May 12, 2017

Transition



Alumnae pin: A delicate circle of forget-me-not flowers, this pin reminds our alumnae that they are always connected to Alpha Phi and helps everyone demonstrate their lifetime membership. This pin is available to our collegiate chapters and is used by many chapters during their Senior Ceremony. But it is available to all alumnae, you can order the pin and wear it with pride!

During sorority recruitment, we often touted the future potential of networking as an alumni member as a benefit of joining a sorority. We kind of threw this in for the more “serious” types, who needed a more lofty reason to join a sorority than matching sweatshirts and date dashes. I knew a sorority sister could help set me up with a formal date, but I never really imagined them setting me up with a job. I have actually had the same girl from my sorority help me obtain not one, but two jobs.

I have experienced first-hand the power of this alumni network, and thought how many other girls could benefit from this type of network. A lot of girls think that sorority connections end at college, even though we sing about our lifelong bonds. I now realize how that network and these connections are very real and powerful for helping women find internships, jobs, roommates and more, especially in the current economic climate.

LinkedIn

I joined the national group for my sorority on LinkedIn, but realized that while it was helpful for job hunts in new cities and random mass requests, it wasn’t going to be as powerful a resource as I wanted. I decided to take things into my own hands and create a LinkedIn group specifically for my own chapter. I encouraged the girls to invite other alumni and current members to join in the hopes of fostering communication regarding job openings, internships, etc. I also hoped it could be a forum to discuss the specifics of certain careers, grad school advice, and any other wisdom that would be beneficial to a younger group of girls. Within minutes of creating the group, a job posting was listed! I also reached out to a friend’s younger sister, who is currently in the chapter. I asked her to announce the group at their next meeting and to encourage the girls to join. I wish I had something like this group while I was job hunting straight out of college!

Facebook

While Facebook is definitely more of a social tool compared to LinkedIn, it’s still a great resource for keeping in touch with people. You probably belong to a group created while you were in college that listed various events going on, etc. Now is the time to take a look and see where your sorority sisters are. Maybe someone lives in a city that you are hoping to get a job in, or works for a company where you’d like to be hired. You might see that they are friends with someone who you want to meet and they can easily make the introduction. Just keep in mind that Facebook groups and messaging are more personal than they are business-related. You might want to send someone an email or look them up on LinkedIn if you don’t really know them well and the message is strictly professional.

National Sorority Website

Most sororities these days have advanced websites for their current members and alumni to join. If you just moved to a new city, you can locate a local chapter and get involved with them. These new connections could help you find a job or instruct you on the best way to get hired in their city. Bonus: You might also make some friends! Also, most sororities have newsletters that they send out to their alumni. You could submit your information and list the type of job you are looking for and see if anyone reaches out to you.

Online networking is a great resource for alumni and current members. If you were in a sorority in college, I highly recommend you take advantage of these built-in connections. You already paid your dues, now reap some benefits!

There are many sad things about graduating college, but for sorority women, one of the worst may be the prospect of leaving your sisters—and all of your incredible accomplishments—behind. Did you know that you don’t have to? Even after graduating, there are ways that you can stay involved in your sorority, be it your chapter, your region or even nationally. From social or networking gatherings to advocacy to advisement opportunities to leadership positions, staying involved with your sorority is a great way to maintain lifelong relationships, network and spread some good throughout the world.

After all of the effort you put into sorority recruitment, learning what each chapter stood for, where they volunteered and which one was your best fit, why wouldn’t you continue the relationship? If you approach it the right way, you’re not just joining a chapter. You’re joining a giant community, built to last you a lifetime.

1) It helps you maintain your current friendships and gives you the opportunity to make new friends.

Who can forget how easy it was to make friends back in school? I think most post-grads can attest to the sad reality that it’s much harder to make friends once you’re out of school. I think it’s especially hard to form solid female friendships. Being connected to your town’s alumnae group is probably one of the easiest ways to meet people and reconnect with sisters who you may have lost touch with. You’d be amazed how simply having that in common can serve as a foundation for a friendship. And if you find yourself relocating for a job or for school, one of the easiest ways to settle into your new hometown is to join that city’s alumnae group. Also, being active gives you something to look forward to each week and/or month since your social calendar might be slightly less full once you’re out of school.

2) It is an excellent networking tool already at your disposal.

When you’re in the chapter, you might sometimes hear sisters touting the networking benefits of being Greek, but on some level, it’s hard to fathom life beyond college. Sure, you’ll be thinking about how to attain that dream job, but have you thought about how being connected to a sorority can help you land a job? Or that it can help you find a mentor who you can provide you with career advice? Or that you could even be a mentor for someone? Get connected with the alumnae group through social media. LinkedIn has especially been useful when seeking career advice, job leads, and finding a roommate. When I was in school, I did an internship at my sorority sister’s magazine and remained in touch with her even after I graduated. She remained a dear friend, and now she is one of my co-workers. She was the one who recommended me for my current job. It’s incredibly beneficial being part of a network of women that could potentially help you move forward in your professional life. Sometimes having a connection makes all the difference in the world.

3) It allows you to remain linked to an organization that probably played a significant role in your college life.

Of course, being a post-grad sorority woman is a totally different experience from that of a collegiate member, but I think maintaining that connection reminds you of all the memorable times that you hopefully gained being a member of a Greek organization. As an alumna, it’s really interesting to watch your collegiate chapter’s dynamic change over the years. Plus, if you keep up with your chapter’s activities on social media or you volunteer at Rush, it brings forth all types of nostalgia.
Get Together for a Trip Once a Year

This is a great idea because it’s exciting, but still practical enough to commit to! A trip like this will give you something to look forward to every year. Combining sisterhood with the enjoyment of travel means you could see places you’ve never seen before with friends you care about! Whether it’s an international journey or a quick trip to see where sisters live now, it’s an annual highlight. Many chapters even have planned service trips that you can take!
Use Video Chat and Social Media

Mobile apps and sites like Facebook have made it easier than ever to stay in touch after college. The thing is, you have to be consistent and remember to use them! Video call sisters who live further away, and consider starting a Facebook group so everybody can easily chat together. Send emails, photos, and texts to stay informed on the latest.
Stay Connected to Your National Sorority

Your national sorority has all kinds of resources for helping you stay connected. For example, you could subscribe to the national sorority newsletter to be aware of the latest news and events. Also consider visiting the national sorority website and following on social media.

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