What do Sally Ride, Hattie Caraway and Kate Spade have in common? Besides being hugely influential and successful, these women were involved in Greek life during their college years. And who can forget our favorite, Elle Woods? She showed women around the world that just because you’re in a sorority doesn’t mean you can’t be intelligent, clever and intuitive. Not only can being in a sorority give you opportunities to be a part of philanthropy and meet hundreds of new people, it can also have a positive impact on your future career.
Networking skills lead to internships and jobs.
One of the first things that women learn once they join a sorority is how to network.
Logan Beck, president of Delta Phi Epsilon at Temple University, feels that communication is vital in every sorority, whether it’s communication with your sisters, your university or your sorority’s national headquarters. “Since being a part of the sorority, my communication and ‘people’ skills have exponentially improved. Every week I stand before more than 100 women at our chapter meetings, which at first seemed daunting, but I now execute [it] with comfort. I can communicate ideas to others and properly delegate tasks, and I definitely have my sorority to thank for that,” says Logan.
Sororities not only provide students with a network of sisters but also a professional network. Greek organizations build networks that are important for future employment and internships.
Hannah Bergey, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha at West Chester University, says, “We learn how to talk to people, like how to hold eye contact and remember facts about them. Having to meet 100 new girls when you pledge is scary, kind of like the future and the jobs you’ll encounter. Like pledging, you’ll have to meet new people and explain why you’re the best choice for their company.”
When you join a sorority, all of your sisters are studying various majors and are planning on entering different fields after graduation, which according to Bergey means “a foot in hundreds of doors” for you to make connections and possibly help in your future endeavors.
Philanthropy instills selflessness and humility.
A large facet of Greek life is philanthropy and service. Each nationally recognized sorority has to have a cause that it raises awareness and funds for. These can include anything from service projects to eating disorder awareness. You’ve likely seen different sororities can-shaking or hosting bake sales all across your campus to raise money. Some chapters have raised tens of thousands of dollars for their cause through fundraisers.
“Philanthropy has shown me that you can be dealt a rough hand and things aren’t always going to be ‘perfect’ but you have to make the best of every day,” says Kaitlin Manion, a Temple University senior and member of Alpha Xi Delta. “It’s also given me a purpose to be in my organization and is an awesome example of the difference we can make when we all come together as members of society.”
Sororities instill the value of community service and philanthropy, which helps to foster selflessness and encourages sisters to give back to their communities and the world at large. By being involved in a sorority, and thus philanthropy, you can show potential employers that you’re a service-oriented individual. Having that ability shows that you’re willing to help others, whether it benefits you or not. Employers look for these kinds of hardworking and helpful people when rifling through their applicants.
Social and leadership skills prepare you for any situation in your career.
It’s common knowledge that sororities foster social interaction. Becoming a part of a sisterhood can teach beneficial skills through this interaction. If you use Greek life to build a social and professional network, make friends and learn leadership skills, you will likely graduate with useful qualities that could take you far in your career. Iris Goldsztajn, a senior at UCLA and member of Gamma Phi Beta, says, “Depending on the industry you’re going into, leadership positions might look good on your résumé, but mostly holding a leadership position can teach you a bunch of really important skills, like managing a ‘team’ or committee, abiding by deadlines, dealing with criticism, and so many more.”
Having a leadership role in a sorority can teach you invaluable lessons, whether it’s learning how to use Google Drive as a communications director or developing counseling skills as the sunshine chair. Having a high role in Greek life can also give you ideas of what you want to do after college.You may realize that you’re passionate about certain aspects of your position, like organizing, planning events or giving your sisters advice when they’re having a hard time. You may also find out the opposite—that you hate organizing or you wish you didn’t have to always be in contact with the national headquarters. These likes and dislikes could lead you to figure out what skills to look for when searching for jobs.
You’re given responsibilities that impact others.
Being a part of a sorority, especially in a leadership position, teaches you responsibility because every woman in your chapter expects you to be able to properly handle the position you’ve taken. It takes hours of dedication, behind-the-scenes work and sacrifice. Sororities have sets of morals and codes of conduct for everyone involved.
“If you miss chapter meetings or a mandatory event, you face a loss in merit points or get fined, just like if you missed work, you wouldn’t get paid or get credit for being there. It makes sure you’re living up to the rules and doing what’s expected of you,” says Kaitlin.
Responsibility is a huge part of managing a full-time job after graduation, and it’s important to have excellent time management skills. “If you learn anything while being a part of an organization, it’s how to manage your time wisely, but also to put others before yourself,” says Logan.
Another aspect of responsibility has to do with social media habits. When new girls pledge, they are taught social media etiquette: what is appropriate and not appropriate to post online. While your candid from the frat party seemed like a good idea to Instagram in the moment, it’s important to know the impact just a simple post can have on your future career.
When potential employers research their applicants, they often look for signs of irresponsible behavior on social media sites. Women that take this etiquette to heart already have an edge when it comes to their future career; a clean profile shows professionalism. Employers will be impressed with you because unfortunately, many people are not concerned about their social media personas.
Teamwork in sororities leads to teamwork in the workforce.
No matter what field you find yourself in after college, teamwork is important. It’s always beneficial to know how to work well with others. You and your sisters probably don’t always get along, but you’re still sisters. In this way, being involved in Greek life will help you work with people you don’t necessarily get along with. This skill will carry serious weight in your career.
Logan says, “I am so blessed to have such a large network of women who are always ‘on my team,’ supporting me and encouraging me to be my best self no matter what. They are the voice in my head that tells me to pursue goals that would ordinarily appear out of reach. Their encouragement is what drives me forward and catalyzes my go-getter attitude.”
Logan and many other women involved in Greek life are deeply connected to their “team.” Whether they succeed or fail, their sisters are there to walk alongside them through their journey. Encouragement, motivation and positivity are just three of the many qualities that sorority girls embody.
Legacies help with finding job opportunities and internships.
There is always the possibility that your future boss will be a legacy of a sorority, and maybe even the sorority you’re a part of. Iris says, “I got an internship through one of my sisters and have helped others get internships. Also, in the off chance that your interviewer was in Greek life, or better yet, your specific sorority, that’s just extra points you score.”
“There is certainly an unspoken bond between current and alumni members of Greek organizations because all sororities tend to have common pillars, especially the empowerment of women,” says Logan.
Career opportunities within sororities are abundant as well. Most, if not all, sororities have network alumna that are willing to provide advice, guidance and even potential employment to members.
Beyond the sparkly monograms, formals and big/little reveals of sorority life lie a world of opportunities to improve yourself and potentially impact your future career. However, even if you’re not planning to get involved in Greek life, these skills can be learned through other activities. The key is to get involved in on-campus organizations; find something you love, put effort into it and work toward a leadership position. We guarantee you’ll gain some skills that you can take to the workplace.