Thursday, September 4, 2014

Look For the Helpers

The past few weeks have been so difficult for those who are sensitive to the human condition. I don’t know about you, but my heart and my head are trying to reconcile how we treat each other…how we see each other…how we find goodness in the midst of sadness.

We are hurting. The passing of Robin Williams. The events in Ferguson, the impact of ISIS, the events in Africa, Syria and Iraq.  This is a time of complex sadness. None of these things are easy to watch or are easily explained.

When I was a little girl, my parents both worked outside the home. Both my mother and father worked in education, and because of that, I started reading anything I could get my hands on at a very young age. As a latchkey kid, I discovered television early on as well. While my parents provided hundreds of books to me, I was attracted to television too! I loved (and still do) all kinds of television. Name an 80’s sitcom or movie, and I’ve probably seen it.  Mork and Mindy, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Square Pegs, the Original Degrassi Junior High, Reading Rainbow, Today’s Special, 321 Contact, The Electric Company, and Designing Women were my “must see TV” programs. These shows made an alien, some really awkward and lovable teenagers in New York and Canada, a talking mannequin, Julia and Susanne Sugarbaker, Levar Burton, The Bloodhound Gang, and Mr. Rogers my friends.

Lately, I really miss Mr. Rogers. I often wonder what he would say in the midst of all of this chaos and sadness. Fred Rogers was a sensitive communicator to children, and his program was so simple and consistent, it resonated with the deepest part of a child’s need for calm, safe, kind adults to lead and guide them. There have been studies that indicate his voice can slow a heartbeat, calm a crying baby, and increase learning retention. Just his voice. What a lovely legacy.

Mr. Rogers spoke simply and softly. He used very few words and was committed to slow and steady teaching. He knew that the world was hard, but that core values and consistent commitment to good would be a powerful support system for children.

He was right, of course. 

When Mr. Rogers was asked how parents might navigate or discuss the scary events that populate the evening news, topics that scare and upset us all, like injustice, famine, war, crimes against humanity, or the death of a friend, his response was so moving. 

“My mother used to tell me, whenever there would be any catastrophe, always look for the helpers. There will always be helpers, even on the sidelines…….because if you look for the helpers, you’ll know there is hope.”

When I think about Delta Gamma, the core of who we are, I see hundreds of thousands of helpers. We’re the helpers! I’m so incredibly proud that since 1873, we have rallied to “Do Good” for those who need our help. Our motto is the simplest explanation of our mission. It is the soft call for action. It is the focus on solutions and service that moves me so, and reminds me that no matter the age of our members, our core identity is good. We “Do Good.” Where we are needed, Delta Gamma is there.

On September 14 – 20, “Do Good” Week will begin for every member of Delta Gamma. I invite you to look at the participation guide and prepare to do simple acts of kindness where you live. It doesn’t take much good to change the atmosphere. And wow, do we need it. We need you to reconnect with the core purpose of Delta Gamma, and find little ways to “Do Good” wherever you are. 

There is one small truth that sustains me when the world gets loud and sad. For 140  years, our women have helped create good for the world. 

We have helped others to see.

We have created pathways to dignity for people in need.

We have lent a helping hand.

We’ve supported communities working to heal and rebuild.

We have provided support for women who are seeking education.

We have stepped up to have hard conversations and create solutions.

Our lectureships on have created safe spaces for learning about triumph of the human spirit, values-based and ethical leadership, commonality as opposed to difference. 

We have a key focus on courage and strength.

We are do-ers. Not just dreamers, Delta Gamma women spring hope into action with our commitment to “Do Good.”

I believe Mr. Rogers would be so proud of our simple commitments and powerful impact. Please join us next week as we work to create hope and “Do Good.” As the world “looks for the helpers”, I hope they meet you. 

"Do Good,"

Cori Wallace
VP: Alumnae

We would love to hear about your experiences during “Do Good” Week! Please email your stories to Elizabeth at Executive Offices. She can be reached at

What To Do When You Suspect Someone May Be at Risk for Suicide

As sisters, it’s our responsibility to support each other and encourage those in our lives who are facing such issues to seek the help they need. September’s Bronze, Pink and YOU topic will focus on suicide prevention. Using the hashtag #LiveGOOD, this month we will share information regarding signs and symptoms of depression, addressing suicidal thoughts, and what to do when you’re concerned about someone in your life. Below you will find invaluable information regarding what to do when you suspect someone may be at risk for suicide from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 

1. Take it Seriously
50% to 75% of all people who attempt suicide tell someone about their intention.
If someone you know shows the warning signs above, the time to act is now.
2. Ask Questions
Begin by telling the suicidal person you are concerned about them.
Tell them specifically what they have said or done that makes you feel concerned about suicide.
Don't be afraid to ask whether the person is considering suicide, and whether they have a particular plan or method in mind. These questions will not push them toward suicide if they were not considering it.
Ask if they are seeing a clinician or are taking medication so the treating person can be contacted.
Do not try to argue someone out of suicide. Instead, let them know that you care, that they are not alone and that they can get help. Avoid pleading and preaching to them with statements such as, “You have so much to live for,” or “Your suicide will hurt your family.”
3. Encourage Professional Help
Actively encourage the person to see a physician or mental health professional immediately.
People considering suicide often believe they cannot be helped. If you can, assist them to identify a professional and schedule an appointment. If they will let you, go to the appointment with them.
4. Take Action
If the person is threatening, talking about, or making specific plans for suicide, this is a crisis requiring immediate attention. Do not leave the person alone.
Remove any firearms, drugs, or sharp objects that could be used for suicide from the area.
Take the person to a walk-in clinic at a psychiatric hospital or a hospital emergency room.
If these options are not available, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for assistance.
5. Follow-Up on Treatment
Still skeptical that they can be helped, the suicidal person may need your support to continue with treatment after the first session.
If medication is prescribed, support the person to take it exactly as prescribed. Be aware of possible side effects, and notify the person who prescribed the medicine if the suicidal person seems to be getting worse, or resists taking the medicine. The doctor can often adjust the medications or dosage to work better for them.
Help the person understand that it may take time and persistence to find the right medication and the right therapist. Offer your encouragement and support throughout the process, until the suicidal crisis has passed.

This information was taken from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's DG Award Application Season

As the summer days begin to dwindle and the autumn wonders begin their parade, Delta Gammas know – it’s Awards season!   Now is the time to consider nominating outstanding alumnae who Do Good for the Fraternity, with the Foundation, in their communities, or as professionals.  They are the women who take to heart the advice of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”   Below is a list of individual alumnae awards.  More specific criteria for each award can be found at the Delta Gamma website at in the library and all award applications can be found in eOps+.  Nominations and complete packages are due on September 15th.  

The Cable Award - The Cable Award recognizes alumnae who, through years of serving Delta Gamma, have evidenced unusual loyalty and devotion far beyond normal alumnae participation.  Criteria and instruction sheets for annual individual alumnae awards may be found here.  Applications are due September 15. 

The Oxford Award - The Oxford Award recognizes alumnae who exemplify the Delta Gamma philosophy of service to community through volunteer and philanthropic activities.  Recipients bring a sense of pride to their alumnae groups through outstanding community efforts and involvement.  Criteria and instruction sheets for annual individual alumnae awards may be found here.  Applications are due September 15.  

The Anchor Award - The Anchor Award recognizes alumnae who have received the Cable Award winner and whose Fraternity service and achievements extend  beyond the local level with a demonstrable, unique, and lasting impact on every member of the Fraternity.  Anchor Award winners are a mainstay, providing Delta Gamma a lifetime of reliable support from which all members benefit.  Criteria and instruction sheets for annual individual alumnae awards may be found here.  Applications are due September 15. 

The Shield Award - The Shield Award recognizes alumnae who have achieved unique and noteworthy distinctions through leadership and verifiable accomplishments in their chosen fields of professional expertise. Criteria and instruction sheets for annual individual alumnae awards may be found here.  Applications are due September 15. 

The Order of the Delta Gamma Rose - The Order of the Delta Gamma Rose is the highest award presented by the Fraternity, honoring alumnae who have made distinguished contributions to the nation and/or the world. Recipients are renowned in their chosen fields, and MUST have received (inter)national recognition because of their individual efforts and talents. Criteria and instruction sheets for annual individual alumnae awards may be found here.  Applications are due September 15. 

Do review the criteria for each award well in advance of preparing the application. This will give you an opportunity to gather all of the information that you will need to complete the application.
Do consider ALL she has accomplished.  She has probably accomplished even more than the “little bits of good” that inspired you to nominate her in the first place.  Take a minute to think about it, discuss it with others who know and work with her, write down a few thoughts, then GO FOR IT!  
Do ask! Do you have questions about some of the awards or any part of the process?  Just ask your Regional Alumnae Specialist (RAS), Regional Collegiate Specialist (RCS), or contact the Fraternity Director: Awards at 
Don’t wait until the last minute! As we all know, computers and websites are fickle things. Just when you need them to work, they don’t.  Plan ahead! 
Do brag!  Now is the time to tell us all of the wonderful things that make you so proud to call her “sister”.  Has she won other awards or recognition?  Did she single-handedly pull it off?  Hasshe been there day in and day out, with huge impact and an even bigger smile? Tell us!  Has she inspired or helped the collegians? Tell us!  Is she the stalwart, depenedable and yet cheerful crew leader?  Tell us! 

Consider nominating an alumna you know for doing good in an overwhelming way.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Delta Gamma launches first-ever “Do Good” Week

What is “Do Good” Week?
You may have heard the news. Delta Gamma Fraternity is sponsoring a new initiative, Delta Gamma “Do Good” Week. This week is all about doing good deeds. As Delta Gammas, we pledged to “Do Good” when we accepted our bids into the Fraternity. In fact, our Fraternity letters were even chosen because they represent the desire to “Do Good.” 

Now, the Fraternity plans to highlight the good that our members do during our first ever Delta Gamma “Do Good” Week. 

No matter where you live or how busy your schedule, you can participate. From September 14 to September 20, we are asking that each Delta Gamma do at least one act of kindness for another person or the environment, and then share it with us. This is an opportunity to connect with the Fraternity’s founding values, brighten someone’s day and better your community. 

How can I participate?
You can help carry groceries to someone’s car, call a relative to catch up, stay late at work to help a coworker with a project, put change in an expired meter or even pick up trash in your neighborhood. We also encourage you to check out what your alumnae group or collegiate chapter is doing to participate. Many are planning group service events.

Check out the “Do Good” Week Participation Guide in the Delta Gamma website library to learn more on how you can participate and promote “Do Good” Week. The guide provides examples of good deeds, a Facebook cover photo, a link to our “Do Good” Pinterest board, tips for promoting “Do Good” Week on social media and how to share your “Do Good” story with us and online. There are other resources available for your download, such as printable save the date cards for you to distribute to family and friends who may be interested in participating.  

How can I share what I’ve done?
Be sure to use the hash tag #DGDoGoodWeek when posting about your “Do Good” Week plans, experiences and stories. We would love to see your photos too.  Post them with the hash tag and/ or email them to 

In addition to “Doing Good,” you can also show your support and Delta Gamma pride by purchasing official “Do Good” Week merchandise and apparel from our official “Do Good” Week vendor, Explosion Sportswear.  Just follow the link to the view and purchase the available items by August 15th (note: you may need to copy and paste the link directly into your preferred browser). 

“Do Good” Week is a chance for Delta Gammas to come together to be kind, give back and help others. The idea is to create a wave of hope across North America, or even the world.
Thanks for joining us and “Doing Good.”

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Speakers of the Week

We’ve heard some great speakers this week! If you weren’t able to join us we’ll be sharing videos from two of the sessions soon!

Erin Reach Condren, Alpha Sigma-UCLA 

Condren is founder and designer of personalized paper products at As a busy mother of twins, Condren began making note cards, gift labels and hostess gifts for friends. At the encouragement of her friends, she decided to sell her creations. After years of designing, printing and shipping products from her home, was born in 2007 at a state-of-the-art facility outside of Los Angeles. She has been featured on the Ellen Show, Rachael Ray, the TODAY show. and in the ANCHORA.  

Condren spoke at Anchor Academy, the inaugural pre-Convention training session offered to delegates on Thursday, June 26.

"Friendships last forever when sisters come together"

"Stay connected to DG, The networking in this room is amazing."

Alison Levine, Alpha Pi-Arizona 

Levine was the team captain of the first American women’s Everest expedition and author of On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership. She has climbed the highest peak on each continent and skied to both the North and South Poles-a feat known as the Adventure Grand Slam, which fewer than 40 people in the world have achieved. She founded the Climb High Foundation and works as an adjunct instructor at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Levine was recently featured on CBS This Morning. 
Levine spoke to the Convention body on Saturday, June 28. 

"Do not let fear stop you from doing the things you want to do!"

"The key to surviving storms is to take action at the time, it's not always about sticking to the plan"

Jessica Pettitt, Epsilon Chi-South Carolina 

Pettitt brings her 10+ years in student affairs, 5+ years of national consulting work and 2+ years as a stand-up comedian experience to stage as part of her mission to inspire change, dismantle oppression and recognize our privilege. Nominated for two years by Campus Activities Magazine for Best Diversity Artist, Jessica’s programs are direct, customized and highly interactive. Her workshops, seminars, and keynotes take participants on a journey weaving together politics, theory, current events, and story telling with large doses of humor. 
Pettitt was the social justice speaker on Saturday, June 28. 

"I've had a lot of awkward experiences and that doesn't make me less than one of your sisters."

"Whoever that person is that we are leaving out, they are winning."

Laurie Rubin 

Rubin is an opera singer who is blind. She recently published her first memoir Do you Dream in Color? She has appeared in major operas and as a soloist at Carnegie Hall and the White House. She founded Ohana Arts, which is devoted to music education in Hawaii. She is touring and working on a new pop album called “The Girl I Am.” 
Rubin was the Foundation Lectureship speaker and addressed the audience on Friday, June 27. 

Laurie spoke about self confidence and said she aims to be treated like everyone else.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Top 10 Favorite Things at the Biltmore

It’s day two and we can already tell we don’t want to leave this beautiful resort! How lucky to have our Convention at this breathtaking venue. Here’s a list of our top 10 favorite things about the Arizona Biltmore!

1. The pool. Well let’s be more specific. All 8 of them. One even has a 92-foot water slide! It’s been pretty hot here but going out to the pool earlier in the day is great! Delta Gammas can look forward to relaxing there on Sunday after Convention. 
2. The food. We have had some amazing meals so far. We can’t wait for the fancy Foundation Banquet Dinner and Award Ceremony Dinner. The desserts always look too beautiful to eat!
3. The architecture. The buildings all are Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced, the architect who built the Biltmore, Albert Chase McArthur, was his student. "Biltmore Block" covers the buildings and features a geometric pattern that is said to represent a freshly cut palm tree.
4. The Sprites. Statues of females known as “Sprites” of Midway Gardens (Chicago) were resurrected from their demise during prohibition and given to the Arizona Biltmore Resort as gifts. They are all around the grounds and make for a fun design for our Convention charm. 
5. The history. The hotel has been giving tours to our sisters and it is overflowing with history and famous guests. Actually, Marilyn Monroe had her favorite swimming pool at the resort – the Catalina Pool – where she could often be seen lounging by the water. 
6. The ceiling. Only the Taj Mahal has a larger golden ceiling. The ceiling is comprised of 38,000 square feet of individual 4-inch squares that were all hand applied by artisans on scaffolding.
7. A presidential retreat. Every U.S. president from Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush has stayed at the Arizona Biltmore. There’s a history hallway picturing every one of them.
8. The grounds and fountain. The grounds are so well-kept and are beautiful. Brightly colored flowers and perfectly kept grass welcomed Delta Gammas this week.
9. The view. The Arizona mountains surround the Biltmore and the view is awesome!
10. The fact that 1,000 other Delta Gammas are here! We are everywhere throughout this resort and it is so fun to run into old friends and make new ones!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Highlights & Helpful Hints from a Convention Hostess

As Delta Gamma’s 2014 Convention Hostess, my goal has been to build the best Convention Committee and volunteer team possible to work with Executive Office staff members to make this biennial event the best it can be for all DGs and guests traveling to Phoenix in just a few days.  Talk about an easy goal to accomplish when you are part of an outstanding and dedicated alumnae chapter! The Phoenix Alumnae Chapter is a mighty and diverse group of sisters with strong leadership in place.  These officers are always busy planning something for everyone, which always involves fun and sisterhood. Convention is no different! 

Convention planning “takes a tribe.” Indeed, this tribe of sisters stepped up from day one as we began to recruit key Committee Coordinators and volunteers. We scheduled Convention meetings in addition to regular chapter events to involve and engage our members. Raising Convention awareness resulted in excitement and a higher level of commitment for many sisters. We’re also proud to have great support from collegians, alumnae, collegiate chapters and alumnae groups throughout Region 6 (AZ, NM, OK & TX).

Each Delta Gamma Convention has its own unique theme and flavor, but every Convention celebrates the very best of Delta Gamma; that is what we hope you will experience here in Phoenix!  We encourage you to take advantage of a few things during your stay: 
At the airport, look for DG sisters wearing bright turquoise T-shirts and big DG smiles when approaching the Baggage Claim areas. 
After checking in and registering at the Delta Gamma Registration desk, please stop by our Phoenix Hospitality Table to meet many Phoenix / Region 6 volunteers.  We are eager to welcome you and answer any questions you may have about Phoenix, the Biltmore Resort, the Convention program, your name tag, and so much more! Our volunteers will do their best to ensure you have the information you need for a fun and successful weekend! 
Look for our Phoenix / Region 6 Welcome Brochure in your Tote Bags, which includes messages from our Phoenix alumnae chapter president and Region 6 Director, fun facts about Arizona and the Biltmore Resort, highlights of Convention events, and special recognition to many within Region 6 for the love and support we have experienced during the planning process.
Take time to complete that special photo album page for your alumnae group / collegiate chapter in the Memory Time Capsule for 2018 at the Phoenix Hospitality Table.  While you are there, you can also pick up a more-comprehensive list of fun facts about Arizona to share with your sisters.
Take the time to learn about the interesting history of the Arizona Biltmore Resort ~ it’s everywhere! 
Pack your cameras and iPhones for the many DG-sponsored photo opportunities throughout the Resort. 
Be prepared for outside heat and chilly inside air conditioning! 

Hope is Rising along with our excitement here in Phoenix!  
In the Bonds,
Mary Anne Ruman Lachenmaier, Alpha PI-Arizona
Delta Gamma Foundation Board of Trustees, Secretary
Convention 2014 Hostess 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Download our Convention App: Guidebook

Communicating effectively with attendees is crucial to making our event a success. This year we are taking advantage of the app, Guidebook. Guidebook allows users to log in on any device, and all event details will be available to them. Organized agendas, searchable directory, speaker profiles, interactive maps, social media and more will keep attendees informed and organized throughout Convention.  Here are some features that Guidebook can provide to make your trip to Delta Gamma Convention 2014 the most organized one yet!

You can pick sessions and add them to your own personalized schedule. You may also check-in to these events and make connections with other attendees. If you want more details, you can simply click on a session. Images, locations and detailed descriptions can accompany any item.

Facebook & Twitter
The Facebook tab will lead you to our Delta Gamma Facebook page, where you can stay updated on the most current Delta Gamma happenings daily. Also, the Twitter tab will allow you to sync your own Twitter account, making it simple to tweet from within the Guidebook app. On this Twitter page it will show you all the tweets including the #DGRising and social media hash tags used throughout Convention.

Shared Photo Album
With Guidebook, our attendees can take photos and instantly upload them to your mobile guide. This creates a collective photo album that people can browse through to see the event from different perspectives.

How to Upload Guidebook:
Go to the app store and search for "Guidebook"
Sign-up for an account
Now that you've got the Guidebook app, you'll probably want to download the guide to our event! Open up the Guidebook app on your device to get started. Note: Internet access is required for this step.
iOS users (iPhone, iPad):
Tap on "Download Guides" in the bottom left of the screen.

Click on the top search bar "Search all guides". Type in your event name Delta Gamma Convention 2014 (orange icon with blue anchor) Scroll through the results, and tap on your event to download.
Android users:
Tap on the "downward facing arrow" (see below) button to access the "Browse Guides" screen.
If your event does not require a private redeem code, click on the top search bar "Search all guides". Type in your event name Delta Gamma Convention 2014 (orange icon with blue anchor) Scroll through the results, and tap on your event to download.

Adjusting your Settings
Make sure you are syncing your settings with this app. Guidebook allows you to post from Twitter and Facebook within the app, so having your accounts synced will help these features. Also, allow Guidebook to have access to your Photo Album, allowing you to post within the collective Photo Album and share all your pictures from Convention.

You can get to the app here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

College to Career: Landing the Job! Part 2

Moving to a new city can be a scary thing! You are most likely leaving your support group behind and starting fresh. The beauty of moving to a new city are the endless possibilities that await: a new apartment, new roommates, new friends...the list goes on and on. While it can be daunting to think about all of these new experiences at once, we’re going to tackle them one by one in this post.

The first thing you should do once you plan on moving to a new city is join the Delta Gamma Alumnae chapter/association. Most groups also have a Facebook page which you should join too. In the NYC DG group, there are numerous posts about women subletting or looking for apartments and roommates. This is easily the best place to start. Not only is joining the Alumnae group in your new city an awesome way to find a roommate (that is how I found mine!), it is the best way to find new friends. Don’t be shy about writing a post saying you are new to the city and you’d love to meet some DGs! Make an effort to attend any of the events that interest you and get to know the other women who are there. Remember, these women are your sisters and you already have a strong common interest: Delta Gamma! 

Finding a new apartment can be tricky depending on where you plan on moving to. In some cities, you can easily do your research a few months in advance and sign a lease well before you move. In New York City, for example, the turnaround time for finding an apartment and signing the lease could be a few days to two weeks; which makes it difficult to find a place before you move. If you are unable to spend a week or two in your new city to find a new apartment before your official move date, doing a short-term sublet is a great option. Some companies even have corporate housing that their relocating employees can utilize while they look for a place to live, so reach out to your HR department and see if that is an option. 

Once you have the stressors of finding a roommate and apartment figured out, take some time to relax! Grab Happy Hour after work with your new co-workers or some fellow DGs who are also new to the city. It will take some time to adjust to being in a new place, but having friends makes it a lot easier, so get out there! If you are moving to a big city, there are always plenty of things to do on the weekends, you just have to discover what they are. I read Thrillist a few times a week to discover the best brunch spots of the moment or if there are any cool activities to do in Brooklyn (there are plenty). Read community newspapers or blogs to find out about any festivals, free movie screenings, etc. The more you do on the weekends and after work, the easier it will be to ease into your new city and you will be having so much fun while doing it!

Carly was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and graduated from Oregon State University in 2012. After graduation, Carly was a Delta Gamma Collegiate Development Consultant and in May 2013 moved to New York City. Carly now works as the Training and Development Coordinator in Human Resources at News America Marketing in Midtown Manhattan. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

College to Career: Landing the Job! Part 1

Congratulations! You’ve landed a great job with a great company, and are ready to put all of the knowledge and skills gained in your classes and internships into action. You will always remember your first day at your first “real” job…so, you will want to be prepared and make the most of it! 

There are several things to consider before your first day. Following are 10 things to help you prepare for your first day (and month) in your new job:

1. Ask about company culture in advance. If you had an in-person interview, you likely got a feel for the dress code and overall company culture. However, don’t be afraid to ask in advance so you arrive prepared. Also ask about arrival time, parking and if you need to bring anything (like identification, birth certificates, etc.) on your first day.
2. Get a good night sleep and eat a balanced breakfast in the morning. Your parents were right! A good night sleep and breakfast will keep you going strong for the day. If you’ve never worked full-time before, this will be a new experience for you. Be sure to have coffee or tea on hand if you need it!
3. Do a test drive of your route and show up at least 10 minutes early. Your commute may be different during rush hour. If you are able, do a test run on a weekday morning. Arrive early on your first day so you have time to get settled in and introduce yourself to your coworkers. 
4. Prepare a brief introduction. You will likely meet several people on your first day and they will ask you about yourself, your background and your position within the company. 
5. Do your homework. If there were qualifications or skills on the job description you were lacking, research how you can improve in those areas. Review the company website and/or its competitors. 
6. Understand company policies/rules. Check the company website in advance; you may be able to review the employee handbook. If not, ask what the rules are regarding things like cell phone and internet usage on company time, personal breaks, etc. Keep your cell phone on silent or vibrate, and don’t text unless absolutely necessary or you are on a break.
7. Listen, not just with your ears but with your body language. Listening and observing will help you see the big picture of the organization and its culture. Be prepared for meetings and trainings. Take lots of notes and don’t be afraid to ask questions. 
8. If asked to lunch, go! Pack a lunch (preferably in a cooler in case there isn’t a fridge), but go out if you are asked. It is important to build relationships and appear engaged with your supervisor/co-workers. 
9. Be yourself, but be mindful of what you share. Be personable, polite, conversational and friendly, but don’t share too much information about your personal life, health or politics.
10. Relax. You were hired because the employer saw talent and great potential. Be confident and enjoy this time. You will only experience your first day in your first “real” job once, so enjoy it!

You should treat your first month or two as though you are still being interviewed. Look professional and be professional. Many companies have orientation periods, and your performance is being evaluated on a daily basis. Treat this time as though you are still interviewing with the company. It is easy to get comfortable, especially if you are in a friendly and welcoming work environment, but you don’t want to get too comfortable. Good luck, have fun and Do Good!

Melissa Less Eckenrode, Gamma Epsilon-Kent State, graduated in 2003. She landed her first job with Delta Gamma as a Collegiate Development Consultant. She then worked as a Resource Development Manager for Modis, recruiting IT professionals across the United States. Melissa came back to Delta Gamma Executive Offices in 2007 as the Director of Human Resources. In this role she supports all HR functions of the EO staff, including staffing, benefits, payroll, compensation, performance reviews, etc.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

College to Career: Interviewing

An interview is a conversation with purpose.  Done well, an interview is a memorable, insightful, conversation with your skills, attributes and career goals as the main topics.  One of the most memorable interviews I conducted for an audit (accounting) position was a student with farm work providing the totality of his prior work experience.  At first glance, most wouldn’t draw parallels.  He was prepared, however, and able to expertly outline work ethic, planning, managing itinerant workers, making calculated risks with business impact, etc., from farming and relate it to the skills required in the accounting role.  

An interview may take many different forms: a phone screen, Skype, in person, panel or over a meal.  While each format has its own nuances, like most things in life, the keys to a successful interview are preparation and practice.   

Preparation & Practice
When notified that you have been selected to interview, ask questions to understand with whom you will interview, appropriate attire, the format, and anything you should prepare or bring. 
Everything on your resume, cover letter and online profiles is fair game.  Review them thoroughly and be able to easily draw upon and discuss anything included. 
Research the company.  Develop a working knowledge of the organization and genuine questions you have about the position and organization. Look closely at a company’s core values.  These are often used in developing interview questions to screen potential employees for a good match.  
Based upon your knowledge of the company, position and your background, carefully consider the skills and qualities you want to display throughout the interview.  Outline 10-12 examples from your actual experiences that demonstrate your unique abilities and qualifications.  
Avoid the hypothetical. Be prepared to provide concrete examples, from your past experiences, to support and display your strengths and skills.  
These “sound bites” shouldn’t be memorized speeches; rather fluid and flexible answers that you may be able to leverage for different questions.  Taking the time to really think through, write down and familiarize yourself with these examples provides you with an arsenal of interview answers and will increase your confidence in the interview. 
As a college student, you aren’t expected to have ample relevant experience directly related to most jobs. However, get creative and draw upon your work, leadership and classroom experiences to demonstrate skills of value to the position for which you are interviewing. 
Be prepared to address failures or areas of improvement.  Most experienced interviewers will ask a question of this type. Don’t shy away.  Provide a solid example, followed up with what you learned, self-awareness and what you are doing to address it. Nobody is perfect. This question is more about how you answer and taking responsibility.  
Practice!  In a mirror, in your car, with a friend, with career services, with your parents, recorded on your phone or on your own.  It doesn’t matter how you do it, but make sure you practice!  Leverage sample interview questions and invite others to throw in a few surprises.  Invite feedback from people you trust. It will only make you stronger. 

During the Interview
Avoid the “we.”  College students often answer questions in a plural and inclusive tense.  An interview is about you.  Practice answering with “I” responses and focusing upon your specific contributions to a class project or organization.  
Just like your parents and Delta Gamma taught you – display confidence, use your manners and demonstrate a positive attitude.  Smile, maintain eye contact, sit up straight, use a firm handshake, avoid filler words (um, uh, like), and say please and thank you. 
Be comfortable with silence.  Don’t fill dead space by rambling if the interviewer is taking notes or collecting their thoughts. It can feel interminable but avoid this impulse. 
Do ask well informed, insightful questions about the position and/or company that demonstrate you are well researched. 
Don’t be afraid to express excitement and enthusiasm for the position during the interview or at the close, if you are genuinely interested.  Everyone wants employees excited for the role.  

Thank You!
A thank you note for interviewers is appropriate and can be a differentiator.  If you take the time to write a thank you note, don’t waste it with neutral platitudes.  Use it as a way to highlight a unique connection made with an interviewer or express your interest in the position again.  Mail or email is appropriate depending upon the company and the pace of the recruiting process. You can also write a thank you note on the spot and leave it with a receptionist to deliver to your interviewer.  

Be yourself. Be prepared. Be confident.  You’ll shine. 

For many more resources, tips, skills assessment and sample interview questions, visit KPMG’s Branding U site

With 17 years of experience in campus recruiting, Karissa Cornell has interviewed thousands of students, and leads interviewing skills workshops for both students and professionals being trained to become interviewers.  A graduate of The University of Montana, Karissa is the Director of National Student Programs and Pacific Northwest University Recruiting for KPMG; a global accounting firm that hires 4000-5000 college students in the US annually.  Karissa's toughest interview to date was becoming a Collegiate Development Consultant for Delta Gamma! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

College to Career: Cover Letters and Resumes

Remember first impressions, even on paper, count!  Well-written cover letters and resumes can open the door if you make a good first impression. 

The Cover Letter
Cover letters should always be addressed to either the hiring manager, the recruiter or the HR Director by name.  Find out to whom your cover letter should be addressed.  Check the company website or LinkedIn.
Mention the name of the company and reference the position for which you are applying in your cover letter.  Let the reader know you’ve taken the time to personalize your letter in response to their job posting.
Describe how your experience is a fit for the position and outline the value you can bring to the table Day One.  
Ask for an interview and state when you will follow up – and do follow up.  Follow up should occur within 2-3 days.  

Not all hiring managers will read a cover letter; however, take the opportunity to introduce yourself and impress regardless.

The Resume
Target your resume to the position for which you are applying.  Highlight competencies, areas of experience and education that best match the job qualifications required.  
Avoid ‘buzzwords’ like “successful, highly qualified, and competent” for example.  Hiring managers see these words repeatedly and will lose interest reading the ‘same old stuff.’  Even if you need to consult a thesaurus, say it with your own unique style.  
When noting your experience in various roles, do not list what your responsibilities were in the job.  List your accomplishments.  
For example, you are applying for a position as a recruiter.  Your current job is with a not-for-profit agency as a volunteer coordinator.  An accomplishment statement might say “Increased volunteer base 25% over 90 days.”  You would use the interview to discuss how you were able to solicit the additional volunteers, i.e., through your outstanding ability to network.  The hiring manager wants to know what you are capable of and what you can do for the company.
If you don’t have much work experience, include your accomplishments in the different organizations of which you have been a part.  
Keep your formatting simple.  Fancy fonts and scented paper may get you noticed but for the wrong reasons.  Easy to read and well-organized are key!

The Application
Most companies will ask you to complete an application prior to or at the time of an interview.  Complete all sections – do not fall back on “see attached resume.”  This may be perceived as lazy.  Take the time to complete the application in full.

Poor grammar and misspelled words will likely land your resume in the circular file (wastebasket).  There is nothing worse than reading a cover letter or resume that touts your ability to be detail-oriented followed by a misspelled word.  Have someone else review your resume and cover letter before submitting.  This goes for the application as well.

Most campuses have a career center that offer services for resume writing, vocational counseling and job search assistance.  Take advantage of these services.  There are numerous websites out there to assist you as well.  One of my favorites is You will find a plethora of resources – everything from resume templates to job search tips, practice interview questions to career advice.  Also network with your local alumnae group.  You may be pleasantly surprised to find additional career service resources wearing an anchor just like yours!

Nancy Rife, Gamma Iota-DePauw, and long-time DG volunteer, currently serves as Regional Collegiate Specialist in Region 4.  Professionally, Nancy has a background in finance, accounting and human resources.  She has served as Human Resources Director at MJ Insurance, Inc. for just over 9 years.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

College to Career: Networking, Job Search Engines and Building Relationships

A typical day in the life of a Career Services professional involves the question, “How do I start my job search?” My top recommendation for job seekers is to determine a strategic plan and cast your net wide. First things first, use the resources that are provided to you as a student or alumni of your university. OK, prepare yourself for a shameless plug for Career Services offices across North America. Career Services, and the online job board administrated by your university, should be your best friend throughout your college career and especially as you near graduation. I can assure you that you will never find a group of individuals that are this committed to your professional success. Consider the alternative of applying on a Fortune 500 company’s website. You may be one of a thousand applicants. This same job could be posted on your University’s career job board, and you could be one of twenty applicants. As you can see, much better odds here. Plus, if you build a strong relationship with your Career Counselor, he or she could be your personal advocate when speaking with corporate recruiters. 

Relationships with your Career Services office should not be your only priority as a soon-to-be-graduate. Your professors and academic advisors frequently receive job leads through their wide array of professional contacts. Many employers value referrals from individuals who have daily contact with students, especially in the classroom. Be proactive in getting to know these key individuals, as they will be more willing to connect you to new opportunities as they come along. These individuals can provide guidance, honest feedback, and mentorship as you make your way into the job market. 

With the excessive amount of technology at our fingertips, the job search process does seem quite daunting to the average college student. I will also add that not all online job search engines are created equal. In my recent experience, the days of Monster and Career Builder are quickly fading. Most corporations have a website with a career landing page. With that being said, the new wave of job boards is more of a resource guide format. The magic of job search engines such as and, is that they compile job postings from thousands of career pages. These are posted into a searchable format with the ability to sort based on location, job title, and more. Most contain a feature to set up email notifications based on your search requirements. This is a great tool for any busy job seeker!

Personally, the most impactful career-planning tool has been my professional network. Talk to your family, friends, and Delta Gamma sisters. You would be surprised who they know and how willing they are to help. As I began looking for one of my first professional positions, I was ready for a huge change. By simply reaching out to an alumna in the area, she forwarded my email to her “little sis” who later became my manager. My Delta Gamma relationships provided an instant professional network. Of course, there is one caveat: you have to do your homework first. Perfect your resume, research potential industries and positions, and target your contacts. I would recommend all initial contact within your network to begin as an investigation. “Do you have any advice for…? What has been your experience in…?” If your initial contact is impressive to the reader, you never know who that email could be forwarded to. 

Keep in mind, that your dream job is just a step away but requires a few strategic moves. Stay focused and you will get there!

Guest Blogger: Lauren Delibro Smith
Lauren DeLibro Smith-Zeta Nu, Montevallo is currently the Employer Relations Specialist for the UAB Collat School of Business Career Services office and recent Master of Business Administration graduate. She resides in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, and currently serves as the Region 3 Finance Specialist.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

College to Career: Utilizing LinkedIn

277 million members and growing by the second. That’s how many millions of people have access to your LinkedIn profile! So how, in the world do you make your profile stand out and be a useful tool amongst a pool of millions? The answers are simple and plentiful!

LinkedIn is a way to:
  • Create a personal brand
  •  Set a clear intention for the future
  •  Share your story and dreams with the world
  • Be generous through connecting people within your network
  • Learn about companies, career paths and FIND A JOB!

Polish the Profile
Every relationship begins with a first impression. Think of that recent internship interview, or a teacher you met for the first time, maybe even a significant other and that first time you locked eyes. You notice their physical appearance and usually the first thing that comes out of their mouth! The same thing happens with a LinkedIn profile.

A professional and crisp photo can grab someone’s attention along with the tagline at the top of your page. No selfies, pets or boyfriends in the photos! It’s time to act like a professional. A tagline shouldn’t just be your title at your job, or shouldn’t just say “student”. It should be a creative catchphrase that describes who you are or what you do.  An example would be, “Three-year honors student and aspiring marketing guru”.  Think beyond the norm! Polish the first impression aspect of your profile for greater impact.

Mesmerize and Summarize
After your photo and your tagline, comes the summary. Think of the summary as your elevator speech - concise, confident and passionate. What do you want a potential networking connection or employer to know about who you are and what you have to offer?

Think personality.  What are you really good at and where do you want to be in the future?  Get creative and have fun with it! It’s always great to include what some of your hobbies or passions are that you do in your free time. Employers want to see that you will bring more than just work related skills!

Bragging Rights
It’s time to brag about your experiences! This is different than a resume, so use paragraph form instead of bullets. You are telling a story. It does not have to be overly formal and you can share not only tasks but also goals you’ve accomplished or things you learned throughout the internship or job. Be sure to add to the organizations, education and volunteer experiences and causes sections as well.

There are also some great features on the site that allow you to upload photos, videos, or projects you have taken part in. This is an impressive way to showcase a portfolio online! Now that you have a beautiful profile, how do you actively use it to network, connect and find jobs?

Connect With Your Connections
Ask your first connections to connect you with a second connection so you can do some informational interviews or distribute your resume! Find those people who have something in common with you (an alumni group, a volunteer organization etc) and they will be more likely to connect! Use your invites to personalize how you connect, don’t just send the auto message!

You Don’t Need a Job…
You don’t need a job you need an informational interview! Use this approach to learn more about a company or the industry of interest before you go for a real interview. Ask them about their career progression, their experience with their company and what advice they have for you! Use LinkedIn to do your homework prior to those calls. And then keep up those connections! Meet them for coffee, send them a hand-written thank you note or give them a call. You never know when you may need their help again or when you could help them!

Be the Brand You Want to be!

It’s time to be the brand you want to be and update your LinkedIn profile today! You may be one in 277 million, but you have all the tools you need to summarize, mesmerize, and connect!

Guest Blogger: Aundrea Dahl-Zeta Epsilon, Santa Clara
Aundrea was a CDC from 2010-2011. After her travels she became an HR manager at a Target store and also participated in their university recruiting program, helping with career fairs, interviewing and resume reviewing. She is currently working as a Recruiting Coordinator for LinkedIn.