Finding your Home as a DPhiE Volunteer
Sarah Robinson knew she wanted to jump into volunteering with DPhiE immediately after graduation. As a leader in her chapter, she wanted to maintain her connection to the organization and serve the organization that gave her a meaningful undergraduate experience. While she knew she wanted to get involved, the path to finding a volunteer role she thrived in was unique.
Following graduation Sarah started a short term volunteer role that did not fit her lifestyle. As she entered into her career after graduation, the time commitment for this volunteer role was too much. “I wish I had taken more time to look at the different opportunities for involvement, not every role is the right fit for everyone.” From her experience, Sarah learned that it’s ok to test out what works for you and learn more about the different ways to get involved. Whether you want to serve on a committee, advise a local chapter or join an alumnae association there are options available that will fit into your lifestyle. She saw this as an opportunity for growth. While one opportunity was not a good fit for her lifestyle that did not mean there was not a space for her in DPhiE.
In the Winter of 2020, she began serving as the lead advisor for the Beta Beta chapter at The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Unlike her last volunteer position, this role was more flexible and provided her the opportunity to maintain and build on the professional development skills she gained during her undergraduate experience. “All of the skills I gained from being MAL, President and advising translate to my career in Human Resources and enhance what I learned in my classes. The collaboration, project management and communication skills all show up in your professional life no matter your field.”
Serving as a chapter advisor also gave her the opportunity for mentorship. Approaching the volunteer role with a mentorship mindset, she coached the chapter members to lead rather than leading them. This was something she craved during her undergraduate experience. “You’re there to serve the chapter members and help them have the best DPhiE experience possible. On every call I tell them I am there for them as much or as little as they need me. I want them to feel supported by me in a way that works best for them.”
Sarah loves serving as a chapter advisor because it fills her cup. “It’s ok to be a little self serving in the way you approach giving back. If you’re invested you will bring the best version of yourself to the table. It’s also ok to try different roles to find a space that you thrive in.”
For sisters unsure if advising is for them, Sarah encourages you to just try it! “There’s truly a space for everyone. It’s ok to take a risk and advise for another chapter or try something new. Advising a chapter other than my own has given me a unique perspective – they’re the same but different in a good way. Getting involved has made me feel connected to the values of DPhiE all over again.”