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AE Month: Celebrating our #kkgenius!

(Education, Scholarship) Permanent link

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There is a lot to celebrate in February. While Presidents Day and Valentine’s Day may top the typical list, Academic Excellence Month is at the top of any Kappa’s list!

This monthlong celebration of all things academics is an important part of the Kappa year. It is a time that we take to focus on one of the core purposes of the Fraternity: to encourage and support the intellectual development of members.

Being a student is a collegiate member’s top priority, but who says that succeeding academically can’t be fun? Try out some of these ideas to motivate your chapter and celebrate being a #kkgenius!

  • During a chapter meeting, ask members to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) goals for Academic Excellence Month. Examples include studying for a certain amount of hours, earning specific grades on papers or projects, or participating in academic workshops. Review these at the end of the month and reward members who meet their goals.
  • Host a study date with great snacks and lots of motivation.
  • Enter the 2017 Chapter Study Challenge! Create a system for tracking your chapter’s study hours and tabulate the total number of hours at the end of the month. Submit your hours to the Academic Excellence Specialist and see how your chapter measures up!
  • Share photos of members studying or academic excellence events on social media using #kkgenius. The most inspiring posts may be featured on Kappa’s official social media pages!
  • Academic Excellence Month coincides with the National Panhellenic Conference’s Month of the Scholar. Check out the NPC website for more ideas on how to celebrate academics.

Regardless of how your chapter celebrates, Academic Excellence Month is a great way to celebrate the #kkgenius in each of us.

Now, hit the books and have some fun!

Living My Dream

(Leadership) Permanent link
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Being a Leadership Consultant for Kappa Kappa Gamma has been a dream of mine since my first meeting with one during my freshman year. Fresh to Chapter Council, I completely fell in love with her and the job she described to me. I met with every LC who came to my chapter from then on, and my desire to become one grew. I could not get over how enriching the job sounded, but I never really considered everything it would teach me.

Being an LC makes your life unpredictable in the best possible way. I never know exactly what each new day will bring. Being comfortable with change was never one of my strong suits, but things change quickly on this job. I learned to adapt to whatever situation arose in a calm manner and help the chapter adjust if necessary. This meant drawing on different aspects of my personality depending on what the situation called for. While I recognize what my strengths are, I have been able to work on all aspects of my skill set and develop skills that I may not have been able to otherwise.

Kappa has a strong support system. However, LCs are called on to make quick decisions or advise the chapter on what they think the best decision will be. It is not always feasible to call someone and ask their advice in fast-paced situations. We have to be confident in our decisions and comfortable with the effects they will have on the chapter. We make recommendations based on what we know about the chapter and campus culture and often, we are on our own. The confidence I have in my abilities helps me feel comfortable making large-scale decisions without second-guessing myself or looking to my superiors to make decisions for me.

I have also embraced public speaking. We typically give a presentation to each chapter, which has taught me to create meaningful content that can reach a wide range of women. I have learned to be comfortable talking about difficult subjects and presenting a less-than-popular opinion. It can be hard to face a large group of women and tell them something they do not necessarily want to hear. This ability will help when I have to do the same thing in my future profession. Public speaking comes in many different forms.
Being an LC has helped me practice and be comfortable in front of large groups of people I do not know well.

It’s not just work though. Being an LC is also a lot of fun. You get to go places you may never have otherwise and meet inspiring women who have incredible potential. You gain professional skills that will be helpful in whatever field you choose. Being adaptable, decisive, confident, and good at public speaking is important in every occupation. It was difficult to imagine that this incredible first job would teach me so much. On top of all of this, I am now one of the most efficient packers I know, and that is saying something considering I used to be the queen of over packing!

Wenner_Blog_Headshot_Small Kristina Wenner, Arizona State, is a 2016–2017 Leadership Consultant. Interested in joining our Field Representative team? Find out more by visiting www.kappa.org/field_representatives today!

Success Story: Five Years Later

(Leadership) Permanent link

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I joined Kappa Kappa Gamma in the spring of 2008 as a member of Zeta Upsilon Chapter, Georgia Southern. At Zeta Upsilon, I served as the Membership Chairman and chapter President.

The decision to become a Leadership Consultant was a pretty easy one for me. During my collegiate years, I participated in everything that my chapter had to offer. Sisterhood events, socials, chapter meetings, ritual reviews, Chapter Council … I was there. It only seemed natural to continue my Kappa experience and apply to be an LC.

My year on the road as an LC was one of the most beautiful, challenging, and amazing years of my life. Twenty-five different universities, 28 chapter visits, nine Recruitments, one Initiation, 70-plus flights, thousands of sisters and countless memories — it was a year unlike any other, filled with a lot of laughs, new friendships, a few tears and moments of overwhelming joy.

Through this amazing opportunity, I had the chance to learn many skills that continue to have a tremendous impact on my life. I learned how to collaborate with others and how to really listen to people and see situations from many different perspectives. I learned how to be patient and wait, and that sometimes you do difficult things because it’s the right thing to do. I learned how to talk to people on so many different levels, from Kappa sisters to Fraternity leaders to university administrators. I gained self-confidence, independence and the tools to be successful on my own.

Almost five years later, I am a third-grade teacher. I use all of the tools that Kappa gave me on a daily basis in my profession. From my cooperative, working relationships with my colleagues to my interactions with school administrators to the relationships I form with my students and parents, Kappa prepared me for all of it.

The year that I served as a Leadership Consultant for Kappa was a wonderful opportunity. Beyond that, it helped shape the person I am today. I will be forever grateful that I had the chance to serve my sisterhood in such a unique role.  

 

Schmidt_Headshot Kelcey Schmidt, Georgia Southern, was a 2011–2012 Leadership Consultant. Interested in joining our Field Representative team? Find out more by visiting www.kappa.org/field_representatives today!

Do I Love What I'm Doing?

(Leadership) Permanent link

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The trending question I’m asked is: “Do you love what you’re doing?” 

“Yes, I love it!” I reply with a big smile on my face. But the concept of explaining how much I truly enjoy my job is hard for people to grasp during a short meal or a quick interaction. 

What is better than being paid to travel, meeting new people each week and helping young women? Ever since I was Vice President-Organization at Washington State University, I considered applying to be a Leadership Consultant. But over the course of the next three years, I went back and forth with the idea.

As my senior year rolled around and I finished up my term as Membership Chairman, my mindset turned to graduation. It was time to make a decision about the LC opportunity. I decided I needed to jump out of my comfort zone and do it.

Now eight visits deep into my time as an LC and I still have to pinch myself every time I’m reminded that this is my job.

Every week is a new adventure — West Coast, East Coast, Canada. Each place you land is an opportunity to experience something different. 

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The Rotunda at the University of Virginia was designed by Thomas Jefferson.

In Laramie, Wyoming, you can find a local farmers market with the best cupcakes you will ever have. West Lafayette, Indiana? The best Kappa chef around, Jose, makes homemade “Kappa Macs” topped with hamburger buns that are made from scratch.

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Oreo, chocolate orange, Nutella, and Snickers cupcakes all thanks to the Laramie Farmers Market.

The point is, there is beauty in every place you visit. Each campus is unique with extravagant architecture and age-old traditions that you only hear about in books. There is no better time than the present to travel and experience new places and people. 

The people make it worth it. They are warm and accommodating and genuinely willing to open up their homes to you. You can hear the passion behind their words when they show you the places they love and appreciate about at their university or town. 

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Pre-recruitment photoshoots with the women of the University of Arizona.

This job and its experiences fuel me and inspire me to learn from others. It allows me to take in the beauty of the city around me. It teaches me to enjoy each moment as I’m in it. 

So to answer the question, “Do you love it?” Yes. I really do. 

 

Michaud_Headshot_Small Kendall Michaud, Washington State, is a 2016–2017 Leadership Consultant. Interested in joining our Field Representative team? Find out more by visiting www.kappa.org/field_representatives today!

Success Story: More Than Travel

(Leadership) Permanent link

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If you ask my friends what I do at my job, they would probably tell you I write, work on lots of secret projects and come home with some amazing beauty products. If you ask them what I used to do for my job as a Leadership Consultant, you’d likely get that I traveled all the time, frequented some of the nation’s most notable destinations and hopped from couch to sleeping porch to air mattress and back. All of the above information is true, but none of it quite encompasses what either of the jobs I’ve been fortunate enough to have really entail.

My time working for Kappa Kappa Gamma as an LC was so much more than exploring the French Quarter of New Orleans or spending Halloween at Disneyland. But let’s be honest, there were some pretty great perks. Working for the Fraternity taught me a lot that I now bring to the table as a part of the corporate affairs, global communications team at the largest prestige beauty company in the world. Working for Kappa, you come to learn that Murphy’s law — If something can go wrong, it will — is a reality that will only make you a stronger and more confident person as you work through it. Picking up, moving to New York City and walking into a role at my dream company was only possible because of the confidence being a Field Representative gave me.

I’ve taken the communication skills I’ve developed through Recruitment, officer meetings, and being a liaison for the Fraternity, chapters and universities, and have spun it into working well with colleagues, agencies, media, and our company’s senior leaders. I have sat in more standards and chapter meetings than I ever thought I would, which has only helped me to learn empathy, confidentiality, and to only speak when you have something truly worth saying. I’ve used my ability to roll with the punches to help tackle company and industry issues, both big and small. My travel has allowed me to bring an in-depth knowledge of the 18-to-22-year-old female demographic to the table, which has been incredibly valuable in my role of addressing possible brand influencers and partners.

In the more literal sense, I love talking to my colleagues about their collegiate experiences, Greek-letter or not. I am happy to help a teammate learn more about sorority or fraternity life before sending their kids off to school in the fall. There are 25 university pennants that I have collected over the year and now hang at my desk. Whenever someone sees their school, I use that as a moment to create a positive relationship and tell them that I too have enjoyed the beautiful Sarah P. Duke Gardens or Oregon sunsets. I am cultured through travel and have learned everything from how to peel a crawfish to the history of the Harvard Yard. I learned to work hard and long, to run on fumes, to keep moving and to find inner motivation. I don’t need hand-holding. Kappa has prepared me to work unsupervised and to problem solve on my own. I learned to be independent, but also to make friends quickly.

I will never forget walking into my first interview here in May, just two weeks off the road. My interviewer acknowledged the company’s 85 percent female makeup. She asked if I was comfortable working with all women and the strong and diverse personalities that inevitably exist in a female-dominated organization. I smiled, remembered the thousands of sisters I met over the past year, and I told her with full confidence that I was up for the challenge. Being a Field Representative has not just made me a better employee, but a well-rounded person. I love the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, and the lessons I’ve taken with me. There has been no better experience in my life. It is one I will continue to use and cherish forever. 

Jessica Morin_Headshot Jessica Morin, Connecticut, was a 2015–2016 Leadership Consultant. Interested in joining our Field Representative team? Find out more by visiting www.kappa.org/field_representatives today!
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