February has been a busy month for the brothers – we had four professional events in two weeks along with other fundraising and social events! The week started off with a professional event on Monday with someone I met through my finance internship at Verizon. Rob worked with me in the New Jersey headquarters, but is originally from the Pittsburgh area so he traveled here to speak to our brothers! He is a senior manager at Verizon within their information security group. Rob has had an interesting career path, working in all different areas of Verizon that started with what he considered to just be a job, but eventually turned into an almost-20-year-long career.
Rob led the students at the event through his journey with Verizon. One point that he made that really stood out to me was about surrounding yourself with good people. If you are with friends, coworkers, a boss or manager that is not supportive or is just a toxic person, you should remove yourself from that situation. Being around supportive people who encourage your growth rather than hinder it is incredibly important for career development and mental health, and Rob made that very clear to all of us. It made me grateful to be in an organization like Delta Sigma Pi where I know I can always turn to one of my brothers for help anytime I need it. Overall I think the Verizon event was really great because it exposed our brothers to a company that is not based on Pittsburgh and has so many opportunities within cyber security, information systems, risk management, and finance. Rob is also a really engaging and energetic speaker, and our brothers had a lot of really great questions to ask him that he enthusiastically and honestly answered.
The next day we had an event about supply chain management and sales. John Houston is a Pitt alum as well as the former SVP of Bayer. He has done work in consulting and has experience doing international work, so he also had a lot of really great advice to give to the brothers. One thing that John emphasized was the importance of having experience with sales, especially for those interested in marketing. John organizes a Sales Academy at Pitt where business students learn and practice critical sales skills and have the chance to work with students from the engineering school as well, which I think is really interesting and important for learning how to work with people from different educational backgrounds. John also talked to the supply chain students about what skills or competencies would be important for them to have before entering the workplace. One thing John said that stood out to me was when he described his leadership style; he believes that a leader should be a coach, not a boss. This is a piece of advice that I will honestly carry with me into my career.
Wednesday was our senior brother-led event which is an event that we started doing last year and will hopefully continue to do in the future. This year we had ten seniors volunteer to help out with the event. The seniors split up into three groups: marketing, accounting/finance, and supply chain. The brothers attending the event were mostly freshmen and sophomores. It was a really great opportunity for them to learn from the older brothers, as well as a great opportunity for the older brothers to give back to the newer brothers. Once we had all split into groups the brothers were able to ask the seniors questions about different internships and interview experiences. I found it really helpful even as a junior to hear from the other accounting seniors about their internships at Big 4 firms. Afterwards, all three groups came together to ask the seniors more general questions like how they made a decision between two offers or what its like working in a brand new city.
Finally, the next Tuesday we had a speaker Carlos Carter come in and motivate our chapter. He talked about his life experiences that have led him to where he is now as a motivational speaker as well as the work he does as the executive director of a nonprofit. I thought that Carlos was a very inspirational individual. He encouraged us to pursue our passions, which I think is really important for business students to hear. It was cool to have a professional speaker that is also a motivational speaker, hopefully we can do an event like that again in the future!
I am looking forward to the rest of the professional events I have planned this semester, as well as all of the other community service, social, and fundraising events. I hope that the brothers are enjoying these events and learning as much as they can from the professionals!