DPhiE ILC, Take Two

You just never know where life is going to take you. 

We’re all familiar with the saying but before last year, I never really identified with the phrase. I came into college with no prior knowledge of the sorority experience; unfamiliar with the recruitment process, terminology, and overall understanding of the purpose behind being a member of fraternity and sorority life. I signed up for recruitment on a whim, really just searching for a place that would provide friendship, comfort and support during my collegiate experience. 

As a current Senior International Leadership Consultant reflecting back on my collegiate opportunities, I can confidently say Delta Phi Epsilon provided all these things – in addition to leadership development, sisterhood, opportunities for growth and a sense of belonging. 

It’s impossible to touch on my ILC experience and not begin with my experiences as a collegian. As a two-time member of my chapter’s leadership team (first as Vice President of House Management followed by Chapter President) I always adored when consultants came to visit. Not only were ILCs individual DPhiE experts, but they were able to collaborate with and learn from collegians, alumnae, advisors and university administrators throughout all of North America. They could answer and ask tough questions, provide leadership development through a variety of presentations and help lift your chapter to the next level. I just knew that when I graduated – I wanted to be an ILC. 

I am so incredibly thankful for every opportunity, experience and learning moment the past one and a half years as an ILC has offered me. Throughout 2019 and into 2020, I collaborated with thirty chapters and their leadership teams on both operational and recruitment-specific visits. Although I visited some pretty incredible places (The Grand Canyon, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the fall, cool college towns like Athens, Georgia), I look back even more fondly on the connections I made, the stories I shared and the members, alumnae and communities I learned so much about. I still find myself Facetiming fellow consultants from last year and connecting with chapter advisors and alumnae of chapters I’ve worked with. 

Consulting this year certainly looks different than the last. None of us anticipated living and working in a virtual world. Many university campuses have gone fully remote, primary recruitments are being held completely online, and student organizations have had to pivot their operations and programming to virtual spaces. What does this mean for the ILC experience? 

This year I’m directly overseeing fourteen chapters, serving a liaison for any chapter needs and concerns, ranging from recruitment and finance to operations and programming. I’m able to create my own schedule and take part in a variety of opportunities to expand my professional portfolio. This academic term I collaborated with the Organizational Growth team and helped create the Virtual Recruitment Guide, a resource that has offered advice, tips and best practices for recruitment in today’s climate. Beyond this, many ILCs have given workshops and webinars that lie in accordance with their functional area. I know that wherever I head next after DPhiE, my portfolio will be up-to-date with materials reflective of my strengths and career goals. 

Above all, I most appreciate the true connection, sisterhood, relationships, mentorship and professional development that being an ILC brings. In times of COVID-19, it’s normal to feel confused, overwhelmed and lonely; it’s easy to think only about the things that have been postponed or cancelled. My experiences as a part of the ILC program continue to remind me of the many things that continue during this time: the love we all can extend to each other, friendship, learning, and true sisterhood for a lifetime. 

Thank you, DPhiE, for an experience I will cherish forever. From the co-workers that turned to friends, the friends that turned to family, to the members that reached out saying ‘thank you!’ for helping them with a workshop or answering a question. All have impacted me in a way that’s hard to put into words! Each moment has been full of so much happiness and joy – the future of the ILC program is bright and I can’t wait to see all it accomplishes. 

It’s true; you just never know where life is going to take you. I’m so grateful mine brought me to be a DPhiE ILC. 

Mary Kleffner is an alumna member of the Gamma Kappa chapter at Capital University and a current Senior International Leadership Consultant. Mary specializes in creating recruitment education resources and helps manage the social media account for the Delta Phi Epsilon International Leadership Consultants (@dphieilcs). 

Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 – 2022 International Leadership Consultant Program. You can learn more information and apply, by clicking here.