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Divine Nine Greeks learn more than they realize about the workforce before getting there (761 hits)

To be a member of a National Pan-Hellenic Council organization is a beautiful thing. Many don't seem to realize it but members of the fraternities Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, and Iota Phi Theta and the sororities Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, and Sigma Gamma Rho belong to perhaps the most prolific leadership network for African-Americans. As a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha, I can personally attest to the effectiveness of the "Divine Nine" network.

Divine Nine Greeks have a unique skill set. That skill set includes individual confidence, creativity, organization, team work, and, most importantly, an appreciation for the big picture of an organization. It all comes from the passion we have for our respective letters. Interestingly, many of those in our college ranks may not even realize they have the goods to build successful careers.

Black Greeks are commonly confident in their abilities to get the job done, if nothing else. Despite criticisms for wanting to "belong to something", our critics often miss the simple truism that it is natural for people to want to belong to something. With the high visibility and historically great reputations of Black fraternities and sororities, those who are initiated into our organizations understand the prestige that comes along with becoming members.

Creativity is often harvested in Black Greeks' "stepping", "stomping", or "strolling". As a "step master" in college, I insisted that my teams create original routines. We were also resourceful in grabbing bits and pieces of routines from our fellow chapters across the country. How many of us have found ourselves in positions in the workforce to come up with creative ways to beat our competition?

Nothing frustrates a Greek chapter more than Robert's Rules of Order. At the same time, nothing keeps a chapter organized like Robert's Rules. There's no need to explain how important organization is to businesses and organizations. Likewise, team work is self-explanatory for any student organization and their members' journey to professional life.

The biggest gift that Divine Nine organizations give their members is the understanding of the big picture. Every organization insists that its members learn the history, aims, and philosophies of their respective fraternities and sororities. That translates easily to members' taking ownership of the businesses they work for. I talk about this "Divine Nine Advantage" in career preparation in my Black Greek Success Program.

I caution my fellow collegiate Black Greeks that taking advantage of this skill set takes a serious approach to Greek life. Those who simply want to be seen with letters often miss the point of Greek life and tend to miss out on building a great life network. Like anything else, there are those members who simply don't get it. By shining a light on our unique skills, however, our collegiate Black Greeks can successfully maintain paths to career success while enjoying the privilege of wearing their respective letters.
Posted By: Eddie Francis
Friday, December 14th 2012 at 10:17AM
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