Greeks want to hire Greeks — and for good reason, the author says.
Most people have heard stories of the raucous parties or charity fundraisers associated with Greek life.
Greek life organizations can be controversial; they are accused of being cultish by their harshest critics, while others insist they build character.
But can being in a fraternity actually help someone land the perfect career?
When applying for a job, having a connection with the boss or even an employee provides a competitive edge over other applicants. Employers are known to prefer college graduates who attended their alma mater. Fraternity alumni sometimes think the same way, as employers can actively look for members of their frat to hire.
Brad Plaxen studies engineering at Carnegie Melon University, and appears confident in his ability to find a job after graduating.
“I know that my adviser has a list of 30 to 40 Delta Chi Delta members who own businesses or are high enough up to hire employees and could get jobs for members,” he said.
This list would prove an invaluable resource for any graduates finding themselves in the job market.
There are elements within Greek life itself that lead some employers to look favorably upon those in fraternities. After all, frats and corporate culture do have many things in common.
Just as companies attempt to inspire a sense of loyalty to the firm within their employees, fraternities also try to create a sense of loyalty within their members.
Most college students have seen clumps of students wearing tank tops, T-shirts or sweatpants with Greek letters advertizing a particular fraternity. In pictures, sorority girls form their hands into the insignia of their group. And though they are not related to one another through blood, males in the same frat refer to themselves as “brothers” while females in sororities call each other “sisters.”
As Greek employers know, many fraternity freshmen go through hazing. The process of hazing often involves doing ridiculous, physically challenging or even shameful things — with the threat of rejection — as a rite of passage.
Greek employers know that an applicant who has gone through hazing will be less likely to question or refuse to carry out the boss’ orders.
There is also a unique bond between those who undergo hazing, said Daniel Pham, a freshman at Dartmouth University.
“After someone is hazed, they feel a certain connection that others who aren’t in that group don’t have because they suffered through the same mistreatment,” Pham said.
He added that transforming from a hazed freshman into a powerful senior in a fraternity is similar to climbing the corporate ladder, like going from an overworked mail-room operator to an executive.
A keystone in the success of any fraternity, from the standpoint of the individual and the group as a whole, is knowing when to keep it in. There are times to be rowdy, and times to be civil. Times to be bros, and times to be brothers.
This ability to change attitude is necessary in the corporate environment. Employees need to know when to gossip with their co-workers to relieve stress and when to sit at a desk with their head down.
Employers must know when to joke during an interview and when to keep a straight face at a meeting. CEOs should know when to schmooze with investors and when to be tough in board meetings.
Of the nation’s top 50 companies, 43 are owned by Greeks.
This doesn’t surprise Plaxen, who said that Greek life attracts ambitious people and molds them before they enter the workplace.
“It’s a positive reinforcement cycle,” he said.
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