Alexa Smith: President of Phi Mu Sorority

HCSC sat down with Alexa Smith, President of Phi Mu at USC, and learned how she handles her leadership position while keeping up with school and her personal life. Read more about Alexa and how she got to where she is today.

Her Campus South Carolina: What year are you in school and what is your major?

Alexa Smith: I am a junior accounting major.

HCSC: Tell one fun fact about yourself.

AS: One fun fact is I have been able to lucid dream ever since I could remember. I can control my dreams, and I thought everyone could do it because I’ve been able to do it my entire life.

HCSC: What is one thing you really enjoy doing?

AS: Playing with animals. That might be my favorite thing in the entire world.

HCSC: Any specific animal?

AS: Dogs, definitely.

HCSC: What is your dream job?

AS: My dream job would probably be to be a nanny for a famous person – like Kim Kardashian’s nanny. So, I get to hang out around her house and hang out with her kids. Wouldn’t that be cool? I mean I want to be an accountant but for my dream job that would be awesome.

HCSC: What is your greatest accomplishment?

AS: I would say being president.

HCSC: What have you learned most from your time as president of Phi Mu?

AS: Wow, I’ve learned a lot. Probably the biggest and most important thing is making time for yourself. While you’re balancing school and work and getting everything done, you have to put aside time for watching Netflix or doing a face mask or doing your nails or even just chilling. Otherwise, you’ll go crazy. I’ve really learned that in my time as president that when everything is happening under my wing I need to give myself an hour to just put my phone away and chill.

HCSC: What is your favorite part of being president?

AS: That’s a hard question. My favorite part is probably how many people I’ve gotten to know throughout the sorority. I did [get to know a lot of people] when I was on exec last year but being president people talk to me and come to me with things, so I get to meet a lot more people that I would never have come in contact with if I wasn’t president. I think that’s really cool because we are such a big sorority and it’s so hard to know everyone, but being president it makes it a little easier to know more people.

HCSC: And your least favorite?

AS: My least favorite part is how everyone kind of expects me to know everything, but the truth is, I don’t at all. I would say sometimes I’m the last person to find things out. But, I think it’s kind of frustrating to me when people come to me with little questions that are obvious they should go to the [committee] chair, but they come to me because I’m the president so I know everything. And, yeah that might be true, but I have a million other things going on so I do get frustrated when I get millions of texts per day about little things that don’t really go under my jurisdiction.

HCSC: Did you ever imagine you would be leading such a large group of girls?

AS: No. No, never ever. I was a very shy kid growing up. I was an only child so I think that played into it. In high school, I was more outgoing and grew out of my shell and realized that I had more potential and that’s when I stopped being shy, but never would I have ever thought 'oh I’m going to be president of 370 girls'. So no, never ever.

HCSC: What’s the best piece of advice the former president gave to you before you started?

AS: She gave me a lot, but the best thing is in an emotionally charged situation or when I get an email or text that makes me mad or if something big happens to just take a step away and wait. Don’t immediately respond at the moment because you’re going to regret what you say. What I say is very important and people are looking up to me for what I say. So, I think it was so helpful that she told me that because I was thinking 'oh I would never get that upset', but you do and so I’ve learned to put my phone down and breath for a second like okay chill, and I give myself five minutes. And, then I reply. That in life, in general, is a good piece of advice. You know, take a step back before freaking out about anything and just taking a deep breath, especially when I talk to chapter members. 

HCSC: What advice do you have for younger members of an organization looking to take on bigger leadership roles?

AS: Definitely don’t underestimate yourself. Like I said, I was a really quiet kid and I never in a million years would’ve thought I would be on exec for a sorority, I just kind of went for it. Also, don’t do it for other people, do it for yourself. I know some people didn’t want to run for exec because you have to make a speech in front of the chapter and you’re like 'oh what if I mess up'. Don’t make that the reason you don’t run, because that’s just the nitty gritty of it, the little irrelevant parts. I don’t even remember what I said in my speech, did I mess up? I don’t know, I kind of blacked out. So, don’t underestimate yourself. If you want to do something, just do it and don’t let other people influence you. Don’t let fear influence you. If you put your mind to it, you can do it. It’s hard, it’s tough, but you can do it.

Good luck to Alexa as she continues her leadership with Phi Mu!