–By Guest Blogger Ali Gilbert, Central Florida
When I joined Kappa Kappa Gamma 10 years ago, I was looking for the college experience. Not knowing many people on campus and looking for friends, I decided to go through Recruitment. Not only did I gain a group of best friends, but I learned a lot about leadership that I now use at my job, as a parent, and in everyday life.
So what can a 22-year-old learn from a sorority experience? During my second year as a Kappa, I was elected chapter Registrar, a position which required logging chapter history and maintaining the roster. I took pictures at our events and did behind-the-scenes work to keep the chapter in order. The following year, I was elected Vice President-Organization. At the time, I was unaware of the impact that these positions would have later in life.
These positions gave me three key skills that continue to improve my day-to-day life:
First, I learned that being organized is essential, from my course schedule to my binder full of Kappa paperwork to homework–everything! It’s not always easy, but being organized helps me save time and be more professional.
While it may seem like a simple notion, as a student with a full load of college courses it wasn’t always easy getting everything done without a few Red Bulls and all-nighters. Throwing a leadership position into the mix made it a requirement to manage my time efficiently. I learned to schedule my entire day, from meal times to class agendas, and then map out extra time to get everything done for Kappa. With a handy calendar and a stick-with-it attitude, I learned to manage my time well. Now, as a mother who works full time, runs a household, runs to meetings and tries to sneak in a workout every now and then, I am glad I learned early how to manage my time.
Let’s be honest, in a chapter of more than 150 women, you have different personalities, and you don’t always get along with each and every one of them. I had to learn to compromise and practice patience and kindness with my sisters. I learned that everyone handles and reacts differently to situations. Just because someone does something differently than I would does not make their way wrong. This lesson was by far the most important thing I learned about leadership. In my current job, I deal with people with all types of personalities and my leadership experience prepared me for this.
These are just some of the many things I learned from Kappa Kappa Gamma. I am so grateful for the experience I had and how it helped me become the leader, coworker and friend I am today.