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Success Story: More Than Travel

(Leadership) Permanent link

Jessica Morin_Blog Header

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!

Dear Parent

(Leadership) Permanent link

Dear parent,

Seeing the country, meeting new people, learning new life skills — who could ask for more from a job right out of college? We are thrilled that our daughter is seeing so much of the United States and Canada in a way that she never would have before. Every week we are amazed at the energy it takes to usher a new group of young women through Recruitment and work with all of the diverse personalities.

The attitude and organization of each chapter sets the tone for our conversations with our daughter each week. The job seems to be bringing solid life and work lessons, such as negotiating, making formal presentations, organizing, listening, and developing flexibility. The more a chapter needs her and is willing to accept constructive advice, the more fulfilling it is for our daughter and the better the experience is at each stop.

We have added the weather channel to our favorites and are now more versed in the national weather patterns. We are from the parched West Coast, so we love to see all the rain via her Snapchats.

If we don’t hear from our daughter a few times in a week, it means that a chapter visit is going great and is taking all of her energy and time in a positive effort!

We’re thrilled that we get a visit for a few days before the big winter break.

When we share what our daughter is doing with other parents, they are truly impressed with the experience the job offers. There are so many skills required of a Leadership Consultant and those skills are enhanced on the job. We are so proud of our daughter and could not be happier that she is taking advantage of such a great opportunity while truly enjoying the work she is doing.

Sincerely,

Mr. and Mrs. Kozel


Editor's Note: Above is a letter written by the parents of a Field Representative. Interested in joining our Field Representative team or learning more? Visit www.kappa.org/field_representatives today!

What Was I Thinking?

(Leadership) Permanent link

Morgan Agster_HeaderUPDATE

“I hope I get this job. Otherwise, I have no idea what I’m going to do with my life.”

My exact thoughts as I pressed send on my Field Representatives application. A bit of an exaggeration, but a very real thought in my head.

Rewinding just a bit, I had been dreaming of becoming a Leadership Consultant since my sophomore year at the University of Arizona. That being said, I was feeling a whole lot of pressure when the time came to actually submit my application. If I’m being completely honest, I was so anxious about applying that I actually downloaded the application a year early just to brainstorm some ideas for when it was finally my turn.

Just like any undergraduate student, I was always thinking about my future and what I wanted to do with my life after college. Even to this day, I’m constantly changing my mind. But the one thing I knew for sure during my undergraduate experience was that I wanted to be an LC. I couldn’t think of a more perfect job. Traveling the country while working for an organization that I love — what more could I ask for?

Despite my thinking that college would last forever — spoiler alert for all of you undergrads out there: graduation day is real and will be here sooner than you think — the time had finally come for me to submit my application. Becoming an LC was no longer just talk. I had to walk the walk. I spent my entire winter break working on and trying to perfect my application. No matter how many times I read over it or had my mom and friends read over it for me, I was still a nervous wreck. So many thoughts were running through my head at that time. Was this something I could really handle? What would it feel like to be constantly traveling? Could I actually live out of a suitcase for months at a time? Was I really the right person to be providing chapter women with the advice and support they needed?

These were all questions I kept asking myself as I continued the application process. As I advanced on to the different phases, everything became much more real — as did my nerves. It wasn’t until I arrived at Kappa Kappa Gamma Headquarters and met all of the other amazing applicants that I realized this job was exactly what I was looking for. We were only in Columbus, Ohio, for a few short days, but I left feeling motivated and inspired by everyone I had met that weekend. Luckily for me, I had all of the time in the world to overthink everything I was already overthinking as I played the waiting game to hear if I got the job. I spent the next five days constantly refreshing my email and checking my phone to see if I had any missed calls even though I never put my phone down. Although I was 50 shades of anxious that week, I realized how lucky I truly was to have made it this far in the process. Kappa had become something that changed my life for the better and now I was possibly going to have the opportunity to give back to the organization that has given me so much more than I could have ever dreamed of.

Fast forward to now and I’ve realized there were so many things I didn’t even think about when I applied. Things that have made this position even more amazing than I could have ever possibly imagined. The things I didn’t think about? I didn’t truly think about the impact that meeting all of these amazing Kappas would have on me. I didn’t think about the genuine friendships I would form with the chapter women I met at each university. I didn’t think about how much I would grow as a person and how much confidence I would gain in myself through all of these experiences. I didn’t think about how meeting the other Field Representatives would change my life and would become not just the most amazing support system I could have ever asked for, but also my best friends.

While there were many things I did and did not think about, applying for this job was definitely the second best decision I’ve ever made — the first one was going Kappa, of course. It’s impossible to describe exactly everything this job entails because no two days are ever the same. Each day, I wake up and get to experience something completely new. Even if I had all the answers to the questions running through my head when I applied, nothing could have truly prepared me for the adventure ahead of me. My biggest piece of advice to those who are even just thinking about the idea of being an LC? Just go for it. Apply. See what happens. Get ready for what could possibly be the most rewarding and adventurous year of your life.

It’s been a wild ride and I’m loving every second of it.


Morgan Agster_Headshot Morgan Agster, Arizona, 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: Applying the Skills

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Carly Blog Header

How does it feel to tell a potential job that, no, you can’t make it to an in-person interview because you currently live out of a suitcase and are 3,000 miles away? How does it feel to have a favorite breakfast joint at the good ole’ Chicago O’Hare International Airport? How does it feel to say you’ve tried 32 university’s “BEST. PIZZA. EVER!?”

It’s quite odd. Well, odd isn’t the word. It’s quite … once in a lifetime. The Leadership Consultant experience is unlike any first-year job you can acquire. You’re fresh out of your active years as a Kappa — full of date parties, Homecoming, and late-night movie-watch parties at the chapter house. All of a sudden, things like “full-time job” and “insurance” and “retirement funds” start popping into conversations with your parents, teachers and even friends. Cue emotional freak out.

Maybe you want to try life in a suitcase. Maybe you feel you’ve got much more to give to our incredible sisterhood. Maybe you’ve met a Leadership Consultant in the past who taught you a lot about life and you want to see just how she did it. For me, it was all of the above as well as an untamable desire to simply do something crazy.

Fast forward 15 months, 39,876 miles, 28 states and a few too many wears of a jean jacket and here I sit in the real world with a real closet and an actual city to call home. I now understand that serving as a Leadership Consultant for Kappa Kappa Gamma was the best real-world training I could have asked for.  Yes, others will call you a full-time sorority girl and you may get sick of Recruitment by your eighth school, but learning to handle 10 reports at a time, manage a corporate credit card, and work with just about any personality you could possibly imagine gives you the skills, knowledge, and most of all, flexibility to take on the real world with grace, charm and the Kappa class we all so dearly love.

Why apply to be a Leadership Consultant? Because as your friends jump into 9–5 desk jobs, you take weekend trips to Boston and then spend a week at a beautiful New England school. You learn about their culture and problem-solve some of life’s biggest issues. In the end, you become more of an adult and leader than you ever thought you could be. As you make a year-long transition into the real world, you learn what it means to be an independent adult and what it is like to work with a variety of personalities. Juggling new names, issues and reports weekly — yes, that is what we’re doing as we type away furiously after your meeting — is challenging, stressful and requires a lot more attention than any Chapter Council position or campus leadership role I took on in my college years. But in the end, a joyous Bid Day, successful Initiation or even — dare I say it — smooth election process and the Kappa pride that comes with it allows you to see our organization in a whole new light. Your purpose as a leader in the real world is validated. The free campus food, airplane miles and incredible Instagram follower gain are just added perks.

Another thing that a lot of Kappa’s don’t realize? You’ve got a team behind you that is there when you break down at 4 a.m. over broken clickers or when you just really need a Galentine’s Day weekend in Denver. My teammates are my best friends and you better bet we are scraping by through the real world together.

This is all to say that if you have ever had an interest in communication, leadership, trying new foods, problem-solving, higher education, team-building, sprinting through airports, Kappa Kappa Gamma, seeing the United States and Canada, or truly learning what it means to trim down your closet, serving as a Leadership Consultant could be the perfect fit for you. By the 2016 General Convention, each member of the 2015–2016 Leadership Consultant Team was either employed full-time or headed to graduate school. Most importantly, we had each grown enormously in our presentation, people, and crisis-management skills.

This job is an asset that I use daily in the real world. Ask the teacher, the law student, the filmmaker, the recruiter or any of the other positions that my incredible team ended up in and they will tell you the same. If you have the energy, curiosity and go-get-‘em attitude to see the world in just a wee-bit bigger way, I highly encourage you to take the chance and apply! Life will be there when it’s over. The chance to gain a lifetime of experience in just 10 crazy, sleepless and ultra-amazing months will not. 

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

Why be a Field Rep?

(Leadership) Permanent link

Maddy's Blog_Header

I had always thought about what it would be like to be a Kappa Field Representative: jet-setting around the country, meeting new people and seeing new places. While it is a lot of that, just maybe less glamourous, this job is so much more. In this role, every day is different and each chapter offers a unique group of women. In just a few short months, it’s become a part of me.

As a team, we work on the front lines of “Kappaland” with the goal of leaving each chapter better than when we arrived. It’s amazing how much a chapter can change in a week-long visit. I’ve seen chapters that don’t have confidence in their Recruitment and they’re discouraged by tough rounds. Then, at the end of the week, they celebrate on Bid Day because they met quota for the first time in several years. Playing a role in that, however small, is the greatest accomplishment of this job.

Watching chapter members succeed is another rewarding part. It’s watching a New Member Chairman look at the New Member Experience for the first time and sit in awe as she realizes her job just got easier. It’s that first Chapter Council meeting you sit through where they struggle to communicate, then get a text from the President a few weeks later saying how great collaboration has been since implementing some of the tips I leave behind. All in all, it’s baby steps to transform a chapter. Seeing these things happen because of something I played a part in is incredible.

This job also comes with benefits unrelated to chapter life. Since becoming a Field Representative, I’ve learned so much about crisis management — it should really be a part of our job description. But that’s something that will set me apart from other applicants when I begin searching for a job after my year of travel ends. Some situations are manageable and some require all of our energy, but it’s been a learning experience that most other people my age won’t have. It will set me apart when I figure out what the next part of my life will hold.

Additionally, the life of a Field Representative is nothing short of exciting. We’re all at a different school in a new city every week meeting new types of women. Every day is different from the last and that tends to keep life exciting. Never in my life will I have an opportunity quite like this again — traveling the continent, constantly being surrounded by sisters and getting paid for it — it’s quite possibly the best job I’ll ever have.

Now is the only time in my life where this type of job is possible and I’m learning more and more about myself every day. Being on my own a lot is something I thought would be scary, but it’s definitely empowering. I’ve gained a new confidence that I never thought I had in me. I’ve learned to stand up for myself in both professional and nonprofessional situations. Yes, it’s sometimes hard to have those tough conversations with chapter women or alumnae. I’ve learned the importance of standing my ground to benefit a chapter, its women, and Kappa as a whole. Learning to be confident in my beliefs is a skill I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

One of the better parts of this journey, however, is the team I get to share it with. With a core team of 10 Leadership Consultants and a larger team of 12 Field Representatives, we rely on each other constantly. For me, it’s usually a late-night GroupMe text when I’m frantic at a recruitment visit and Preference Round starts in six hours. Or maybe it’s a phone call to Claire to catch up and vent about a delayed flight when I’m stuck at the airport in Des Moines, Iowa. Whatever the situation, we’re definitely better together and it’s a reunion for the ages when we’re finally together again. I can already tell they’re friends for a lifetime. They are people I will still call when I’m up late or waiting on a flight.

This job a dream come true. It’s a role I feel confident in with an organization that has empowered me since I pledged my name and interest four years ago. I consider myself lucky to be able to travel, meet groups of intensely capable women and impact change wherever I go. It’s my way of giving back to Kappa to make it a better organization than when I started.    

Maddy Poletis Maddy Poletis, Missouri, is a 2016–2017 Leadership Consultant. Interested in joining our Field Representative team? Find out more by visiting www.kappa.org/field_representatives today!

 

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