By Anne Gillman, Delta Tau, USC
When I was initiated into the Delta Tau Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Southern California in the fall of 2006, I was so grateful for the group of young women I had the opportunity to get to know over the next four years. Little did I know, this was only the beginning of forming friendships with Kappas all around the world.
I was about to move to Taiwan right after graduation, and I wanted to stay connected to Kappa. I started helping with the Keys Overseas Facebook group, and since then I have been lucky enough to meet Kappas in many different corners of the globe. [Anne is the moderator for Key Overseas, which connects members of Kappa Kappa Gamma who live abroad.] Traveling and living abroad can feel lonely when I am so far away from family and friends. It can really help to connect with someone I have something in common with, especially when I share with her the special bond of being a Kappa.
Some special moments have stood out while traveling, like having lunch with a Kappa on a beautiful beach in Sydney, Australia. I also met a Kappa in Hong Kong, Ashley Christensen, who became one of my closest friends in the city. We continued to meet up with other Kappas living in or visiting Hong Kong, and at one point there were four of us in the city. It was always a little difficult to explain exactly how we had all met each other! In Hong Kong, Ashley was working at one of the top four international accounting firms, where she championed female leadership and success in the workplace while raising two young boys. I look up to her and stay in touch with her to this day.
Photo by Sherry Lin
(From left): Ashley Christensen, Jamie Boelens, Emi Ota and Anne Gillman
This summer, I’m living in Bangkok for an internship at the U.S. Embassy. While I have not yet met any Kappas here, the receptions and social events that the diplomats host for our local contacts have allowed me to use many of the mingling and conversation skills I started to develop during recruitment at Kappa. It has been a reminder of the relevance of the experience of being a Kappa worldwide.