The Purpose of Recruitment Throughout all of my years of growing up I played soccer; I had always been surrounded by a strong group of girls working together toward a common goal. I always had my team. When first entering college almost three years ago today, I did not know what to expect. All of my best friends were attending different colleges-OSU, Temple, and UK. In fact most of just my friends were going places all over, so I would be going in completely out of my comfort zone with a clean slate, fresh start, and no one familiar to lean against. I lived in Daniels Hall with three other women, and while they were people I became close with and Daniels was an outgoing and social dorm, I found it challenging to meet women I connected well with, women whom I would want to be friends with. Additionally with my major in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, through classes I was not meeting many women like myself. My roommates all decided to go through formal sorority recruitment, and in an effort to want to meet more women on campus. Although apprehensive of this unfamiliar and new process, I decided to give it a try and push myself. I couldn’t hurt. I ended up joining a chapter and loving it. Finally being able to be a part of a group of women with a common connection and sense of purpose- just like a team. As a freshman I gained so much value for being in Greek Life; it expanded my network, gave me leadership opportunities, but most of all gave me people. As simple as it seems, it is so unique to have an organized so focused on people, and so focused on people joining people. So simple yet so unique, not many other organization sell such a widely provided social experience to anyone interested- you just have to take a leap of faith and try. Not only did I love being in this organization, I wanted to share with others what I was experience and get more people involved in this amazing thing that had changed my life. Fall of my second year I decided to run for my sorority’s Executive Board; there were various positions I was excited to take on, however the possibility of being the Chief Recruiting Officer thrilled me, a position where I would be in charge of all of the recruiting responsibilities for the chapter. When the slate was chosen for our chapter, I ended up being slated as the VP of Finance. Excited that I was on Exec and in charge of such an important backbone of the chapter, I was a little disappointed I wasn’t the Chief Recruiting Officer. That following spring of my second year, applications in the entire sorority community went out for being a Rho Gamma during formal recruitment- the same process I went through as a freshman. Rho Gammas serve as recruitment guides to the potential new members (PNMs) of the community and counsel and guide them through the process of choosing which chapter to join; they do not recruit for their own chapter as to remain impartial and be the most unbiased resource and confidant for the women going thorough. Being someone who loved recruitment so much, I decided to apply for the role, and was selected to be one of the 70 Rho Gammas out of the 120 that applied. Serving as a Rho Gamma was one of the most rewarding experiences to this day. Being a part of the Panhellenic sorority community as a whole, becoming friends with women in all different chapters, enhancing my leadership and counselling abilities, and being able to impact all 650 women going through the formal recruitment process was a unique experience I would not have gotten any other time in my life. This process of being a recruitment guide made me thirst for more; I was sad when my role ended and wanted more. Because of this I knew I needed to do it again, except I could do even more. I chose to apply to be the VP of Recruitment for the Panhellenic Council for the year of 2018, which is the executive board in charge of the entire sorority community, and I was selected. The VP of Recruitment has five directors under her; two Rho Gamma Education Directors, Chapter Programming Director, Logistics Director, and a PNM Engagement Director. These five directors all cover the different aspects of recruitment, and while I had only been involved in the Rho Gamma aspect of recruitment, I was interested in being involved in and developing the entire process and giving back as much of what I learned as a Rho Gamma and as a leader of other organizations into this position. This experience is not only something I can serve to, but the act of leading teams of people in the community and hundreds of potential new members during the weeks of fall formal recruitment will assist me into becoming a global citizen. Global citizens are those who are able to dive into their passions, take risks, and apply their developed skillsets into the real world. This experience will be my largest leadership role yet as I am impacting close to two thousand people in the community and wanting to join the community; it is uncharted territories, but will teach my immensely about the impact a community has on a single person and the power a mentor can provide. While this has been an ongoing leadership role throughout the entire Spring and Summer semesters so far as my position as VP of Recruitment is for the entire year, from helping facilitate Rho Gamma education training and retreats, to planning timing logistics for the recruitment events, to leading marketing strategy meetings to UC current and prospective students, it has all been to lead up to the two weeks of fall formal recruitment in September. As VPR, my job is to oversee all aspects of formal recruitment within the entire Panhellenic community and ensure a valuable, safe, and genuine environment for the potential new members.
Reflection My experience serving as the Vice President of Recruitment for Panhellenic was one that dually challenged me and developed me as a person. I went from a leadership position in my chapter of 150 women, to leading a whole community of over 1200 women in nine different chapters. With the culmination of my position leading up to the two weeks for formal recruitment in September, the honors experience goals not only were for my specific experience timeline (Sept 7-16th, the two weeks of formal recruitment), but these goals were set in place at the beginning of the year in January, when a lot of my work started in preparation. My two main experience goals were to interpret and represent the community as well as motivate and collaborate with my own team and the leaders in the community. I felt as though these motivations put the interest of the community first, and my job was to serve the community in this role, so my job and my goals worked hand in hand. The most challenging part of this two weeks for me was constantly working on at least five different things at once. My mind was constantly thinking about the individual chapters, the recruitment guides in charge of the women going through, the potential new members going through recruitment, the logistics and if everything was running on time, and that the community is being safe, among many other random things. This challenge pushed me to be a better delegator; I had my recruitment team for a reason, and I could not do even half of the work on my own. This made me a more effective and efficient team leader, where I was able to recognize the strengths of my team and assign them responsibilities to divide the work in order to get everything done. Although that was the most challenging, I believe that I grew the most in my confidence and interpersonal skills. A majority of my job is face time. I am the liaison between all of the chapters, and it’s incredibly important that I establish a relationship where they trust my actions and decisions and feel confident confiding with me and approaching me with concerns. Throughout the course of the year working with these chapters, I have made decisions that not every person was pleased with, however I had to stand confident that I knew it was the best choice for the community and I cannot please everyone right away. Most of these decisions were some small logistical changes that were made, which I knew would be best for the community in the end, but the change definitely scared some chapter recruitment chairs. This confidence was also important when dealing with tough situations where we had to consider disciplining a chapter due to a breach of recruitment rules. When any of the situations happened, I always had the support of my team, which reassured me and instilled confidence in my decision making skills. I learned that it is very important to have a team of people to stand by you, help lead you to make the best ethical decision, and support you no matter what— which is exactly what I had with this position. While working alone can be more comfortable, I think it is important to work in teams, and be open and vulnerable to other opinions in order to do the best job position for a purpose. This experience was incredibly fulfilling in the end, which was not something I necessarily expected. When I applied for this position, I did it because I felt I could positively impact the community with my skill set and continue to improve the way recruitment is carried out. While I was able to do this, I also got more out of the experience than I ever would have predicted. I made many new friendships with people I didn’t know before I held this position: with recruitment guides, my recruitment team, and with chapter recruitment leaders. These relationships went deeper than leader to leader; although it’s been over a month since my last meeting with anyone regarding formal recruitment, I still talk to so many of the people I worked with, and none of them are even in my own chapter. I have created so many ties and caring friendships with women all across the community, which I believe changes the way chapters look at one another and the community as a whole. In the past, our community has experience competitiveness and disconnect. However, when we are able to connect women together such as the 50 recruitment guides from all the different chapters, it changes the perspective of the community since they see all these women from different chapters loving one another. This is so important because for our community to be a success now and for the future, we have to work to support and love one another so we can all lift one another up, and Panhellenic recruitment plays a huge part in bringing people together. Before this year and my position as VPR, I would describe myself as more reserved, introspective, quiet, and timid with decisions. While I do not think I will ever grow out of my characteristics associated with introversion, I do believe I honed the necessary skills to be a figurehead in the community. I think this experience developed me to be a better team member and leader, strengthened my confidence, and granted me greater interpersonal skills for the future, and I see this as vital skills for any job or organization I may be involved with in the future. I am excited to carry my friendships throughout the rest of my life and empower the next VPR with this knowledge and empower her to build upon what I learned.