Christiana Pignanelli: Leadership Development Consultant

Her Campus recently had the opportunity to interview Christiana Pignanelli, a Fall 2014 Pi Beta Phi, who was selected to represent her chapter as a Leadership Development Consultant. Christiana will be working on college campus' across North America to help establish chapters of Pi Beta Phi and give them the support they need to succeed. 

Her Campus: What has been your favorite part of being a Pi Phi?

Christiana: I have been given the opportunity to meet, learn from, and build lifelong friendships with diverse and genuine women who inspired me to be the best leader and woman I could be. Because of my sisters, I gained the confidence to be a leader.  I owe so much to those women and Pi Phi for that.

HC: How did you find out about the Leadership Development Consultant position?

Christiana: Similarly to most Greek Letter organizations, each Pi Phi chapter is visited by one Leadership Development Consultant (LDC) per year. Those women made such a difference in our chapter and an impression on me as a leader that I wish to continue my service and hopefully make an impact on other chapters as our consultants made such a positive one on us.

HC: For those that don’t know, what is a Leadership Development Consultant? What are your responsibilities as a national consultant?

Christiana: A Leadership Development Consultant (LDC) is a recently graduated Pi Beta Phi alumnae who are hired by our headquarters to travel to chapters across North America, as either a traveler, who visits up to 30 different universities throughout the year or as a resident to a specific university. An LDC acts as a resource and aid to collegians, chapter officers and alumnae support volunteers, and is a Pi Beta Phi representative to the chapters’  respective universities. This position is also the liaison between chapters and our headquarters. I was hired as a traveling consultant so that I will be visiting a new university every week for recruitment visits, officer training, initiation, or general routine visits.

HC: What do you think your biggest challenges will be with this position?

Christiana: I have a lot of roots here in Utah so that it will be a big change and challenge being away from my home, and my friends, family, and chapter. I am a Utah Alpha through and through and love our women and the way we do things, so adapting to the specific diversities of all the different chapters and universities I’ll be visiting is going to be an adventure- yet, this is also something I am looking forward to the most.

HC: What do you hope to achieve as a Leadership Development Consultant?

Christiana: My favorite part of my time as a leader, and specifically as president, in my chapter, was getting to initiate younger members and be a part of their story. I had so many women, including consultants, other collegians and alumnae who guided me to be the person I am today, and my biggest hope is that I can inspire other young women like I was inspired by those before me. I am also so excited to represent not only an organization I am passionate about but to be able to be an advocate for Greek Letter Organizations as a whole.

HC: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned during your time at the University of Utah?

Christiana: We are all on the same team. Whether that be as women, or sorority women, or whatever group that looks like for you- build each other up, not down, because that is how we succeed both individually and as a community. Instead of focusing on the competition, focus on what you can contribute to the team. I learned that that is truly the path to success, and the memories you make along the way are even better.

HC: What advice would you give to first-year students or incoming students who want to get involved on campus?

Christiana: Nobody can make it happen but you. You have something to bring to the table, so you need to discover what that is, find your confidence, and act. Remember that people will judge you on your strengths and accomplishments, not your weaknesses- so just go for whatever it may be that you want. College is the time to figure out what you can contribute to your community and is also the time to make mistakes and become your best self. And also remember, things and plans are going to change, and I promise you, that is a good thing. If you asked me four years ago where I would be today, I would have told you something very different from where I am. It wasn’t a perfect journey, but it worked out perfectly for me.

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