Do sororities really offer life skills?
Simply put: yes! Contrary to popular belief, Greek Life offers many experiences that you can use in the future. From learning how to fill out budget sheets to risk management, Phi Sigma Sigma has taught me a plethora of skills that I can use after my college journey.
My favorite skill that Phi Sigma Sigma has taught me is my event planning skill. As a public relations major in the MCVA department, one of the possible fields I can go into after graduating is event planning. Phi Sigma Sigma provides so many opportunities to plan events within the organization.
I was given the opportunity to plan an event for my sorority’s philanthropy, school, and college readiness. The event was Kicks for Kids, an annual kickball game we plan that involves not only all of Greek life but also all of the Pace community, as well as any outside community members.
(P.S. – If you’re curious, here’s a link to our foundation. It’s a really cool cause, you should check it out: The Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation)
Everyone sees the end product, but no one thinks about the process preceding all of the hard work that was put into the event.
Yes, obviously, you have help. Not only do you have support from all of your sisters, but there is a binder that has the information from all the past events. However, you can’t find everything in a binder.
There’s only so much you can read about before you need to start getting your hands dirty. So, after my co-chair, Cassidy (pictured above) and I read over all of our instructions, it was time to start working hands-on.
First item on our agenda: food. Nothing entices a student more to come to an event. This meant we had to budget. We had to budget what we wanted from Chartwells: different types of sandwiches, water jugs, sodas, etcetera. Other things we had to budget for were decorations in support of our philanthropy, t-shirts, and other miscellaneous supplies.
This event was our first introduction to a budget sheet. As someone who plans on potentially being an event planner, budget sheets are something I need to be familiar with. This event was a great way to introduce me to that, since it was such a relaxed event. Budget sheets are great to be able to maneuver even if you’re not planning an event. They can really help organize your daily life by helping budget groceries, rent, non-necessities, and so much more!
No matter how prepared you think you may be, anything that can go wrong, will go on. For example, Cassidy and I thought we had everything all set: food, drinks, teams all set up. Little did we know, we forgot the most important components to a kickball game… the ball and the plates!
The next lesson I was taught while planning this event was that you always need to remain calm.
With only 20 minutes until event take-off, Cassidy and I had to scramble to find plates, a ball, and continue to set up simultaneously. With only minutes to spare, we had the plates set up, balls out, and food prepared.
This was a very important lesson because as an event planner, this kind of thing happens all the time. Whether you didn’t budget correctly, or something got lost in the mix, problems always arise. As the event planner, you must be cool, calm and collected. I am now confident in myself that I can quickly gather the necessary materials at the last second and keep a cool head about it.
Nothing but Photoshoots on Photoshoots
Everything in life is a promotion. If I have learned anything, it’s that. Above all, you need to have a good image of not only the event, but also yourself.
Leading up to Kicks for Kids, we made many fliers (one pictured below). We had the entire organization posting these fliers just about every day for a month up until the event. This way, we had the most reach we could possibly produce.
During the event, we did nothing but take photos. Now, none of us are professional photographers. However, it was necessary to take these pictures so that we can put them up post-event. We have to follow up after the event in order to show everyone:
- What they missed
- What they didn’t miss (people love seeing themselves in photos)
- What can happen next year, and
- To thank everyone for coming and participating
Social media is not only an aspect of event planning, but also a subsection of public relations, itself. Public relations is providing a good image for your client. In this case, my client was Kicks for Kids. I posted before, during, and after the event to give our sorority and philanthropy a positive image, and to show we are a hands-on organization. I can proudly say that I am part of the reason Kicks for Kids has a good name.
The End Result? Relief.
You’re running around, day after day, getting supplies, planning teams; you kind of feel like a chicken running around without a head. Everything piles up and its more and more and more and more, and suddenly…
How do you feel? First, you’re going to feel is relaxed. Finally, you can step back, take a breath, and review everything you did. You did good, kid. All that mess, and it flew by in a blink of an eye. You can finally chill out.
You may be glad it’s over, but the experience is definitely rewarding. It feels so good to plan something, execute it properly (or, as properly as possible), and know everyone there had a good time. That’s what makes event planning so great. My favorite part is watching how everyone is enjoying and appreciating all of my hard work.
Overall, event planning is a super rewarding experience, and you can find these opportunities anywhere (yes, even in Greek Life).
Alexandra Jareck is a senior Public Relations major. Alexandra is currently working as a Social Media Manager for the brand Art x Shanna. Alexandra is president for her sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, vice president for Entrance One PR Agency and on the planning committee for Week of Welcome. Alexandra is expected to graduate in December 2020.