Dear family, friends, sisters and readers,
I’ve been a leadership consultant for almost four months now. It’s been a crazy unforgettable experience. I try my best to explain to everyone what I do as a consultant and some people get it; others are still confused and just know that I have been living in Birmingham, Alabama working for Sigma Kappa Sorority. Have no fear – I am here to take you through a day in the life of a residential leadership consultant.
First, some of you may be asking, “What is a residential leadership consultant?” Well, being a residential LC means that I am based in one city helping one chapter. I am living in Birmingham, Alabama and working with Sigma Kappa’s Zeta Sigma Chapter at the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB). Zeta Sigma is a new chapter; our national organization provides support for at least the first three years after a new chapter opens. It is very exciting to be able to work with a new chapter and see their growth throughout the year. I do not do much traveling as a residential consultant, but that’s okay because I get to create lasting bonds with the women of Zeta Sigma, help guide them towards success throughout my year here, and also explore a new city. So here we go! – The day in the life of a residential leadership consultant!
I wake up to my alarm in my cute apartment. As a residential leadership consultant, you either live in the sorority house or have an apartment. In the mornings, I get ready for my day, put on my ‘snappy casual’ outfit, make coffee and breakfast, and sit at my kitchen table replying to emails – as an LC, you receive a lot of emails from collegians, national volunteers, and staff. I also make sure to check my daily schedule to see what officer meetings I have that day.
Every day around 9 a.m. I make my commute to campus. I live about fifteen minutes away from the university. I don’t mind my commute, but Birmingham traffic is another story. A 15-minute drive can turn into a 45-minute drive. On top of that, trying to find parking at the university is a hassle in itself. UAB is in the center of the city and in the hospital district. Trying to find parking can be a little crazy.
My first meetings of the day normally start around 9:30 a.m. Once a week, I have a meeting with the University’s fraternity and sorority advisor, Kirsten. During my meeting with her, we talk about how Sigma Kappa is doing on UAB’s campus, but also about fraternity/sorority life in general and current events. A few weeks ago, after having a conversation with Kirsten about the future of fraternity and sorority life, she asked me about what my plans were after being a leadership consultant. After expressing how I am still unsure on what I would like to do next, she suggested I look into higher education. She shared her experience as a graduate assistant for fraternity and sorority life and how she got to the position she is in now. Now, in our weekly meetings, I update her on any graduate programs I have looked into. Kirsten has become an amazing resource for me and is proof that being an LC provides amazing networking opportunities!
From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., I hold meetings with chapter officers. As an LC I don’t work out of an office. The chapter does have a sorority suite I could use but it is in an inconvenient location. Therefore, every day is an adventure to find a new place where I want to hold my meetings. My favorite place to hold meetings is on the third floor of the student center in the comfy green chairs. However, they always get taken fast, so I sometimes have to settle for a different location. In these meetings, we go over any upcoming events, anything they are struggling with, and I help the officer come up with ideas on how to be more efficient with their position and make a lasting impression. Since the end of the semester is near, I also work with officers on how to have an effective transition with the new officers and also assist in reviewing reports that are due to the national organization.
LUNCHTIME! Lunchtime is the best time. I enjoy when officers sign up to take me to lunch for our meeting. I especially like when they take me off campus for lunch. Birmingham has so many different food places that I have never been to so I love it when officers take me someplace new. On this day, Zeta Sigma’s, vice president of communication took me to ‘Hatti B’s,’ which is a famous hot chicken restaurant in Birmingham and it is delicious. I especially loved the mac and cheese.
If I’m not in officer meetings I am working on other LC job responsibilities. Some of these things include working on blog posts (like this one!), writing reports, organizing expenses, booking future travels and following up with the other Sigma Kappa chapters.
On some days, I attend chapter events with members. On this day, Zeta Sigma was having an event to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Attending events is not only fun, but also rewarding. I love to see an officer’s hard work pay off and be there if the officer needs anything throughout the event.
Dinner time! On most days, I go back to my apartment and cook dinner. My favorite thing to cook is perogies. On some occasions, chapter members – or sometimes even alumnae! – will invite me out to dinner. I am grateful that one alumna sister in the Birmingham area has been very welcoming. One night she took me to a little Italian restaurant called, Giuseppe’s. It is always nice to meet alumnae in the area and share Sigma Kappa and life stories.
Most nights when I get back to my apartment, I am able to relax, put on Netflix, finish answering emails, and get organized for the next day. But some nights are full of calls. Sometimes I have a call with the advisory board supervisor (ABS). On our calls, we review the state of the chapter, upcoming events, and go over chapter goals.
After finishing any calls and any last-minute housekeeping, I try to unwind by closing my laptop and finding some time for myself. Each day could be different, but most often I will just unwind by watching Netflix or call home to my family or friends to catch up. Sometimes being an LC causes me to be constantly on-the-go, making it hard to keep in touch with friends back home, but I try and make time every night.
One of the fun things about being a residential leadership consultant is that every day is different. Some days there are more meetings than others. There are travel days, days with a lot of events to attend, and days when I am able to explore this amazing new city I get to live in for the year. This is just one example of what my day could look like. I love being a residential LC, not only for the connections I get to make with the chapter I am constantly working with but also because of the opportunity to call a new city “home.”