Isabel LaRaia: President of Phi Chi Theta Business Fraternity

This week, Her Campus is pleased to feature Isabel LaRaia, the President of Cornell's newest business fraternity!

Major/Minor: Hotelie with a minor in Real Estate

Year: 2019

Hometown: Morristown, NJ

Favorite place to eat on campus: Mac’s and Terrace

What’s your order?

The balsamic chicken flatbread from Mac’s and the orange chicken burrito bowl from Terrace.

How did you spend your summer?

I was a Sales Intern for Marriott in New Jersey.

What do you plan on doing after Cornell?

I hope to enter either the fields of corporate hospitality or hospitality consulting - both would allow me to do a lot of travel!

What is the biggest challenge of being a woman in the business industry?

Something that has definitely stood out to me is being taken seriously as a woman.

Favorite place to travel: I’m Portuguese, so I love visiting Algarve, Portugal.

Spirit animal: A baby tiger, because I’m small yet also a go-getter.

What’s the most annoying song you’ve ever heard?

“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen

Why did you decide to start Phi Chi Theta (PCT)?

I went through the process of joining other business fraternities at Cornell and didn’t like the exclusivity of their recruitment processes. I wanted to provide all students at Cornell who are passionate about pursuing a career business an opportunity to cultivate their interest.

What was the process of starting the organization like?

I first had to contact the national organization then had to form an e-Board. We then had a visit from a representative from Nationals who gave the organization final approval. Following our initiation, we began to recruit our founding class who was initiated last semester!

What were some obstacles you faced?

As someone who loves to dedicate my time to a multitude of things, at times I overwhelmed myself by taking on too much.

What can a student expect during recruitment?

There are multiple rounds of individual interviews with current brothers, as well as a case study component, which requires you to work with other interviewees. We’re not looking for expertise per se, but rather passion, teamwork, and the ability to think outside the box.

What happens after you’re accepted?

After acceptance into the fraternity, members go through a six to eight week long pledging process that involves attendance at mandatory workshops. We do not want to waste your time during pledging - every step of the process will teach you valuable skills that extend into professional life. For example, we will be adding a new workshop to the pledging process. It requires members to come in with a job they are interested and apply for it! Workshops are run by either brothers or specialists, such as a representative from career workshops.

Do you host events throughout the semester?

Yes! We have business-oriented guest speakers, most of whom are alumni who are very eager to give back to the school.

Why should Cornell students join?

PCT allows Cornell students to meet others with similar interests and join a supportive community that helps them develop skills such as writing a professional resume/cover letter and interviewing. Initiated brothers also have the opportunity to teach workshops to other members.

What makes PCT stand out from other business fraternities?

Our unbiased and holistic recruitment process is unique as well as our emphasis on preparing students for the real world rather than simply providing connections.

Contact information for those who want to get involved:

Direct questions for Isabel to [email protected]

Register for recruitment here: