Alumnae, Make 2012 the Year of
Connecting Professionally with Delta Xi Phi
Our sisterhood is for a lifetime. As we progress and mature, as does our relationship with Delta Xi Phi. As alumnae, it is our privilege and responsibility to stay connected with Delta Xi Phi – both personally and professionally.
Written by Lea Madry, 2010-2012 National Executive Vice President and
National Expansion Chair of Delta Xi Phi Multicultural Sorority, Incorporated.
Connecting personally with Delta Xi Phi is something that we, as alumnae, do extremely well. Whether attending initiation of our alma mater chapter’s newest line, scheduling a long lunch with another alumna when we’re overdue to catch up, or attending a local alumnae gathering in our area, our bonds of sisterhood and friendship continue well after graduation. However, as much as we personally connect to the sorority, we’re missing out on an important aspect of the Delta Xi Phi alumnae experience if we, as alumnae, are not connecting to the sororityprofessionally, as well.
It’s no secret that we have talented alumnae all over the country who are excelling in various disciplines, pursuing rigorous graduate programs, and starting their own businesses. As part of our lifelong commitment to Delta Xi Phi and to our sisters, it is important that we, as alumnae, develop a strong professional network to support and encourage these pursuits of our sisters and give other sisters the opportunity to do the same for us.
As we focus on goals and commitments for the new year, now is the time to ensure that developing professional relationships within the sorority is on our lists. Doing so is easy, the benefits are endless, and it is part of our commitment to lifelong sisterhood. The following four steps can guide you in getting started.
First, make sure you’re getting the information you need about Delta Xi Phi.
Be sure to keep the Delta Xi Phi Alumnae Liaisons (email@example.com) updated with your current contact information. The Alumnae Liaisons are your link to staying informed of how Delta Xi Phi, as an organization, continues to grow and develop. Without this, it is difficult for the National Board to keep you updated with the information you want and need about your sisterhood. Also, consider joining the Alumnae Association for special alumnae events throughout the year and at National Convention, gatherings in your area, and nationwide programs.
Second, include sisters in your professional network.
One popular and effective way to do so is through Linkedin. Launched in 2003, Linkedin is a free professional networking site with more than 135 million members in over 200 countries . Simply search for and join the “Delta Xi Phi Multicultural Sorority” Linkedin group and “invite to connect” sisters in the group and beyond. Once sisters have joined your Linkedin professional network, you can, for example, learn more about what they do, send quick congratulatory notes as they accept new positions and receive awards, and look for opportunities for your professional experiences to cross paths.
Third, be a connector.
As alluded to above, the best part of maintaining a large network of Delta Xi Phi sisters is that you can be a connector between opportunities or needs and the skills or businesses of those in your network. And, they can do the same for you. Perhaps a friend is looking for a free lance makeup artist for an upcoming project; one of our sorors in the Linkedin group does just that, so you can connect them through Linkedin or otherwise. Perhaps your company is looking to hire a recent college graduate with experience in social media; one of our sorors in the Linkedin group has just that experience, so you can connect them. Similarly, by connecting the people in your Linkedin network, don’t be surprised when you’re at the benefitting end of many such connections in the future. Linkedin, just like our sisterhood, is a give-and-take experience; the more you put into it, the better experience you will have.
Fourth, develop your professional experience through service to the sorority.
Are you launching or updating your Linkedin profile and wishing you had more experiences to include? Are you considering changing careers or taking yours in a different direction and seeking experience in a new area? Are you pursuing a career in working with students or non-profit organizations and think you would benefit from professional experience specifically tailored to your goals?
If any of these scenarios describe you, consider joining the Delta Xi Phi National Board, Regional Councils, or Connections team. Sisters who have volunteered or are currently volunteering their time through national, regional, or Connections roles do so for personalreasons; we do so because we love Delta Xi Phi and want to give back to a sisterhood that has given us so much. However, whether sought or unexpected, serving the sorority through a national, regional, or Connections position also has an enormous professional benefit.
Serving the sorority as an alumna develops your communication skills; provides advising or writing experience, depending on the position held; demonstrates your ability to manage a variety of tasks with precision despite other demanding responsibilities; allows you to diversify your skill set; lends you experience in working with individuals from a variety of backgrounds; and serves as a source of professional and character reference.
These are skills that employers and graduate programs value seeing in their candidates. Examples abound. Amanda Thomas, immediate-past Connections editor-in-chief, credits her volunteer experience as helping her secure a new position at a local newspaper in Georgia. National President Vicki Nelson frequently shares, especially with those pursuing graduate studies, that her service to the sorority has had a positive impact on her medical career. In her transition from her MD/PhD graduate programs into the work force, Vicki’s interviewers are always excited to talk about her experience with Delta Xi Phi. In these examples and many others, it is easy to see that the skills and experiences that result from service to the sorority through the National Board, Regional Councils, or Connections develop universally beneficial skills in the professional realm broadly and can grant experience tailored to specific career paths.
Now is the perfect time to consider volunteering in support of Delta Xi Phi, as elections for National Board and Regional Council positions will take place this summer at National Convention 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. Additionally, appointments to Connections roles are ongoing.
As you continue to embrace your goals for 2012, make sure the list includes a goal of engaging our sisterhood – not only personally, but also professionally. It’s easy, it’s effective, and it’s both our privilege and responsibility as lifelong sisters of Delta Xi Phi Multicultural Sorority, Incorporated.
If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to reach out to any National Board firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, if you’re interested in connecting, you can find me on Linkedin at http://www.linkedin.com/in/leamadry.