Most college students are drawn to joining a Greek organization to expand their social horizons. Maybe they feel a need to find a place to fit in on campus. Maybe they’re a legacy that grew up listening to tales of the fun times a parent had as a member. No matter what brings them to join a chapter, the social benefits are widespread.
But what most students don’t realize upon accepting a bid is that they are developing a lifelong relationship, one that not only will introduce them to valued friendships but will help them grow as a professional. Greek membership provides a large network of support and connections which can be utilized from day one.
Greek organizations strive to provide programs and workshops that assist with turning their members into strong leaders. Whether a chapter retreat or a guest speaker, personal and professional development is often a key focus. The leadership roles available within a chapter are also countless. Learning how to manage time, multiple responsibilities and peers while serving in one of these roles is a valuable real-world experience that will translate into real-life positions.
Having a university alumni network is always helpful, but a Greek organization’s alumni network helps expand opportunities and the number of people who are available to connect. Most Greek organizations have groups on sites like LinkedIn for students and recent grads to connect with older members. Individuals are able to find out about internship or job opportunities this way. In addition, once joining a chapter a person becomes connected to several classes of members at their own university. By the time one graduates, they will have known approximately seven pledge classes, including their own. Keeping in touch with those members often proves valuable.
While having an opportunity to attend fun parties and events is a perk of being a member, the social interactions help translate into key social skills for the workplace. Talking to potential members during membership recruitment or mingling with alumni at special events, for instance, helps strengthen conversational skills. Interacting with peers in formal settings like chapter meetings or ritual events can also help develop levels of professionalism.
Going along with the lifelong membership role comes alumni groups. These chapters are organized across the country and help members connect geographically. Having access to an alumni chapter makes it easy to transition into a new city and meet members who can possibly help further career opportunities.
Fond memories from the collegiate years of Greek membership are certain to focus on fun times, but it’s the opportunities and development into strong, professional leaders that will make a lasting impression for years to come.