June 28, 2013

Featured Product Friday: Alexandra & Co. Clipboard

The perfect back-to-school gift for any incoming officers: an Alpha Phi-inspired notebook and clipboard from Greek Licensed vendor Alexandra & Co! The board measures 6" X 9" and the notepad measures 4.25" x 6.5" with 75 pages  total. Priced at $12.95/each, this is the perfect affordable gift for your sisters! Click here to view details.

June 27, 2013

Professional and Personal Growth after Graduation with AFLV

It is frequently said that college is the best four years of your life. It is also said that being in a sorority provides friends and connections that expand beyond those four years at your university and last a lifetime. I recently found out how true this was through my internship with the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values (AFLV) at its West Fraternal Leadership Conference in Costa Mesa, California. It was a wonderful way to stay involved in Greek life, meet other fraternity and sorority members and also give back to younger men and women on their Greek life journey.

I was selected to be a graduate intern with nine other men and women from across the United States that hailed from different chapters and councils. Upon applying, I was told that I would get the experience of a lifetime not only in the networking opportunities that would be presented but also by way of the leadership skills I would garner from the experience. I experienced this and more!

Upon my arrival, I instantly had a new set of friends and colleagues that I knew I could count on for life. The thought of Greek life providing me with sisters in Alpha Phi suddenly expanded to brothers and sisters in other chapters. I also noted with pride that many Alpha Phis attended the conference in leadership roles as well as professional positions—for that, hats off to you ladies! I later met many of these phi-nomenal women and made some great connections for my job search. Our sisters were more than willing to provide me with opportunities they knew of in order to help me succeed.

As an intern, I learned invaluable leadership skills that have translated back into my current position quite nicely. I was able to observe and take part in an intense check-in process that required attention to detail as well as patience. Customer service was always of the utmost importance during this and other procedures as we were not only representing our individual chapters but also AFLV as interns. Professionalism was also of the utmost importance as we were often the front lines of information for students, staff, and professional speakers attending the conference.

Now, you may be thinking that my experience as an intern may not relate to your work if you don’t work in Greek affairs. I would beg to differ. The skills I listed above are vital to succeeding in any field! I have found the principles of attention to detail, customer service, and professionalism to be the forefront of my daily work persona. Overall, I am beyond lucky and thankful to have been afforded the experience as an AFLV intern. I met and mingled with hundreds of individuals that have all touched my life in some way.

Beth Little (Theta Lambda-Central Missouri) interned at AFLV after graduating in 2012. Her position focused on conference management. 

June 25, 2013

Inside the EO: Fresh Faces

What is your name? Stephanie Spence

Where are you originally from? I’m from Northern-ish Virginia, a small town in Fauquier County called Sumerduck. I lived in Hampton Roads, Virginia for six years and just moved to Chicago on June 1st!

Where did you attend college and what chapter were you a part of there? My alma mater is Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. I initiated into the Theta Phi chapter in 2008.

What was your major in college? I was a Communications major with a minor in Leadership.

What was your plan post-graduation? After graduation I worked for a bi-coastal event planner in Virginia Beach, Virginia and at a boutique hotel in Williamsburg, Virginia in the Sales and Catering department.

Why did you decide to work for Alpha Phi International Fraternity? I have always aspired to work for Alpha Phi. This position combined all of the skills and passions I have into my dream job, so I was very excited and honored to accept it.

What is your job title? I am the new Program Coordinator, Marketing and Event Planning so I will be working in the Extension department with the colonization of our new chapters and helping plan leadership conferences and conventions!

When did you start in your current position? June 3rd, 2013

What is your favorite memory of Alpha Phi—as a collegian, alumna, or staff member?
It is so hard to choose between memories of gardenia family nights at CNU, executive council meetings with my ODU ladies and random leadership conference moments. If I had to choose one defining Alpha Phi moment, it would be from the Alpha Phi alumnae reunion and homecoming celebration at CNU last fall. “Faces may change but the legacy continues!”

What do you like best about working at the Executive Office or what are you most looking forward to? I love the collaboration that takes place here in order to best serve our collegiate and alumnae chapters. It really feels like a team. I’m looking forward to visiting some of our extension chapters and gearing up for leadership conferences!

What are some of your goals for the next few years? My first goal is to finish decorating my new apartment and learn my way around Chicago! My others are to keep in touch with family and friends in Virginia; have amazing colonizations at LSU and Ole Miss; coordinate successful leadership conferences; and learn as much as possible about Alpha Phi and ways in which I can be of help to the rest of the team!

Do you have any advice for current collegiate members? Sporadically call sisters you don’t normally talk to and ask them how they’re doing. You’ll be surprised with how much it will mean to them- and you.

June 21, 2013

Featured Product Friday: Espadrilles from Two Trumpets

The perfect summer shoe, now available from Greek Licensed Vendor Two Trumpets!These adorable Alpha Phi espadrilles are available in white, creme and blue, and feature  either the Alpha Phi letters or our official crest.

Click here to view detailed pricing and ordering information.

June 19, 2013

Inside the EO: Fresh Faces Series

  1. What is your name?  Jennifer Hutchinson-Frobish  (Feel free to call me Jennifer, Frobish, or Mama Fro, some of you already do).
  2. Where are you originally from?  Well, I was raised in Alabama when I was younger, but I have now lived in Illinois for most of my life. I currently live in Bloomington, IL
  3. Where did you attend college and what chapter were you a part of there?  Northern Illinois University – Epsilon Delta Chapter
  4. What was your major in college?  Organizational/Corporate Communications with a Journalism minor
  5. What was your plan post-graduation? My original plan was to work for a sports organization, handling their press and media matters, but then I met a cute boy and got involved in higher education so my path changed.  After NIU, I attended Illinois State University and earned a Masters of Science in Education through their College Student Personnel Administration program.  My career has been in higher education ever since.
  6. Why did you decide to work for Alpha Phi International Fraternity?  Because I just can’t get enough of Alpha Phi!  I’ve long said that my day job pays the bills and my volunteer life pays my heart.  Now I can live both and give back to the organization that has given me so much.
  7. What is your job title? Program Manager for Volunteer Development
  8. When did you start in your current position?  June 2013
  9. What is your favorite memory of Alpha Phi—as a collegian, alumna, or staff member?  I had the pleasure of attending ELI in 2008 as a Silver Circle Facilitator.  Denise Reens is the staff member responsible for that program, and during the program, we do a Ritual review, and it’s AMAZING.  Well, Denise founded my chapter at NIU so I was able to stand next to her and say the Oath and sing songs, and it was the most amazing moment because without her, I wouldn’t have been an Alpha Phi.
  10. What do you like best about working at the Executive Office or what are you most looking forward to?  I am looking forward to making an impact on the Fraternity’s volunteer world on a larger level than what I’ve been able to do so far.  Volunteer life has been amazing for me, and I have learned so much so now it’s nice to take that experience and pay it forward for others.
  11. What are some of your goals for the next few years?  Establish a solid on-boarding process for all volunteers that provides a consistent starting point, training process, and knowledge base . . . create a strong, personal recognition program for volunteers that is year-round . . . recruit volunteers at a younger age and make volunteer life just part of the culture for all.

June 17, 2013

Inside the EO: Fresh Faces Series

  1. What is your name? Ashley Chesson
  2. Where are you originally from? Burlington, NC
  3. Where did you attend college and what chapter were you a part of there? Epsilon Phi – NC State
  4. What was your major in college? Political Science
  5. What was your plan post-graduation? Find a job and begin working
  6. Why did you decide to work for Alpha Phi International Fraternity? I have loved volunteering for the Fraternity, but I wanted to be able to do more with our chapters.  This is my dream job!
  7. What is your job title? Program Manager of New Chapter Development
  8. When did you start in your current position? June 3, 2013
  9. What is your favorite memory of Alpha Phi—as a collegian, alumna, or staff member?  My favorite memory so far is signing the charter at Iota Mu – Georgia Tech’s installation.  It was the first extension project I worked on so it holds a lot of memories for me.
  10. What do you like best about working at the Executive Office or what are you most looking forward to? I love being part of the extension team so I look forward to working with our newest chapters! 
  11. What are some of your goals for the next few years? A few of my goals are to learn as much as I can from those around me, cultivate relationships with collegians, alumnae, and staff members, and continue to follow in the footsteps of the many outstanding Alpha Phis who have preceded me.
  12. Do you have any advice for current collegiate members? Listen to your advisors and thank them for volunteering their time and skills to support your chapter.  Without volunteers, we wouldn’t be able as successful as we are today.

June 14, 2013

A Message to Graduates from Alpha Phi's International President

Congratulations 2013 graduates! Whether it was at Convention, ELI, Leadership Conference or on a chapter visit – I’ve had the pleasure of being inspired by many of you. Alpha Phi is in good hands, because our Fraternity is in your hands. Continue to make AΦ a priority in your lives by becoming a volunteer, paying your alum dues, visiting us on Facebook and supporting the Alpha Phi Foundation. Your fraternity will always need you. And, we will always be proud to count you as one of our own. Today, tomorrow and in years to come, I charge you to keep your promise to remember Alpha Phi. AOE, my sisters.

View more cap and gown photos by clicking here

June 10, 2013

5 Ways to Blend Your Work and Life Better

Your career is a major part of your identity - much like being a mother, friend, wife or sister in Alpha Phi.  Meaningful work gives a sense of purpose and impact on the world. But it is too easy to fall into working all hours and pushing aside your true priorities. Our mothers coined the term work-life balance, but today we have a different solution...work-life blend.

Work-life blend means integrating our career and home lives. If you’ve ever checked your work email from your living room couch or shopped online when you should be productive at work, you know technology has made our lives more integrated than ever before. And that’s okay. 

Here are five ways you can use work-life blend to your advantage:

  • Be yourself at work. Professionalism means being respectful, courteous and observing social norms. It doesn’t mean being a robot that looks and sounds like everyone else. Sharing your personal passions and unique life experiences improves the culture at work.  
  • Own your personal brand. The average worker has 7 jobs in her lifetime. You are more than the name on the company door. Define your personal values and skills and showcase them to the world. This will help others refer opportunities your way that align with who you are, not just with your current employer. 
  • Work to task, not to time. Allotting 75 minutes to see your mom so you can pick up dry cleaning by close keeps you looking at the clock. Decide what gets your attention today and start at the top. When the most important thing is done, move on to the next. This will help you learn to delegate the things that are less important and free up more time.       
  • Set boundaries and communicate them. Life is too short to waste time doing things because you feel like you should. That depletes your energy for things you want and need to do. Have a go-to response for saying no without explaining your choice. “I appreciate the invitation but I won’t make it this time”.  
  • Flexibility wins all. Look for opportunities that give you the most flexibility, another word for choice. This has an exponential effect. The more choice you have, the more adaptable you can be in the future. Invest in tools that allow you to work remotely and you can finish your presentation at the beach instead of the cubicle. 
Above all, don’t sweat the small stuff. If you start to feel run-down and that life is pulling you in too many directions, slow down. Work-life blend doesn’t mean doing it all, it means having the choice to do what you want.  

Jenn Ash is the Editor of Avenue Gray, a blog for career tips, living easier and combining the two seamlessly.  A true creative, she worked for agencies and in the Fortune 500 before launching her own creative company at 28. To get access to all of her creative resources, join the Gray Collective community. 

Seniors, you may have also seen Jenn's career advice in the Alumnae Advice column of Transitions!