How To Use Your Sorority Network After College
Too real is the time when your “house” becomes your “parents’ house,” college becomes your alma mater, and friends become contacts. If you’re in a sorority right now, you may even begin to feel distanced from your sorority network. When you put it that way, it sounds so robotic, doesn’t it? Perhaps the professional world can seem that way at times, but the way you go about it doesn’t have to be.
If you, like my mom, my sister, and myself, had the unique experience of joining a sorority in college, you’re in luck: you’ve got a network built-in for you. You’ve probably heard this over and over during rush, sisterhood events, and any time you explain to someone why they too should join in on the Greek life fun.
Being in a sorority myself, I decided to create a survey that I then put out into the virtual universe, asking sorority alums to respond, stating how they stay involved with their sorority post-graduation, and in what ways they use their sorority network.
The Choice to Stay Involved
The first step of sorority networking is to find a way to maintain your connections after college.
From my own survey, I found that 100% of participants continued to receive organization publications such as newsletters and magazines. These publications are usually free and sent fairly frequently, so you can keep up with your chapter, as well as other chapters across the U.S. (or the globe if you’re international—my sorority actually extends to Canada).
This is an excellent way to:
- Get Inspired! Stay abreast of what other women are doing.
- Get Advice! Find people you’d consider asking for career advice.
- Get Motivated! Notice the ways in which others have achieved cool things—perhaps their method will work for you.
Search social networks
Of course, one of the most challenging parts of finding a new job—starting a new anything (really)—is the potential of moving. As if the financial aspects and the homesickness (Anyone else? Just me?) weren’t enough, there’s also finding new friends, new places to hang out and drink after work, and even finding a new place to live.
So why not search for people you already know in your new environment? You can even check around Facebook or sorority directories to find sisters from other chapters that might just be willing to show someone around.
Almost 64% of survey participants noted that their sorority network helped them feel more comfortable in a new city or area. 81.8% noted that their sisters helped them make new friends. Some participants even met their significant others through their sisters.
“When I moved out of state and knew no one, having an alum club close to me helped me to get away and remember why I had joined my organization in the first place,” said Amanda Heywood (Pi Beta Phi), having graduated in 2011. “Everyone was welcoming, and since we all shared the same values, I knew that I could be lifelong friends with the women I met!”
Link Up With Your Sisters
LinkedIn is a fantastic tool not only for networking with people that you don’t know, but perhaps more importantly, finding connections between you and those that you do know.
Dan Klamm, the Outreach and Marketing Coordinator for Syracuse University’s Career Services, suggests joining your organization’s LinkedIn group:
“Your organization’s LinkedIn group is a place to share news, start discussions, and meet other members. Some fraternities and sororities have 7,000+ members in their LinkedIn groups. With LinkedIn’s demographics skewing toward the 35+ crowd, joining a group like this will put you in contact with a number of well-established, mid-career professionals with many connections of their own.”
Klamm also suggests actively participating in discussion threads to make the most out of this strategy.
Ask Not What Your Sorority Can Do For You
One of the biggest benefits of being a part of this network is helping one another. That’s right: you can also participate. Throw your expertise out there; see if there’s a sister that you can help.
Your good deeds might lead people to their careers (and perhaps they’ll decide to help you out in return). If you are a higher-up in a company, give some advice to the entry-level employee that’s busting her butt getting coffee, by posting to the alumni group.
One anonymous recent grad said the following (which gave me SO MUCH HOPE):
“I got my first job from a sister! She reached out to my chapter president about an opening at the company she worked for, so the president put us in touch. The girl even gave me interview and salary negotiation advice. I landed the job and we’ve been coworkers for the last year!”
If that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will. Help your sisters out, let them help you, and don’t be afraid to reach out. You don’t join a Greek organization just for college; you do it to establish enduring, meaningful connections. Remember: your sisters want to help you succeed.
If all else fails…
In the end, it’s all about what you can learn from your sisters and your organization. Sure, you want to network, but the professional gain is not the only thing you can glean from your alum status.
“In an interview, I was asked what values I carried,” said Pi Beta Phi alum, Stephanie Martinez. “From my experience in my sorority, it was easy for me to answer this question. I was able to explain my values and also to demonstrate them. From my sorority, I learned how to have integrity among many other things. For that, I am highly thankful.”
So when you need it, use your sorority network to make your life a little easier—when you need a tour guide, a mentor, or a friend. Don’t hesitate to reach out…they are your sisters, after all!
Interested in learning more about how to use your sorority network? Be sure to read I Heart Recruitment: The Eight Steps to Limitless Possibility for Sororities.
It’s great you’re able to keep in touch with people like this!
Wow Its amazing that I reconnected with my “College Sisters” end of Oct last year and the things we share are amazing. So true what you say. And I cant wait for our reunion as well…
I wasn’t part of a sorority in college, but reading your article it sounds like I may have missed out on some fantastic networking opportunities both during and after college.
This is such a wonderful post to keep contacts with the near and dear ones. Great going.
I must admit that I have NOT been utilizing my sorority since graduation. As I prepare to graduate with my Master’s I’ve been secretly freaking out about looking for a job and now thanks to your post I will be adding my sorority to my network list.
So glad to hear it, Roxy! Definitely use those connections. Congrats (almost) grad!!
Great tips for those that are just about to finish college. Im sure it will help lots of people
I never joined a sorority group but I’d say that one never knows where help will come from. There are people who come around in your lives that could be your biggest contacts. That’s why we should learn kindness each cause you just never know.
It is very important to stay connected with college friends because those were the best days of life!
Great tips! I almost joined a sorority in college, but the first time one of the girls “tried” me I was done!! Someone tries to haze me and we’re fighting, lol, so I dropped out. This is some good info tho. 🙂
Sorry to hear about your negative experience–many universities are being stricter now with “no hazing” policies, thankfully! Still good info to apply to any group situation 🙂 Thanks for reading!
I have not been great about staying in contact with my college friends. I keep in touch with my roommate sporadically but I really want to reconnect with her and others. I need to do that sooner rather than later.
A sorority, like any group we belong to can provide lifelong connections to help each other, offer support and who knows when and why you might meet up again in person or maybe even work together on a joint venture or at the same company.