• Fraternity Pledge
    Fraternity Pledge Thoughts from Michael R. Ayalon, Executive Director of Sigma Pi Fraternity, International

I'm always excited around this time of year when I get to see so many of the undergraduate members of Sigma Pi that I've worked with over the years get to graduation. One look at my Facebook account tells the tale of so many graduates that are eager and excited to take that next step in life. The leadership skills, communication skills, the lifelong friendships, and the values you take from Sigma Pi will take you to great heights. Here's the good news. According to a recent Gallup survey, your Greek affiliation leads to a higher sense of well-being, workplace engagement, support, experiential learning, and emotional attachment to your University. These are all traits that make you very attractive to a potential employer.

However, when I look at the job reports, one might be concerned about the prospects for a job as a new graduate. According to some recent studies, more than half of America's recent college graduates are either unemployed or working in a job that doesn't require a bachelor's degree. So, how do we ensure that you end up with the job you really want?

As someone who sees hundreds of resumes, cover letters, and lists of references, let me help you a bit. It's going to take more than just a good school and a good GPA to get you the job you really want.  

1. Adding "Sigma Pi Fraternity" to your resume is really nice, but you need to quantify your accomplishments for your chapter. What did you actually accomplish? Did you sit in the back of the chapter meeting with no input, or did you hold a position? If you were the Treasurer, don't just add your position, but tell me that you reduced the chapter's expenses by 29%. As a hiring officer, I will tell you that's a much better approach. Then I can figure out how you can help my organization if I were to hire you. If you were the recruitment chairman, tell me that you grew the chapter's size by 41%. I'll ask you questions about how you accomplished that goal. Quantifying your contributions makes a big difference when I'm reviewing over 100 resumes for the position. Remember that you are running a small business while in college. Not every college graduate gets that kind of hands on experience. That's a big accomplishment, but you need to know how to position that experience and make it relevant to the job search.

Come prepared with a list of success stories at college that you can relate to the business you are applying for. Then speak about those success stories!

2. Do you have a plan? I ask this question all the time: "If you got this position, what would your goals be over the first 90 days?" If you can't answer that, I wonder how much you really want this job in particular, and someone else's passion for the position will be the difference maker. Also, please come prepared with a list of thoughtful questions for the person who is doing the interview. That shows me that you've put thought into this position.

3. Be a problem solver. Is that organization struggling with some issue that you can detect? By doing some basic research on the company, you might find areas that you can assist with. The highest paid and the most successful employees are the ones that consistently bring solutions to problems, time and time again. I can't stress that enough. 

4. Do I want to work with you? If you have a negative attitude, you don't seem passionate about the job, or I don't think you'll fit in with our team, you won't get the job. People buy from people they like. They also hire people they like.

5. Network, network, network. Hopefully you started this process long before you were actually looking for a job. You can network online (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter), you can network in your Fraternity (Regional Alumni Clubs), at work, at home (family/friends), professional networking organizations in your city (use the Google machine for this), your local Chamber of Commerce, volunteer groups in your city, hobby/health/sports activities, and religious organizations. These are all places for you to showcase your skills and get leads on new opportunities, but you need to be committed to the process long term. You can't microwave relationships.

6. Tell me you want the job. I'm not talking about making a hint, beating around the bush here, or saying it in a roundabout way. I'm a New Yorker. Look me in the eye, shake my hand with a firm handshake, and say "I really want this job."  

7. Write thank you notes. I'm not talking about an email. A real, handwritten, on nice paper, thank you note. It's a forgotten art. When I get one in the mail, it sets you apart from the others because it's just not done all that often any more. It tells me you care.

Good luck. I'm going to be cheering for you to hit the game winning home run. Sigma Pi has given you all the tools you need to be successful. We can't help if you never get out of the batter's box. Now get up to the plate and swing.

The Rho chapter of Sigma Pi at NC State raised over $12,000 for the NC State Counseling Center at it's 5th annual Break the Silence 5K run for suicide prevention and awareness. The event started in 2011 in honor of one of their brothers, Marc Haege, who took his own life as a Junior at NC State in 2010.

The President of the Rho chapter at NC State, David Latteney, knows just how hard it is for a fraternity to get the media coverage they are seeking when the headlines are dominated by many campus wide problems such as hazing, sexual assault, and underage drinking. "It's a lot easier for the media to report on allegations of misconduct," Letteney said. "We are glad to be able to shed light on the good fraternities do. We hope that our philanthropy will help remind our school and our community of the great work being done by fraternities."

Internationally, Sigma Pi sees the importance of resources dedicated to mental health. One of our International Philanthropies is The Amazing Day Foundation, dedicated to reducing suicide among college students. Each year, 1,100 students die at their own hands. For more information about The Amazing Day Foundation, please visit their website at: http://amazingdayfoundation.org

Also, Sigma Pi has developed a new position on staff to address these needs with our members. We want to support the holistic development of our members through programming and educational initiatives. We will educate and promote the overall wellness and safety of our undergraduate members, alumni, volunteers, and staff. If you're interested in applying for that position, please view the full job description at: http://sigmapi.org/employment-opportunities/director-of-wellness-safety/

Photo of the Rho Chapter House of Sigma Pi Fraternity.  

 

 

Please view the video below:

 

Today's post is a guest post from PGS John Kitch, General Counsel.

As careful as we are, as closely as we adhere to the risk management policies of the Fraternity, bad things can happen. A person can fall from a chapter house balcony, a non-member can assault a brother, a person of legal age can still drink so much that he or she suffers from alcohol poisoning. So what should we do if something terrible happens at a chapter house or chapter event?

First, call 911 if there may be a serious injury. Our first duty is to get proper medical attention to someone who is hurt. Do not delay, as each passing minute can make the situation worse for the injured party.

Next, any member aware of the incident should immediately inform the chapter Sage, and the Sage must take charge. He must then notify International Headquarters of all incidents through the C-3 report online at http://sigmapi.org/chapter-reporting/incident-report/ and notify the Chapter Director and Province Archon. Follow up the C-3 Report by calling your Regional Director or the Executive Office at 1-800-332-1897. You can reach Executive Director Michael Ayalon at extension 306.

Cooperate with the police. If you don't, you can be charged with being an accessory to any crime and/or obstruction of justice. Take photographs and/or video to preserve documentation of what occurred. Refer the media - print, TV, or radio - to International Headquarters. If you think you are being investigated or accused of a crime, ask for advice from a lawyer before answering any questions.

As much as we try we may not be able to avoid a serious incident. However, following these simple steps can help us minimize the harm to the individual involved, the chapter, and the Fraternity.

Beta Chapter of Sigma Pi (Indiana University) after a recent snowfall.

 

 

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About Michael Ayalon

ayalon-headshots-web

Michael R. Ayalon serves as Executive Director of Sigma Pi Fraternity, International. Founded in 1897, Sigma Pi Fraternity is the leading, international men's collegiate fraternal organization which provides training, guidance and innovative opportunities for Leadership Development, Social and Personal Development, Academic Achievement, Community Service and Heightened Moral Awareness for its brothers throughout their lives.

Contact Michael:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 615.921.2300

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