Stop and Smell the .. Cookies?

Amy Gallagher
Amy Gallagher

Recruitment is a whirlwind experience for even the most seasoned sorority woman. Whether you are a collegian, advisor, vice president of membership or alumna, it can seem like there is always work to be done and just not enough hours in the day. The easiest thing to forget is to take a few moments to reflect, unwind, and appreciate all that you have been able to accomplish.

While I was visiting the Gamma Kappa chapter, I was lucky enough to enjoy the hospitality of Vice President of Membership Emma Dale. Upon arriving back at her apartment after a long day of workshops and planning, it was decided to take some time to bake cookies before dinner. As we popped in a movie and the smell of baking filled the air, a decision was somehow made that these cookies were best to be eaten warm. So we did. We plopped down in front of Pretty Woman with a full glass of milk, a plateful, and enjoyed some time to think about all we had done that day.

As a leadership consultant, I have taken on many roles: a cheerleader, a coach, a task master, a calming voice, and a helping hand. But my favorite role so far has been a sister. A sister to enjoy dessert before dinner with, enjoy a comfortable silence at the end of a day, and enjoy a wholehearted laugh about the mutual understanding that enjoying a third cookie was nothing to be ashamed about.

Sometimes those moments when we reflect and collect come naturally, and sometimes we must seek them out in the midst of a hectic schedule.  Whether you are lucky enough to still be recruiting for Sigma Kappa, a stay at home mother of four, a business woman with her Blackberry always on hip, or enjoying the later years in life where your active days seem a lifetime ago, you need to have those moments.  For me, it was a reminder that day to take a deep breath and stop and smell the cookies whenever I get a chance.

Amy

The Beginning of Something Incredible

Mary Margaret Gregory
Mary Margaret Gregory

Hello all!

My journey has finally begun, and I honestly cannot believe it. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of change, emotion, “ah-ha” moments, but most of all…inspiration.

My first visit was to the lovely ladies of Theta Xi at Auburn University for their formal recruitment. Along with being my first visit, I am proud to say I had many other first experiences there. Since I had never been to Auburn University prior to my visit, the Vice President of Membership, Michelle, was extremely thoughtful and gave me a tour of the campus which was one of many highlights of the trip.

Snapshot of me on my personal tour : )

Along with Channing (the president of Theta Xi) and Michelle (VPM), Tiffany Rozier, a former leadership consultant, made sure that I went to all of the famous eateries that Auburn had to offer! Not only did she guide me through my first visit, answering all 200,000 questions that I had, but she took me to a popular restaurant called Mike & Ed’s Barbecue which was DELICIOUS! Working with her inspired me and was another validation that I am not in this alone! I will forever be grateful for her wisdom, patience, and all of the YUMMY meals! 🙂

Auburn University’s recruitment was also the largest recruitment that I have ever been too. They had almost 1300 women go through formal recruitment, which was such an inspiration to watch so many young women find their “home away from home” like I did. I was sad that I had to leave before Theta Xi welcomed their 60 new members, but I am incredibly thankful for being able to be a part of their recruitment experience.

The lovely ladies of Theta Xi and I after preference round.

After my goodbyes to Theta Xi, I made my way to the amazing women of Kappa Tau at the University of West Georgia where I will be their residential LC. The women have done an incredible job of making me feel right at home. Last week was their pre-recruitment, and let me just say that they have blown me away. Their positivity and ways of working together have made me realize how much of an impact sisterhood truly has on an individual. I cannot wait to begin this journey with them!

Love in the dove!

Mary Margaret

Eating My Way Across the USA!

Francesca Gomes
Francesca Gomes

Hi friends!

It is such an exciting time of the year for Sigma Kappa leadership consultants! Not only have we begun to master the art of traveling, but we are also feeling so much dove love across the nation as we visit Sigma Kappa chapters during formal recruitment.

As an avid Food Network fan, I have found that one of the most exciting things, aside from connecting with new Sigma Kappa sisters, is trying local foods! The eateries around North Carolina State University and Purdue University have so many hidden gems.

3 Sisters Cafe is a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives find that I got to enjoy with the entire LC team! It is a must when in Indy. Amazing breakfast items all day. Have an omelette made with brie cheese!

This fried green tomato BLT from Village Deli in Raleigh, N.C. was delicious. The first fried green tomato I’ve ever had and definitely not the last!

The Pit in Raleigh is another Diners, Drive-Ins and Drives find. Extremely tasty barbecue, and one of the many tastes of the South. Try the Chopped BBQ with both of the barbecue sauces they provide!

Howling Cow Ice Cream is unique to North Carolina State University in Raleigh. This ice cream is produced by North Carolina State University and definitely one of a kind. I was lucky enough to try it during a Panhellenic ice cream social!

Triple XXX Family Restaurant is a popular diner at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Yet another Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives location. Triple XXX is known for their root beer and Duane Pervis cheeseburger that even has a layer of peanut butter!

Lastly, I can’t forget about the Den Pops, a Purdue favorite! Taking soda pop to a new level, the Discount Den encourages customers to create new concoctions of different sodas. They provide different “menu” ideas with “ingredient lists” of which sodas to mix!

As John Shertzer recently wrote in a post, “Road Warriors for Fraternity” on the blog Fraternal Thoughts regarding fraternity and sorority consultants:

I will forgo the chain restaurants in favor of the famous campus pizza parlor.  And places with names like “The Flying Gila Monster” in towns with names like “Bug Swallow.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself! I encourage you to read the rest of the brilliant blog here: http://fraternalthoughts.blogspot.com/2012/08/road-warriors-for-fraternity.html

A big shout out to the Gamma Phi and Beta Sigma chapters of Sigma Kappa! These amazing women have been working so hard to prepare for recruitment, and I cannot wait to hear of the successes!

Stay tuned for next time!

xoxo,

Francesca

The Moment I Had Been Waiting For…

I had been waiting for this moment for months.

My first visit as a leadership consultant.

Katherine Getty
Katherine Getty

I can vividly remember the anticipation I felt as I stepped off the plane to visit Alpha Epsilon at Iowa State University. I had only a few minutes to mentally prepare and my mind raced. In no time, I was greeted by a smiling face and warm embrace. Roughly 45 minutes later, I arrived at the chapter house and walked boldly up the front steps. I then bounced into the dining room and smiled. Instantly, I felt welcome.

In the time I spent at Alpha Epsilon, I was able to sleep in a cold air (a cold, dark and quiet room where the women have bunk beds for sleep), visit the first water tower west of the Mississippi River, and walk the beautiful campus. More importantly though, I was able to spend time and build bonds with sisters. I had time to develop leaders and share the importance of ritual. My week at the Alpha Epsilon chapter was one of the best weeks of my life.

In the many moments I will cherish, I also look eagerly ahead to the many memories I will make in my travels this year. Now, as I take a step back and reflect on this experience, I am completely blown away by the women of Alpha Epsilon. I know that they are going to continue to leave a lasting legacy on the Greek community and campus because of their hard work, vision for the future, and passion for Sigma Kappa.

-Katherine

Road Warriors

Suzannah Grubb
Suzannah Grubb

One morning, less than a week after moving to Columbia, Missouri, I got a Facebook message from a close friend that simply stated ‘read this and thought of you, naturally…’ and this link was attached –  http://fraternalthoughts.blogspot.com/2012/08/road-warriors-for-fraternity.html

Take a look before you keep reading…

First of all, I hope you have a better understanding of what I do and how I feel on a daily basis.

My biggest takeaways from this article are themes that maybe, just maybe, if we all held on to, the world might change just a little. We might be a little better for it…

  • Give me time…
  • I will be happy …
  • I will be pushed to the brink and call a time out, just for a minute and get back out there…
  • I am not ready to be cynical….
  • I will spend more time alone with my own mind than ever before, and will be better because of it…
  • I will prove myself…
  • I will have lots of stories to share…
  • I will learn to push and challenge…
  • My belief in the fraternity movement will be shaken, broken, rebuilt. Daily…
  • I am your sister…
  • I will trust my instincts, lean on my training, and make huge mistakes anyway…
  • I will say “I can do this” …
  • My sorority needs me.

In the end, the thought that someone would ‘naturally’ think of me when reading this is flattering at the very least. These themes are what  I strive for every day. I want to be strong for my organization, change things for the better, and move that needle just a bit more.

I believe in what consultants do; that we change things for the better, that fraternity and sorority life can be a powerful and positive force.

Running in Heels: A Shoe Addict’s Guide to Life on the Road

Jordan Archer
Jordan Archer

Anyone who knows me, personally, knows how much I love shoes. I love heels and flats and wedges and boots and sandals and… actually, I really don’t discriminate. I love shoes of all types. In college, I always had a shoe rack in my closet and at least two or three bins under my bed that were full of shoes.

Needless to say, life on the road has proven my shoe buying habits to be a little impractical (which my dad has been telling me for years–guess I’m finally admitting he’s right). Life out of a 50-pound suitcase means that no matter how cute my black heels with the leopard print bows are, I just cannot justify sacrificing space for shoes that I absolutely do not need.

So, for those of you like me (read: those of you crazy enough to devote your very first LC blog post to shoes), I have come up with a simple, to-the-point guidebook for packing shoes on long journeys:

1. If they’re taller than 5 inches, you don’t need them. I’ve learned that being an LC requires you to move a lot. Those Steve Madden pumps are adorable, but can you stand in them all day? No, so leave them at home.

2. Bring shoes that can be dressed up and casual. I’m traveling with a pair of leopard print flats (just barely on this side of practicality) that look good with my standard work outfits, but also pair well with the one pair of jeans I brought on the road.

3. Even if you think your heels are comfortable, don’t travel in them. I learned this lesson the hard way. I was traveling last week with my LC teammate Hannah and I walked up to security thinking I was such an expert, hotshot traveler (wrong). I was wearing a pair of very short heels that I thought were fine for traveling in (wrong). Cue a roll of the ankle and my water bottle falling on the ground and exploding everywhere. This led to a pat down and swabbing of my hands for gunpowder (though I was a hit with all the people in line for security. Glad I can make people laugh!). Learn from my mistakes and embarrassment! Always travel in flats!

4. When in doubt, just say no. If you can’t imagine yourself wearing that pair of shoes with at least five outfits you packed, don’t pack them! You won’t wear them and they’ll just take up precious space and weight.

5. Window shopping is the shoe addict’s best friend. I look at shoes online very regularly but never buy any. This saves me money and suitcase space but still keeps me up on the latest shoe trends. Plus, by the time I’m home for Christmas, all the shoes I’ve seen this fall will be on sale!

There you have it friends! Happy packing! 🙂

Love,

Jordan (the one from California)

You are Exactly Where You Need to Be

Hannah Villa
Hannah Villa

I start my first blog post as a bookmark in this adventure of my life. This adventure I have come to know and love has taken many turns throughout the years, and most recently it took a turn for one of the most fulfilling, inspirational and life-changing experiences of all time…being a leadership consultant.

From the day I accepted this position, I had high hopes. I had looked at countless team photos, read the LC blog religiously, and had even met a couple Sigma Kappa “celebrities.” So I knew coming into initial training that I was in for a great time. What I did not know, however, was that through the one month of training I would come out a completely changed woman.

Through the weeks of training, I laughed a lot, I cried more times than I would like to admit, and I fostered relationships with women from around the country. I was honest with myself about my feelings and my life. I was honest with my teammates about what I needed and what I was scared of. I got to know myself in an entirely new way and was challenged to step out of my comfort zone. We say many times, as our fearless leader JMP taught us, that we need to trust the process– or TTP. This phrase means so much to me, it encompasses my journey in the training process. It means that I can rely on my sisters to always consider what is in my best interest, and mostly it means that I have learned to let go of the product and become entrenched in the process.

Coming into this role, I had an idea what that would look like, but I was in no way prepared to trust others and myself as I do now. Through this summer’s training I have found a new respect for myself, I have learned the HUGE importance of teamwork, and most importantly, I have learned that I am exactly where I need to be.

LISK,

Hannah