Written by: Laurel Green
HerNetwork recently interviewed Elizabeth Ryan, a fellow student here at Boston University. She is a senior in Questrom studying Business Administration and concentrating in Organizational Behavior. You may know her from her most recent position as Panhellenic Recruitment Director for Sorority Life on campus. Elizabeth ran Formal Recruitment 2016, which took about a year to plan, and was previously an intern for 5 Hour Energy and worked at Vineyard Vines. She is an active member in Sigma Kappa and has successfully secured a job for herself after graduation. She gives us advice on how to handle all your responsibilities, tips for job searching, and the role of Greek life in her college experience.
- Why did you decide to “Go Greek” and what has been the most beneficial aspect of it?
I decided to join a sorority my freshman year because my roommate had asked me to attend the third open house with her, and something about that night just hooked me. Looking back, I realize I’ve gained a lot from being a sorority woman. Most notably, I gained an incredible support system. It can be really challenging to be away from home in a new environment. Adding in the fact that you’re surrounded by 16,000+ strangers when you get to BU doesn’t really help. Even though I didn’t have too hard of a time transitioning, I found myself longing for the close-knit community I had at my small high school. I found that sense of community in joining a sorority, but it was stronger than I had ever experienced.
Having my big as someone to look to for guidance and advice, women from my new member class to call my roommates and best friends, and a little and grandlittles (and soon great-grandlittles!) to make me push myself to be the role model they deserve have undoubtedly shaped my time at BU. Essentially, the support I’ve gotten from being a sorority woman has molded me into the woman I am today.
- As Panhellenic Recruitment Director: Why did you want the position and what were some things you gained from the experience?
There is something incredibly captivating about the whole process and I became completely enraptured. Moving forward, I got really involved with recruitment for my own chapter and watched another member of my chapter serve as Recruitment Director. I developed such a love for recruitment and an urge to make everyone love it as much as I do, that by the time elections rolled around, I knew I had to run.
The most beneficial thing about being the Recruitment Director was being exposed to the incredible women in our community. It is easy to get tunnel vision with your own chapter and only really think about your sisters. Having the chance to serve on the Panhellenic Council gave me the opportunity to meet and befriend so many incredible women. I found myself constantly telling people that I was so glad to have met them, whether they were other women on Panhel, chapter leaders, Pi Chis, or PNMs. I have a deep admiration for the incredibly women in my chapter and am often in awe of them, but meeting all of these women in other chapters reminded me why I am so passionate about this community as a whole.
- You have a job secured for after graduation. What piece of advice would you give in either building a well- rounded resume, networking, internships, experience, etc.?
The best advice I have for people looking for a job is to talk to people you know. Even if you don’t think you know anyone in an industry you’re interested in, you never know! Your friend’s cousin’s old roommate could be two years into a job at a company you’d love. Even if not, you could get some great industry specific advice. The more you can know going into a job search and the subsequent interview process, the better of you’ll be.
- Is there anything you wish you would have done more of or differently in college?
There isn’t anything that really comes to mind. I’ve honestly been so lucky to have an incredible college experience; which I again owe to the friendships I’ve made through being a sorority woman.
Ending notes from HerNetwork:
Elizabeth shows us the importance of not only creating a community for yourself, but the importance of surrounding yourself with people who will push you and inspire you in ways you hadn’t expected. Through Greek life, Elizabeth found leadership opportunities, role models, and a community of her own within our large campus. She also gives us advice on the importance of simple communication when it comes to the job search. Talk to everyone and everyone because, as Elizabeth said herself, you never know what opportunities you may find when you expand your network. With that, thank you to Elizabeth for taking the time to answer some questions for us! And for all you reading, go out and find the people who are going to inspire you to do more and try more and hopefully you too will have an incredible college experience!