March 1, 2014

Collegiate Perspective: A Day in the Life at the Executive Office

This past winter break I had the unique opportunity to intern at the Alpha Phi Internal Executive Office (EO). My time at the EO was filled with lots of amazing people and many new experiences. For the sisters who haven’t had a chance to visit the EO in Evanston, IL, I share with you a day in the life of an Alpha Phi intern.

8:00am: Up and at ‘em! My wardrobe was all skirts, tights, and nice tops—even in the cold December weather! The commute to the Executive Office in Evanston was about 45 minutes, so I had to get up early every morning. In Iowa, we don’t have railway systems like they do in Chicago, but I loved it! I always looked forward to my morning commute (and being able to stop at Dunkin’ Donuts on the way!).

9:30am: I was always welcomed into the office by smiling faces. My first day luckily happened to be the holiday party, so I met all of the ELCs, the Foundation staff, and was welcomed by lots, and lots of food. Believe me, I didn’t complain! In the morning I would sometimes stop by Stefania or Denise’s desk to get an update of what they wanted me to work on for the day, as well.

10:00-11:30am: I worked heavily on preparing for this year’s Leadership Conferences. I organized files, made a lot of copies, and even got to make some phone calls! It sounds very “intern-y”, and it was, but I was working on a very important project, so it made me feel important to be trusted with such a huge responsibility.

12:00pm: Sometimes, if the weather wasn’t miserable, the staff would venture a few blocks down the road to grab some lunch. Everyone was really helpful and showed me all the best places to eat. Admittedly, Potbelly’s Sandwich Shop was my favorite—I had it three times in a row!

1:00pm: The Executive Office staff attends meetings like crazy! Although I was a little out of the loop, they were really excited to help me gain insight to as many different areas as possible. I attended meetings about the alumnae department and others about collegiate operations. I even got to give a short little update on what I had been working on.

2:00-4:00pm: For the rest of the afternoon, I continued working on prepping for all the Leadership Conferences. Periodically I would stop to get to talk to people who were visiting the office, or my coworkers, who were awesome by the way!

4:30pm: I headed home before the sun went down to make sure I got there safely. I was lucky enough to stay with an alumna from my chapter who serves on the IEB. For my two week stay (and many weeks before and after), she answered an array of questions about Alpha Phi while we ate dinner or explored the city a little.

I know that my internship at the Alpha Phi Executive Office is something that not everyone will get the chance to experience, but I took away some valuable lessons that apply to sisters everywhere.

First of all, we are the EO’s main focus. The recommendations and opportunities they give us are provided so that we will succeed and grow as women in and outside of Alpha Phi. So apply to go to ELI, take a leadership role in your chapter, and utilize things like officer portal; everything is created with our well-being in mind.

I got to take a lot of time and explore the Executive Office; there’s a lot of great stories within its walls. My next piece of advice is to get to know your chapter’s history. There’s this room at the EO called Heritage Hall, which is filled with some of our Fraternity’s richest history and memorabilia. It’s an incredible reminder of where we’ve been and all of the places we have yet to reach. Take the time to learn your chapter’s history; it’s a fun way to trace the steps your predecessors took to get you where you are today.

Finally, and most importantly, utilize your network. Just by being Alpha Phis, we have a network of thousands of sisters all over the world. I met Stefania Rudd and Denise Reens at ELI two summers ago, and those two simple connections led me to my dream internship. In an even better twist of fate, another one of my ELI silver circle sisters, Sarah, was interning with me at the same time! Whether you’re pursuing a career in marketing, biology, or human services, I guarantee there is a sister out there who can help you reach your goals. I encourage you to send a simple email and ask questions; your sisters want to help you! The greatest thing about Alpha Phi is the support that we can all provide each other; let your sisters help you succeed.

I’m so thankful for my internship at Alpha Phi, and even more certain that I want to pursue a career in Fraternity and Sorority life. Always remember to say thank you to those of people who have helped you in your path of happiness and success, especially our friends at the Executive Office. The staff is knowledgeable, kind and helpful, and Alpha Phi is so lucky to have them! 

Cheltzie Miller-Bailey is a collegiate member at Northern Iowa (Epsilon Theta). Learn more about Cheltzie by clicking here.

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