“Sorority isn’t four years, it’s for life.”
That is a saying often heard by sorority members. But beyond gaining friendships that extend after college graduation, what does that mean for you as a collegian?
Alumnae play a large role in the success of NPC sororities. NPC sororities rely heavily on volunteers and their alumnae members. Some alumnae work with local chapters and others volunteer at the regional or national level to support collegiate members. This involvement takes different forms, but as with other relationships within sorority life such as the big and little relationship, mentorship is a significant part.
Encouraging Growth and Providing Support with Chapter Leaders
Sorority alumnae volunteers that work directly with chapter officers are usually referred to as “advisors.” Alumnae advisors help collegiate chapter officers develop their leadership skills and confidence. They assist collegiate officers as they navigate campus and organizational policies and interact with campus offices such as the fraternity and sorority life office or the sorority’s inter/national headquarters. Advisors meet with chapter officers regularly to check in and serve as a sounding board for any decisions or challenges they may encounter. Depending on what office they support (and organizational policy), advisors may review contracts for events, help navigate budgeting and attend chapter or committee meetings.
When I served in different leadership capacities within my chapter, including as president, my advisors were invaluable to my success. The relationship that developed with my sorority advisors was different than those I had with my other mentors such as my coaches, professors and academic advisors. As a collegian, I knew I could rely on and trust my advisors because we had a shared connection through our sorority membership.
They empowered me to make difficult decisions and supported me not only through sorority life, but college and life after graduation.
Advisors Support All Members
In addition to supporting chapter leaders, advisors support and are a resource to all members. They also support the chapter by easing the stress of events like recruitment. My advisors were there during the weekend to help with the behind the scenes work such as rearranging furniture or helping with technology. They did all this so we could focus on being present in our conversations with potential members. One advisor even baked the chapter a cake as a treat for one of our longest days.
Promoting Networking and Career Success
In addition to alumnae volunteers who serve in advisory roles, local alumnae chapters and their members also add to the richness of the collegiate experience. Alumnae chapters may host events for collegians and alumnae, such as Founders’ Day celebrations, service or philanthropy opportunities or more casual events like potluck dinners to help create connections between alumnae and collegians.
One of my favorite service events of the year was the Boston Marathon. My chapter, another collegiate chapter in the area and the Boston Alumnae Chapter all came together to partner with the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired for the weekend.
Alumnae also engage with chapters through career panels and other mentoring opportunities. A sister I met at a career panel hosted by my chapter helped me with my law school applications while some of my peers made connections that helped them navigate entering careers in medicine or the technology industry.
Alumnae mentorship is such a unique and special part of the sorority experience. Even if you do not take on a leadership role, the sisterhood you have joined is filled with women that are excited to take ypu under their wing, whether for professional or personal growth.