Do’s and Don’ts: Professional Networking Events 


This month I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a few professional networking events, and, fun fact, this was my first professional networking experience outside of a college career fair. All this time, I believed that etiquette was simply common sense; however, there’s always that person that manages to slip up and talk about something wildly inappropriate for such an event.

Being a former sorority woman, I learned the vast majority of my networking skills from recruitment, and I found it helpful to read a few articles prior to the event. While it isn’t necessary to read articles upon articles about how to act and what to discuss at the event, it doesn’t hurt to prepare beforehand. Much of the advice in the articles is common sense, but there are always those people that need to hear it more than once.

Here are my do’s and don’ts for professional networking events.

Do:

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare – you’ll need a brief elevator speech to explain yourself and what you do; ex. “Hello my name is ________ , I’m the (state your position) at (place of work). (Briefly explain what your company does)”. You also may want to research on the company hosting the event or the companies attending so that you can carry on conversation.
  • Dress for success – try on your outfit the night before just to make sure everything fits properly and looks appropriate.
  • Get an ample amount of sleep the night before, especially if it’s a particularly long event, such as sorority recruitment, as you don’t want to be rude by spacing out or nodding off at times.

 

Don’t:

  • Talk about the three b’s – boys, booze, or beliefs – this one is pretty self-explanatory.
  • Portray a negative attitude – even if the topic of conversation is something you don’t particularly care for; try to politely steer the conversation in a different direction.
  • Name drop – it’s incredibly rude

What rule of thumb do you stick to at professional networking events?

– K.

 

New Product Alert: Erin Condren Life Planner 2017

Hey everyone, I have some exciting news this week!

I’ve made the life-changing decision to buy an Erin Condren Life Planner and I will never be the same. Okay, so maybe I’m being a little overdramatic with the whole “life-changing” thing, but, in all reality, the planning aspect of my life is forever changed. This is my first purchase from Miss Condren, but I’m sure it will not be my last.

A bit of background: Since a young age, I always thoroughly plan every aspect of my life utilizing an agenda. I have yet to find one that fully caters to my personal preferences; however, the Erin Condren Life Planner is completely customizable to fit your preferences. After witnessing the joy and excitement that these planners have given some of my sorority sisters, I was convinced that I NEEDED this agenda in my life.

So let’s get to the good stuff…

As I previously stated, EC planners are totally customizable for your personal preferences. This year’s planners allow you to change the covers, the color of the coil, the layout AND the color of your layout.


I chose to stick with the platinum coil (choosing another coil is a $10 up charge), but you can also choose from black, gold or rose gold. All of the covers are interchangeable (so I will definitely be buying more) and many allow you to put your own creative twist on them such as adding your name, monogram, personal photos or simply changing the background. Since I had such a difficult time picking just one for my initial purchase I had my mom pick the Own Kind of Beautiful cover for me. It originally comes in lavender, but since I’m not a huge purple fan, I changed the background to pool blue. They also have permanent covers this time around, but I wanted to have the option of changing my cover.

When you finally receive your Erin Condren, it comes this adorable box and includes a bonus postcard and sticker. I also received the extra ‘cheers’ gift labels since it was my first purchase from EC.

Both the front and back covers have these dry-erase boards for extra notes you need to keep throughout your day/week/month.

I chose to purchase the 18-month planner that begins July 2016 and goes through December 2017 just so I could get more bang for my buck (there is a 12-month planner option if that’s more your style). The body of the planner allows you to choose from two interior color themes: neutral or color, and three layout options: vertical, horizontal and hourly. I chose the neutral color theme and the horizontal layout simply because I’ve only ever used horizontal planners and the neutral theme allows me to decorate my weeks however I want with Washi tape without having to stick to a color scheme.

Even though I have the neutral color theme, there are still these little pops of color accompanied by inspiring messages at the beginning of each month.

Near the back of the book, EC provides stickers to use throughout your planner to mark important events, appointments, and even trips to the gym. There are a few plain colored sticker pages as well so that you may write whatever you wish on them. I plan on using them to plan my blog posts!

With each EC planner, you will also receive this small, transferable perpetual planner so that you will always have your important dates on you without having to carry your life planner around everywhere.

img_0566

Finally, the last little extra you receive with your planner is the plan for it pouch which can be attached to the planner using a coil clip or it can simply be stowed away in your purse or backpack. The clear plastic pouch comes with a large coil clip, two pay it forward cards so your friends can also shop EC, a sample sticker book (sticker book sold separately), and three compliment cards.

I am so ridiculously excited to start using my planner. If you are interested in purchasing from EC, feel free to shop here and receive 10% off of your first purchase!

-K

Follow me on social media: Twitter|Instagram|Pinterest|Tumblr

Senior Thoughts During Finals Week

Senior Thoughts During Finals Week

As my time as a college undergrad comes to a close, I’m finding myself reminiscing about these past four years. When they say that college goes by fast, they’re not kidding. As I sit here writing this to avoid actually studying for finals, I have some final thoughts that I’d like to share about my days in college that will [hopefully] help y’all in your future endeavors.

  • Go Greek! I’m not being dramatic when I say that this is the best thing that ever happened to me. Greek life has made me a leader that I never thought I could be, and has given me friends that will be there for the rest of my life.
  • Get involved. Because I got involved, I got a second chance at pursuing my passion for dance.
  • When will I ever learn to not procrastinate? Don’t be like me and create a habit of procrastinating early on in your college career.
  • If you need help, ask for it. I’m still having a hard time learning this.
  • I’m almost 22 and still wondering where my Hogwarts acceptance letter is. It probably got lost in the mail or something. What I’m trying to say is never give up hope that something great is coming.
  • It’s okay to go through tough times and lose yourself, college is the time to make mistakes and learn from them.
  • Always work to make today better than tomorrow in all aspects.
  • Work hard and keep striving no matter how hard things get.
  • Dance parties are necessary at all times of the day.
  • Be careful who you trust, not everyone wants to be your friend.
  • Get to know your professors.
  • Get an internship – or 3 – you can only learn so much in the classroom. Real world experience in the workforce will teach you so much more.
  • Be kind, you never know what someone is going through.

While I could probably write a novel about all of the things I’ve learned in college, this is all I’ve got for now.

Take care of yourselves and good luck on finals!

-K

Follow me on social media: Twitter|Instagram|Pinterest|Tumblr

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

As I reflect on the past year, I realize what all I have to be grateful for. This past year has been quite the roller coaster ride for me, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today with out those trials, successes, anxieties and everything in-between.

  • My Parents// First and foremost I owe my parents the world. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without their constant encouragement, love, and support in everything I undertake. You guys inspire me to work harder everyday and be the best version of myself. I can’t thank you enough for the sacrifices you have made for the boys and I. Every minute spent with you both is a reminder of how loved I am, and how honored I am to be your daughter.
  • My Brothers// Owen and Ethan, thank you for bringing intense laughter and an unusual sense of humor to everyday occurrences. I’m so lucky that we share such a strong sibling bond that I know will never falter regardless of the circumstances. Thank you also, for not being born female because we all know I don’t share so I don’t think that we would be as tight as we are.

    11951903_1063870456958421_6239205631780479889_n
    La Famille
  • My Extended Family// Although this year has been plagued with a slew of health issues, I’m so thankful that we all managed to band together through the tough times, and allowed our faith to be bigger than our fears.
  • Ryan// My rock, my love, thank you for pushing me to believe in myself when I was at my lowest, and for always loving me unconditionally. Everyday, we grow stronger together and I cannot wait to see how we flourish as a couple. The miles between us seem so small when you care about someone so immensely. I truly am the luckiest woman in the world.
  • Kelsey// Although we don’t see each other as much as we used to or would like to, whenever we are together, it’s like nothing ever changed. Thank you for the memories, laughs, not judging me (especially freshman year when I thought I was losing my mind & in my rebellious stage), the list goes on and on, but, above all, thank you for 16 years of friendship and many more to come. I’m so proud of you for kicking major ass in the nursing program; you’re going to be an absolutely amazing nurse!
  • My Sorority Sisters// Where to being? Thank you for inspiring me everyday. Thank you for giving me confidence and leadership skills that will last a lifetime. Thank you for giving me sisters I never had. Thank you for life-long friendships and memories. A thousand thanks to Eugenia, Ella, Sophronia, Octavia, Elizabeth, and Mary for courageously starting an amazing legacy that will live on forever.

    12029739_10207547268262458_377022410055833551_o
    My Alpha Class
  • Vitality Dance Team// Thank you for a second chance at doing what I love, and giving me such a fabulous team of women with such immense drive and passion. I don’t really know what I’m going to do after graduation without dance in my life, but I definitely will never stop doing what I love.

    11026212_926422417438326_6291551244865073630_n
    OU Vitality Dance

While I could go on and on about how much my life has been impacted, I’ll save that for a later date. These are just a few of the major things that have aided me in my growth this past year in spectacular ways.

What are you thankful for this year?

-K

An Open Letter To My Little Diamonds

An Open Letter To My Little Diamonds

My Dear Little Diamonds 1 & 2,

I’ve had this post planned for a quite some time, yet every time I sat down to write it, I wasn’t really sure where to begin. I guess I’ll start with this: from the moment I met you both, I knew there was something extraordinary about you; you were, and still are, determined, beautiful, confident, intelligent young women with the potential to do whatever it is that you set your minds to. Obviously, I like those qualities in the people I surround myself with. I have wanted you both as my little diamonds since the moment I met you, and you are both so incredibly special to me.

As your Big Diamond, it is my job to be your mentor, someone you can go to whenever you need advice, a hug or food (because, let’s face it, food is always the solution). I promise to always be honest and open with you, and to always have an emergency chocolate & chick flick stash for when you have a bad day. I promise to be not only your sister, but best friend and confidant.

My dear, sweet Meme, within just one year I have seen you grow so much in this sorority, and I could not be more proud of you. You have stepped up to take on leadership positions that alphas wouldn’t normally touch, and I have seen your confidence grow immensely. I hope that you continue to grow and lead so fearlessly in our chapter, and teach our alphas to do the same; they have a wonderful mentor to get them through their initial member period.

Little Diamond #2, you may not know who I am yet, nor will you until tomorrow, but Megan and I are so elated to welcome you into our little family. I see so much potential and drive in you that I cannot wait to see displayed in the chapter. Even knowing that I am a senior, you chose me as your Big Diamond and I couldn’t be more honored to spend the last year of my college career with you. I am so excited to reveal myself to you tomorrow!

Although I only have this last year in the chapter, know that I am ALWAYS here for you both no matter the circumstances. I love you both so much and I cannot wait to see all that you accomplish in the chapter and the future.

-K

Is Greek Life For You?

Is Greek Life For You?

It’s nearing that time of year again, time to put away our summer whites, break out our textbooks, and-oh yeah- IT’S SORORITY RECRUITMENT SEASON! While I am super excited to meet new people and expand my sisterhood, I know many women are debating the idea of going through recruitment. I get it, recruitment is a daunting experience, and even I was extremely apprehensive when I signed up; However, I truly believe my recruitment and sorority experience has enriched my life in more ways than one.

I, like many of those debating [or completely against] the idea of Greek life, believed that Greek life was exactly as it is negatively portrayed in movies. I did not believe that I would fit in anywhere in a large group of girls with personalities as large as the bows in their hair. When initially approached with the idea of going Greek, I straight up laughed in my future roommate’s face and politely replied “HELL NO!” Yet, here I am today, executive board member and soon-to-be alum, who managed to fall completely in love with her sorority and all it has to offer.

Before you decide if Greek life is for you, you will want to consider the following questions and facts:

The moment I revealed to my Little Diamond sister

What do you want to gain in joining a fraternity/sorority? When considering various chapters to join, it is important to keep in mind that it’s not about how you’ll look with their letters draped across your chest or how cute you’ll look while throwing what you know. Greek life is about making special connections both in and out of your chapter. Are you looking to get involved with a specific philanthropy? Do you want to expand your social network? Do you just want a group of people to go out and have fun with? Choose the chapter that shares the same passions as you.

Can you keep up your grades? Let’s be honest, Greek life is a huge time commitment with mandatory events such as workshops, ritual, socials, etc. With so much going on, it is easy to exercise poor time management and not make your grades a priority; however, this can be extremely detrimental to your membership. According to a study by Hofstra University, 70% of Greeks graduate in five years or less, whereas 50% of non-Greeks graduate in this time frame. Not only that, but Greeks across the nation are responsible for having the highest GPA of all campus organizations.

Do you want to be successful in your future endeavors? Becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority provides one with endless opportunities for personal growth both in social and professional aspects. You only hear about the negatives of Greek life in the media, but do you know about all of the great things Greeks have done? According to USA Today, 85% of Fortune 500 executives were members of a fraternity and the first female senator was the member of a sorority. Furthermore, the leadership opportunities Greek life provides puts members at a social advantage one would not have otherwise; chapter leaders are elected by fellow active members and advisers, members also have the opportunity to participate as leaders in organizations such as National Panhellenic Council, IFC, and Greek Council.

Our National Philanthropy, our pride  joy: Ronald McDonald House Charities
Our National Philanthropy, our pride joy: Ronald McDonald House Charities

Are you willing to put aside time to give back to the community? A study by the New Jersey Institute of Technology shows that Greeks volunteer for approximately 850,000 hours a year and raise over $7 million annually for various philanthropies. Greeks are held accountable for being the largest network of volunteers in the nation (slap that on a headline). We don’t volunteer because we are forced to, we do it because of our passion for both our national philanthropies, and those of other organizations as well.

For more statistics on fraternities and sororities, check out the links to various articles and studies I provided above. If you have any questions about my experience in a sorority or regarding what to expect during recruitment, shoot me an email or comment below!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

-K.

Holy $#!% I’m A Senior: A Reflection

Holy $#!% I’m A Senior: A Reflection

Today I embark on a new journey and begin my senior year of college. It seems like just yesterday I was a shy, clueless, awkward freshman that didn’t know how lame it actually was to wear your keys on your lanyard around your neck.I also had little to no social skills whatsoever coming from a ridiculously small private school. Nonetheless, I was bound and determined to become a nurse anesthetist as I intended to my whole life. This, my friends, was my first mistake in my college career.

Innocent freshmen with no idea what we were getting ourselves into
Innocent freshmen with no idea what we were getting ourselves into

About halfway through my first semester, I realized that I was not on the path that I was supposed to be on; my grades were slipping, I was constantly exhausted, I lost all motivation, and- in all this chaos- I managed to lose myself. You see, I’ve always been a planner, type-A personality, and OCD, so when I came to the realization that I wasn’t where I was supposed to be, I lost my zest for life; I just wasn’t the same person I was before. Because of this, my mental health and relationship at the time began to deteriorate. I broke up with my boyfriend of two years and just wanted to be alone, I knew I had to get better and turned to working out and going out in order to make myself happy again. After countless meetings with my adviser, and more aptitude tests than any human being should ever take, I found myself pursuing a career in communication and public relations- an umbrella category for all of my passions- and something I had always wanted to pursue, but did not think was actually possible.

Finally able to let my preppy flag fly
Finally able to let my preppy flag fly

My sophomore year, I took a huge leap of faith and tried out for the competitive dance team on campus. By some crazy miracle, I made the team despite not dancing for five years. I also did something I swore I never would do and went through sorority formal recruitment. You can probably imagine my surprise when I fell in love with Alpha Delta Pi and accepted a bid from them on Bid Day. Thanks to both of these organizations, I became more confident and started to break out of my introverted shell. That fall, I unexpectedly met a boy who turned out to be the man of my dreams even though I swore I was going to focus on my career for the rest of my life. I became more social, and things started to turn around. I was genuinely happy once again.

10891463_10206014892797491_5539541747037175222_n
Clearly my style has improved over the years as well
11149456_974047965940671_4804047950002787696_n
Ryan and I at ADPi’s Debutante Diamond Formal

My junior year was a growing experience for my maturity as I conquered the challenges and lessons life threw my way. My classes were extremely difficult, I took an executive board position in my sorority, my boyfriend informed me that he decided to serve in the military, I was in a terrible car accident, and my anxiety was at an all new height. I promised myself that I would not revert back to the person I was freshman year, and with the help of my family, friends, and boyfriend, I began to set small-scale goals for myself (this was a huge step due to my type-A personality). I achieved my goal of making the Dean’s List, and I figured out how to prioritize my time because it really is so precious.

If you would have told me four years ago that I would be sitting where I am today, I would have laughed in your face and told you that you were absolutely crazy. However, as I sit here reflecting on the past three years of my college career, I wouldn’t change a thing. College is a time to not only learn what is necessary in the classroom, but to make mistakes and learn from life experience. I am so lucky to have stumbled so clumsily to where I am now, standing with more poise and confidence than I ever could have imagined. Bring it on, senior year, I’m ready for ya!

Cheers!

-K