Tuesday, October 11, 2016

My Experience as an Officer

by Soleil Griffin

My experience as an officer has enabled me to test my abilities as a leader. Before I officially joined Alpha Theta Phi’s officer team, I didn't know how or where I could put my skills to use. A couple of months prior to joining the officer team, I went through a Leadership for Success workshop training that was taught by one of the advisors, Chris Singh, of the chapter. At first I didn’t realize he was one of the advisors, until I went to the Induction Ceremony and saw him on the stage. However, because of this training, I knew that I had the capability to collaborate with a team and wanted to put the skills I learned use.

When I got an email about the first Honors in Action meeting, I thought that it would be a great way to introduce myself to the officer team. Initially, I was really nervous. I kept debating with myself about whether or not I wanted to enter the room. It was not until someone noticed how crazy I looked walking back and forth counseling myself, that I decided that I should go in. When I finally stepped into the room, my nerves went away, until I saw the same female that was staring at me a couple of minutes ago. I couldn’t believe that during the meeting, I had a lot to say. I think it was because I wanted to prove myself, or it was because I didn’t speak all day, and that was my time to shine.

After the meeting, I introduced myself to the other two advisors. At first I didn’t want to since I started to become nervous again, but I remembered that my leadership instructor told me to make myself known to everyone in Alpha Theta Phi group. As I built up the courage, I asked if I could volunteer for any position that they had available. When they saw my eagerness, they quickly gave me the opportunity to help coordinate the HIA project. This particular project focused on the theme “Individualism and Collectivism”, though during the voting process, I wanted to work on another theme, I quickly had to stick it out since it was a majority vote. At first I wasn't sure what I had to do, or the purpose of the coordinator, I just knew that since one of the officers, Rinzin, was going away for a program, I needed to fill his place temporarily.

Since I was the new person in the group, I could feel the standoffish tension between some of the other officers. So, one of the head advisors, Dr. Dr, helped ease the minor tension by creating an Honors in Action game plan. This was so that I could stay on track, and so that the other officers knew what to expect before the meeting. With guidance from her and the president, Hyun, I was able to feel a bit more welcomed by everyone. While being the coordinator for the Honors in Action project, I was able to do scholarly research and collaborate with like minded individuals. Some of the collaborations include: working with the officer team, the advisors, and other staff members who we interviewed for the project. By collaborating, we were able to narrow our research topic to personal identity, and how it could affect society as a whole. Now we are currently working with philosophers and potentially a psychologist for our action piece of the project, and I became a permanent coordinator for the project.

To this day, I continually enjoy being a part of the Alpha Theta Phi officer team. Whether it's connecting with new members, hosting an event, or doing a workshop, the experience has been worthwhile. Everyone on the team are motivated and encouraging. We push each other because we demand the best from each other. I truly believed that I would have a problem fitting in, but with the warmth and optimism from my fellow PTK officers, I have been able to realize my capabilities which are: being able to be open minded, not just due the work myself; but asking for help, creating a thorough agenda and connected with students who want to go far in life.

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