Fraternity and sorority networks yield career opportunities

With more than 3,300 members involved in Greek life, UNC fraternities and sororities offer more than just temporary social connections — they provide a large alumni network for students after college.

Many current Greek students create unique networks at UNC in terms of mentorship, career development advice and internship opportunities.

“It’s a way to separate yourself from the other applicants and particularly make connections with CEOs,” said Hilliard Burton, president of Chi Psi Fraternity.

Founded in 1855, Chi Psi’s UNC chapter is one of the largest on campus and offers many different networking opportunities such as dinners with former members and guest speaker lectures.

Burton said as a brother, he has access to alumni for career or internship suggestions.

“There are opportunities for those students in the chapter to interact in a very direct way with alumni,” said Aaron Bachenheimer, director of the office of fraternity and sorority life and community involvement.

He said Greek alumni are willing to give their time, wisdom and advice to the students.

“Many of those alumni stay involved, stay connected, come back to campus, so the students have opportunities to meet with and network with those folks multiple times a year and set up opportunities for internships or job connections,” he said.

He said in general, the older the group, the more extensive the alumni networking is.

But he added some younger groups also have very strong alumni networks.

Chartered in 1976, Alpha Phi Alpha is considered one of the newer fraternities on campus and has about 200 alumni across the country.

Warren Wyatt, the president of Alpha Phi Alpha, said members of the organization regard the alumni connections as valuable to their careers.

“When you are looking for a job, you know, you need some type of reference, some kind of credibility, and alumni will help you with that,” he said.

Bachenheimer said Greek alumni tend to be the most engaged and generous donors.

He said a lot of Greek alumni stay connected through different ways after graduation. Some Greek organizations have chapters across the country and alumni are still in touch even 20 or more years after graduation.

“There is a sense of commitment and loyalty that gets engendered through Greek experience that does not typically happen with most other student organizations,” he said.

Bachenheimer said Greek students have an added sense of permanence at the University.

“It’s a place when they come back for a football game on a Saturday 10 years from now, they may not know anybody on campus, but they know in their frat, they are gonna have a connection.”

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