Dear GSU: "We Get Corporate Jobs, Too"

 Dear GSU, In case you missed it on Tuesday, September 26, the Zeta Phi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated facilitated a professional workshop titled “We Get Corporate Jobs, Too”, featuring the Pi Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated. The title alone tackles the stigmatism that mirrors what many African-Americans face surrounding Corporate America, and it helps even more to have this event curated by two National Panhellenic Council organizations who are known at GSU for their professional appearance. Too many times we as a people are not taken seriously when transitioning into the business world and this event helped to make that reality a little easier to understand. Though other organizations have done career prep discussions and workshops there was not one quite like this until last night. 

Guest speaker Ginny Rae Turner who is the Associate Director of Career Services joined the event to administer a presentation on career tips.  A few of Turner’s tips included how to make your resume stand out, what will set you apart from other candidates when applying in your career field, and what to wear for the interview.  During the interactive portion that followed Turner’s presentation, the workshop consisted of mock interviews, resume building, and elevator speech pitches. In these three sections, individuals were broken up into three different groups. Based on which group they were in they would then go to one of the three workshop stations. In these areas, attendees would receive one on one interaction time with HR representatives, members of Pi Alpha, and members of Zeta Phi. The elevator pitch segment consisted of attendees sitting in front of members of Pi Alpha to deliver their pitches between 15-20 seconds. While the pitches were given they were graded on areas that included stating a unique factor, stating a current job, overall personality and professionalism, and a strong closing remark. As the resume portion took place individuals would hand their resumes over and receive constructive criticism. The constructive remarks were used to point out minor details such as common resume mistakes collegiates make such as unnecessary spacing in between sections and taking away information from high school. This is much-needed feedback for any individual who is trying to improve their professionalism. A major factor that attendees learned was how to come into the interview with a strong handshake and to remember to maintain eye contact with the interviewer.

One of the best aspects of this workshop was a photo shoot specifically for LinkedIn headshots. Turner joked that she didn’t need to give advice on how one should dress since the audience came career ready in business professional attire. As a result, the grading sheets at the mock interview and elevator pitch tables were useful because they are now tangible resources for those who attended. Overall the atmosphere of the event was serious in the realm of black professionalism but also lighthearted as members of Delta Sigma Theta and Phi Beta Sigma made it their personal goals to discuss tips and answer questions for attendees. Both organizations seemed truly invested in everyone’s needs as a young lady in attendance flagged down one of the members of Zeta Phi to ask a simple question about one of the stationed tables. Not only did the member answer the question but she took it upon herself to ask the young lady if she wanted to practice her elevator pitch with her. The highlight of this event, however, was not just about how many different types of stations there were to examine career decisions nor was it just about getting a corporate job. What truly set this program apart from others that have taken place on campus was the willingness to serve from members of Delta Sigma Theta and Phi Beta Sigma. 

As African-Americans, we must not only be united when we march and protest on social issues but also when we seek opportunities for ourselves in the future to come. Kierra Thompson, a member of the Zeta Phi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and creator of this event stated it best, “We wanted people to know that black power is one thing, but to actually have unity and do it in a way that promotes being black and fully educated is the true essence of that power. It’s one thing to strap up your boots and go protest but it also means something to go forth and educate yourself and give yourself the tools to be successful in preparation for being able to get a corporate position and hold it.” From the looks of this event, everything that Thompson hoped it would accomplish did just that and so much more.

The workshop created unity and gave those who attended the tools and education to take on the corporate world without fear.  It is without a doubt that everyone who attended the event gained useful skills and tips from the workshop. 

 So thank you GSU for reading and hopefully, you will make time to attend the events during the remainder of the week from these amazing women. If you have yet to do so, be sure to follow the Zeta Phi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated on Instagram @zetaphi1969_dst!