Why it’s not “just” a sorority.

Sigma AlphaThink of the first thing that pops into your head when you think of a sorority. You might think of the stereotypical sorority you see in movies and TV shows. Pink, glitter, strange matching outfits, and synchronized chants. You may even think of some negative Greek life connotations such as parties, skipping classes, and prank feuds with other sororities.

Let’s take a step back to look at what it actually is. I’ve been a member of Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Sorority since fall semester of my freshman year at NDSU. My parents were not exactly thrilled at my decision to join a sorority, because all they knew about it was what they saw in the media. Parties, Pink, and mean girls. Joining Sigma Alpha was one of the best decisions I could have made in my college career.

You see, Sigma Alpha has done so much more for my professional development and myself as a person then I ever could’ve imagined. Not only have I made life long friends with a high achieving group of women interested in agriculture at NDSU, but I now have a country wide network of sisters that I already have something in common with. Through professional development activities at conferences, retreats, and meetings I am better prepared to enter the workforce, knowing how to go into meetings prepared, and best represent my company.

My scholastic achievements have been pushed through GPA requirements, weekly study hours, and “fort finals” spent during finals week in the library with my sisters. There is always someone to help you study for a class you may have difficulty in. Old tests and quizzes to study in classes you haven’t taken yet. A cheerleader to celebrate with when you both ace that test you spent hours studying together for. Someone to work harder with for the next test when you’re disappointed.

Then there is what Sigma Alpha does for the community. Multiple fundraising events to benefit local charities, working closely with professional at career expos, and even volunteering outside of Sigma Alpha walking dogs, working in food pantries and soup kitchens, and cleaning up trash along the road. Our national philanthropy is Heifer International, which works to provide livestock and education to people in need in developing countries. Raising money to send a family in poverty a flock of chickens to feed themselves. Teaching children about where their food comes from, and what kind of meat comes from a cow versus a pig. Ag in the Classroom is another organization we work with to educate the public about agriculture, especially in schools.

Then, there is the professional benefit of trying to get a job right out of college. Professionals in the company who you are interviewing with may have had experience with one of your other sisters, or are simply impressed by your involvement in a professional organization.

When you have the skills and knowledge you learn through Sigma Alpha, you walk with confidence into the boardroom for that big meeting. You take time out of your weekend to go clean up trash in your community. You stop in the grocery store when someone is concerned about the labels on the meat. You become a better person, because only the best have the heart of the bull.

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