As thousands of women around the country are going through sorority recruitment right now, I was reflecting on my own time as a collegian sorority woman. I’m glad I joined a sorority. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that joining a sorority was single-handedly the best choice I made in college and one of the best choices I’ve made in my life.
Now that might sound a little extreme. Some of you may even think that all I did was pay for my friends (insert dramatic eye roll here). It’s more than that. So much more. Sure, it’s where I found my best friend. It allowed me to have a ton of great college experiences. But did the benefits of joining a sorority continue after college? Yes. Absolutely.
1. Being in a sorority has gotten me 5 jobs, including both of the jobs I’ve had since college. My connections through my sorority sisters got me a job in the Press Office for the Governor of California, a lucrative nannying job, a waitressing job, and being in a sorority helped me get both of my “grown up” jobs since graduation including my current position at a childhood cancer non-profit. My sorority dues have paid for themselves many many times over with the skills and money I’ve earned from jobs I got by being a sorority woman.
2. I have access to a huge network of women nationwide. I meet Delta Gamma’s all over. They’re working for companies all across America. I would not feel at all weird reaching out to a fellow Delta Gamma on LinkedIn or Facebook and asking about their company or requesting an informational interview.
3. Event planning and risk management skill development. I can plan an event from start to finish and make sure no one dies in the process (or at least make sure that we don’t get sued if they do). Okay, that’s a little extreme. But still, a little true.
4. I got plenty of practice being the interviewee and the interviewer. During sorority recruitment, I was essentially interviewed by hundreds of women. In the following years as an initiate, I interviewed hundreds of women. Sorority recruitment does wonders for interview and conversational skills. I can talk to anyone. Seriously. For any amount of time. Because that’s what you learn when bump groups fail and you’re stuck with someone awkward for an entire round.
5. Recruitment prep (i.e. stalking potential new members online) helped turn me in to the internet researcher I am today. I’ve heard other sororities don’t do this but we certainly did. We stalked PNM’s online before recruitment. We knew where they were from, what they liked, if they had a boyfriend, and what friends they were going through recruitment with. Sure, it sounds crazy but now I can find anything out online. Go ahead and add “internet research specialist” to the resume.
6. Job skills. As Vice President of Foundation (philanthropy) for my own sorority, I had job training that has helped me to be successful after college. Think about this: the VP Finance of a sorority chapter is often responsible for a budget of over $1 million. Not too shabby on a resume. Sorority positions are essentially internships.
7. I learned my limits. The first (and only) time I threw up on the bus on the way to sorority formal, I was put in my place. I was held accountable for my actions because my actions reflected on a larger whole. As an adult, you’re held accountable for your actions. Sorority life taught me this well before I would have learned it on my own.
And in case that hasn’t convinced you, here are some statistics about greek membership (source):
- Since 1910, 85% of the Supreme Court Justices have been fraternity or sorority members.
- 85% of the Fortune 500 key executives are fraternity or sorority members.
- Of the nation’s 50 largest corporations, 43 are headed by fraternity or sorority members.
- 70% of the U.S. Presidents’ cabinet members since 1900 have been fraternity or sorority members.
- 76% of U.S. Senators are fraternity or sorority members.
Who run the world? [Sorority] GIRLS.