Monday, October 24, 2011

Greek Alumnae Panel

Last Wednesday, October 19, Panhellenic women were invited to the KU Alumni Association to meet a group of four Panhellenic Alumnae, pick their brains and ask for advice on life after college. Members of the panel included:

Anne Atha a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority, graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, she is now in her third year of dentistry school at UMKC. She will graduate with a D.D.S in 2013.

Courtney Brax also a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She is currently in her final year at the KU School of Law and will graduate in 2012 with certificates in Business, Commercial and Tax Law.

Mallory 'Hammersmith' Hannah is a member of Chi Omega sorority and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with an emphasis in strategic communications. She is now an Account Manager at Diamond Merckens Hogan Advertising Agency in Kansas City.

Jessica Roberts is a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She currently works as the Associate Director of Annual Giving, specifically Mail Campaigns for KU Endowment.

Undergraduate women posed questions and panhel members offered advice. Here are a few pieces of advice from panel members:

  1. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Sometimes you have to cold call in order to gain connections. Most people are happy to help younger professionals. The worst they can say is no. So go for it. 
  2. You can NEVER be too persistent. Get creative when trying to contact and network. Drop by the office and see if someone is free to chat or grab coffee. Did you recently go on vacation? Send your connections a postcard. People will be impressed with your dedication.
  3. Talk up your Greek involvement. What you do in the Greek community is impressive, so don't be afraid to showcase what you've done and what you've learned. Many people are curious about Greek life, so explain it to them! Just remember to avoid using jargon only Greeks would know. 
  4. If you are interested in post-graduate experiences like Peace Corps, Teach for America etc. Go for it! Employers and graduate schools look very favorably upon these experiences. They show you are a dedicated and driven person, that you can fully commit yourself to a cause for an extended period of time.
  5. Resumes should be one page! If your experiences run longer than a page ask someone to help you pare down the information. You often get attached to the things on your resume and it is harder to let go of certain experiences. Ask someone else to decide what is the most impressive and work from there. You may also be able to combine and condense lines of your resume. For example, put all your volunteer experiences on one line. If you do not have enough experience to fill a page, expand on your existing experiences. Discuss what you did and what you learned from each opportunity. How are those skills transferable to the job you are applying for?
  6. Customize. Customize. Customize. Research the company you are applying to and tweak your resume, cover letter, writing samples and interview answers to fit that specific company. Highlight the experiences that best relate to the job you want. 
  7. You are also interviewing the company, they aren't just interviewing you. Yes, you want a job, but don't settle for just any job. Ask questions during the interview. Is this company really going to be a good fit? Can you see yourself working there? Will you be happy spending 40 hours a week with these people?
  8. Learn what you want in a job from your internships. Don't be discouraged if your internship didn't turn out to be exactly what you hoped for. Now you know what you like and what you don't. This is great information to have during a job search. 
We are proud of the accomplishments made so far by our panel members and we are looking forward to seeing what great things our current undergraduates go on to accomplish! Special thanks to the panel members, Alumni Association and Stephani Gerson for helping to make this event a success.

Did you attend this great event? Leave a comment letting us know what piece of advice was most helpful for you!

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