On Dec. 1, 2016 I frantically and nervously submitted my leadership consultant application. Before submitting it, I had read over my application at least 100 times and I am pretty sure I had the entire thing memorized. For this application process, I had to wait until January to receive a call back for a video interview. Since I know what type of person I am, I made myself forget about the application so that whenever I received the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for the interview it would be a surprise.
To my surprise, I opened a very happy email that said I had received a video interview. The day of the interview, I changed my shirt about ten times, partially because I hated everything I put on, but also because I was nervously sweating. Before my interview started, I was panicking with my roommate and best friend, telling her they weren’t going to like me and that I couldn’t do it. She looked at me and said, “Jenna, they are going to love you. Show them how much you want this and make sure you are Jenna Huff during this interview and not anyone else.”
The interview went great but of course my internet was going in and out the entire time. It was also the fastest interview I had ever been a part of. One of my favorite interview questions Jordan asked me was “What is your favorite emoji and why?” I immediately said, “The red salsa dancer, am I right? I absolutely love to dance but I know I’m horrible at it.” After the interview, I laid on the floor of my apartment analyzing every single question and answer with my roommate. Did I answer this correctly? Was I too funny and not polished? Did I pick the right outfit and was my hair done right? I remember thinking of how blessed I was that I even made it that far. At this point I kept telling myself it would be OK if I didn’t make it to the next interview; it is an amazing blessing to have made it this far. Sigma Kappa once again believed in me more than I believed in myself.
I made it to the next step of the interview process, but this time I was getting flown out to national headquarters in Carmel, Ind. Fun fact: before this point I had never flown on a plane by myself and I have only been on a plane twice before. Little did I know I would be flying about once a week for the next year.
When I arrived in Carmel, I met some of the best of the best Sigma Kappa women from various places across the United States. They were the leaders of their chapters and they still to this day are some of the most impactful women I have ever come into contact with. All of the women that were there for the interview weekend were more than capable of becoming leadership consultants. Right when I arrived at national headquarters, I was in absolute awe to see the place where some of the most determined Sigma Kappa leaders worked. I was eager to meet the women who love Sigma Kappa as much as I do. I stuck out my hand proudly and I introduced myself to these women because, in my head, it was a complete honor that they saw something so special in me to bring me to the final interview.
I sat around the meeting table with these women and we started talking about our leadership roles in our own chapters. At that moment, I felt like I was not good enough and I was completely confused as to how exactly I made it this far in the interview process. These women were 3-year executive council members, presidents, and Panhellenic presidents at their universities. In my collegiate experience, I had only been the public relations chairman. After hearing all of these extraordinary women list off their accomplishments, I had to give myself a little pep talk as to why I deserved the job and why I would make a great leadership consultant.
Although I never held an executive council position, I was able to involve myself in other organizations. I became a Girls on the Run Coach, an orientation leader, a student TED Talk speaker and a local Miss America Contestant. These organizations made me unique and made me proud of who I am as a person. Although these women were qualified, I was also qualified in different ways. During my interviews, I would bring up my outside leadership roles and explain to the Sigma Kappa staff how they had helped me become qualified for this job.
After the interview weekend was over, I hugged all of the women goodbye and thanked them for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Regardless of the result, I would be forever grateful that Sigma Kappa saw this much in me to send me to the final interview.
Then, one day after finding my perfect evening gown for Miss North Carolina, I received a phone call from Jordan Barnett. I was hesitant to answer the phone because I knew this was the final ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ She informed me that I had earned the job and asked if I would you like to accept. With tears streaming down my face I proudly answered “Yes, absolutely yes.” Sigma Kappa has yet again believed in me more than I will ever believe in myself.