisters must be in the photo, submit anything imaginative, creative or interesting – from buildings, to landscapes, to urban settings. Please include a brief description of the photo, names, schools and chapters. You can send submissions to photosubmission@alphaphi.org.

Selected photos will be posted on Alpha Phi International’s official Facebook page. Sisters will then “vote” by liking their favorites. As an added bonus, submissions may be featured in the 2017 Summer Quarterly!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

Contest opens for submissions on Monday, February 20th.
Contest ends Sunday, March 26 at 11:59 p.m. CT.
Photo album will be posted on Facebook for voting to take place from March 27-30 (at 4:00 p.m. CT).
Winner announced on Friday, March 31!

RULES OF ENTRY:
  1. The Alpha Phi Overseas Photo Contest is limited to entries received February 20-March 26, 2017.
  2. A maximum of 2 submissions may be entered per person.
  3. The entrant must be the sole creator of the images being submitted.
  4. Photo collages are not accepted.
  5. "Ivy” is the only hand-symbol that will be accepted.
  6. Not every photo submitted will be displayed on our Facebook account.
  7. The entrant will not receive payment for the images selected or used.
  8. By entering the contest, each entrant agrees that may also be used in other Alpha Phi International communications.
  9. Entries must be submitted as either:
    • Digital photos must be submitted as attachment as .tif or .jpg files; photos will only be considered for the Quarterly if they are high resolution images (at least 3 in. x 5 in. at 300 dpi).
    • Hard copy photos should be mailed separately (including your name, contact information and photo caption identifying those pictured) to:

Alpha Phi International Executive Office
Attn: Alpha Phi Overseas Photo Contest
1930 Sherman Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201

February 15, 2017

Manifestations of Alpha Phi's Values


The formal recruitment process at Florida State University is, as it should be, values based. At recruitment parties, it is common for potential Panhellenic women to ask the question: “What are your values?” Because of this question, and with the mnemonic device “S3L2C” I can respond with the answer “sisterhood, scholarship, service, leadership, loyalty, and character” as if it were a reflex.

This list of core values is empowering and holds each Alpha Phi to a higher standard while shaping an identity that connects all Alpha Phi sisters universally. It is one thing to tell someone what you value and it is quite another to show them. Fortunately, Alpha Phi’s values manifest themselves in events, outside-the-box activities and the individual role models in every single chapter across the United States and Canada.

Joining a sorority means joining a sisterhood—a true union between diverse women that is deeper than friendship. Some women who join Alpha Phi have never had a sister, while others have never had hundreds of them. Either way, Alpha Phi women treasure the value of sisterhood and honor it with acts of kindness, dependability, love and support. As all sisters are loyal to what Alpha Phi stands for, they are each loyal to one another.

During the recruitment process, I found my first role model in Alpha Phi. Then I found another on the soccer field, and another during my morning routine as I got ready for Spanish each day. Role models inspire you to be better for yourself and one another. At Alpha Phi, there are strong women taking the time to empower others and foster character development in every single member.

Alpha Phi offers the opportunity to take on many leadership positions internally. Each woman can be a committee member, chair, delegate, vice president or even president. Additionally, sisters are seen leading externally on campus and in the community because they are working on being the best versions of themselves, giving back and being mentors to like-minded women.

Sometimes college may seem like fun and games because of date functions and socials, but each Alpha Phi attends college to achieve higher education and prepare for success. This is why scholarship is so vital. We hold each other accountable for academics—in my chapter alone there are future doctors and engineers that the world desperately needs. We all need to help them succeed. You will often find sisters on coffee runs, studying together in the common rooms and testing each other with flashcards right before chapter meetings.

Service is a value Alpha Phi women hold close to their hearts. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women. The women in every chapter dedicate themselves to funding education, research, outreach and technological advancement for heart disease through Alpha Phi Foundation and American Heart Association. We practice on global and local scales—Alpha Phi at Florida State University has close ties with Tallahassee Memorial Hospital which has an entire wing to honor that relationship. I am proud to say that each sister in my chapter has taken a class for hands only CPR, so whether they have already been personally affected by heart complications in their lives or not, they will be able to act quickly and with confidence to save a life.

Sisterhood, scholarship, service, leadership, loyalty and character are universal values that each Alpha Phi has the opportunity to understand more fully. What is so incredible is that we get to know and understand these values by looking into the hearts, minds and faces of sisters. For example, when I look at my little, I see a natural-born leader seizing every opportunity that comes her way and when I look at my  roommate, I see true sisterhood as she drops everything just to help a sister in need. Collectively, the sisters in Alpha Phi manifest all of the values. Together, we can inspire others to hold themselves to higher standards and make a difference in this world. 

Sydney Stelter is a member of the Gamma Phi chapter at Florida State University. To read more about her, click here.

February 2, 2017

Choosing a Little


We all know that feeling when the new pledge class comes bursting through the door on bid day. The pure joy of seeing all the beautiful faces that will carry on the legacy of your chapter. And for me last year, like many Alpha Phis, the joy of knowing that one of these beautiful new faces would be my future little!

But choosing a little is often a complex process. There are so many great girls that make up each Alpha Phi pledge class, so how do you know who is right for you? How do you know who will “click” with your pham in a genuine way? Every big-little bond can be something truly special with just a few simple steps.

First off, with such a large group of girls, there is no need to go on a girl date with every single one of the new members. Personally, I am not big on all the girl talk and coffee dates, so I quickly narrowed down the number of girls I communicated with based on their hobbies, interests and the activities they were involved in on and off campus.

I was also able to narrow this list down further based on similar personalities, and whether this would mesh with my personality as well as the general vibe of my family. As for my pham and I, we are a group of girls with a wide range of interests ranging from athletes to artists who all share common values.

I started meeting some of the girls I thought would fit into the pham. For me coffee dates were too generic, so I thought of different ways to bond with the new members and find my little. I took my group of new members to a fun lunch in the inner harbor of Baltimore.

With the other new members I would go out to lunch or dinners on and off campus. I would attend their shows or sporting events. I would even go to lacrosse games or baseball games with them, along with brunch or just hanging out watching a movie. I think it’s important to hang out with the new members in different environments rather than just a coffee date because you get a better sense of the type of person they are and whether their vibe fits with you and your pham.

Now I am not exactly sure the point where you realize “Wow, I would like this amazing new Alpha Phi to be my little”, but for me it was early on in the process of looking for a little. Obviously I still met with all the girls I was interested in and all those who reached out to me, but it was clear as day she was the perfect match for my pham. Once you narrow down the one or two girls you believe would fit best it’s important to have a pham gathering with this new Alpha Phi; it’s kind of like bringing home the new boyfriend to meet your family.

It’s not only a great opportunity for the new member to realize all the support and love there is in Alpha Phi, but also a chance for them to meet some of the older members in the chapter. Through these simple steps the big-little connection starts and each pham continues to grow this special bond with the new member experience and every day after.

Princess Sutherland is a member of the Zeta Omicron chapter at Johns Hopkins University. To read more about her, click here.

January 31, 2017

Meet the Spring 2017 Collegiate Perspective Bloggers!





Julianne is a member of the Beta Sigma chapter at the University of Utah. She is a senior working on a double major in Communications and Film & Media Arts. She has served Alpha Phi in a variety of roles such as Vice President of Chapter Operations, Director of Philanthropy, and Director of Campus Activities and Hospitality Chairman. For the 2017 year, she has taken on a Panhellenic role serving the University of Utah Greek community as the Vice President of Judicial and Risk Reduction. Julianne works on the Student Advisory Committee with the It's On Us campaign to end sexual assault on college campuses; in January, she was honored to give the opening remarks for Vice President Joe Biden at the It's On Us Summit! On campus, Julianne is the President of Her Campus and serves as a voting member on the Student Media Council. In her free time, Julianne loves to attend yoga classes and eat as much Thai food as possible!

Princess Sutherland is a member of the Zeta Omicron chapter at Johns Hopkins University. She is a junior on the pre-med track, majoring in Public Health Studies and minoring in Spanish for the Professions. She is also a forward on the Field Hockey team and participates in child psychiatry research at the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus. She is serving as the Director of External Events for her chapter this spring semester. Princess’s family is originally from Jamaica, but she grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. She loves to travel, try new cuisines, and watch and participate in a variety of sports. The best word to describe Princess would be “vivacious”, and she is excited to be one of Alpha Phi’s Collegiate Perspective bloggers this spring.

Sydney is a member of the Gamma Phi chapter at Florida State University. She is a senior studying English with a concentration in editing, writing, and media. She has served the Gamma Phi chapter as the guard and chaplain, assisting with ceremonies. Sydney is proud to do communications work with The Children’s Campaign, a non-profit in Tallahassee, Florida. When she isn’t writing, editing, or scrolling through her social media feeds, you can find her supervising at Starbucks, taking HIIT (high- intensity interval training) classes with her sisters, or sending GroupMe messages to her creative writing students.