Welcome to my new, fun blog, Traveling on Purpose, where I intend to lay out all of the details of my incredible adventures I am about to embark on as a National Consultant for Chi Omega.
I cannot wait to visit Oklahoma, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas this fall to work with some of the best and brightest college women in the nation. I am excited to empower Chi Omega’s all across the States to be the best leaders they can be. Yet, in order to be prepared for these great adventures, I needed some preparation. Not to fear ladies, I have been well-trained by the best of the best at our Headquarters in Memphis, TN.
National Consultant training is a two-week long process consisting of new friends, new technology, and a whole lot of new information about Chi Omega that I never knew before. The training was intense and the hours were long, but I learned a whole lot. Here are the six main lessons I learned from NC Training:
1) Pack two suitcases. Let’s be real, what gal can stuff one suitcase full of two-weeks worth of blazers, heels, pants, dresses, PJs, casual clothes, AND toiletries all under 50 pounds? Well, not I!! Made that mistake the moment I got to the airport and the kind man shook his head at me and said, “Girl, what you got in there!!” Needless to say, my suitcase was 58 pounds and (obviously) I needed everything I had packed so out came $100 from my wallet.
Now I know what you’re thinking, oh Mere, that stinks that you had to pay another $100 when you flew back home…ha! Jokes on you, because another lesson I learned is that Chi Omega ships a whole lot of stuff from our HQ, including a desperate consultant’s extra clothes that made her bag overweight. Bless you HQ staff.
Also, praises for my amazing, cool mom boss, who approved my reimbursement request for my obnoxiously overweight suitcase. Oh the grace that was shown to me!!
1a) Purchase a bag weigher so you will know well in advance if your bag will be over 50 pounds.
2) If the line for the bathroom is too long during your break, just use the men’s! Not like there are any men who work for Chi Omega anyway! Sister, if you’ve gotta go, then you’ve gotta go.
3) When playing sardines, always pick a second-year consultant to be your partner. What sense does it make to pair up with a consultant who knows as little about good hiding spots as you do?? It’s dark and confusing in HQ at night, you will want to be with someone who knows what they’re doing.
4) Consultants and Chi Omega HQ staff affirm one another well. Never before have I been surrounded by such genuinely encouraging women in a place where I definitely needed it most. In a completely new environment with new work and new friends, the affirmations I received from my co-workers on a daily basis brought me much peace and happiness. I learned it is essential to encourage your friends, old and new, in both the little and the big things.
5) Chi Omega cares so deeply for the women in our organization. They care enough to spend valuable time and resources on 15 other consultants and me to train us to be the best consultants we can be for our collegiate women. I have felt more cared for and loved than I ever could have imagined in a first job.
6) Chi Omega also hires the most incredible, fearless women to work for them. These rockstars I get to call my bosses and fellow consultants are some of the most kind, generous, considerate, and hilarious people I have ever known. They welcomed me in instantly and made me feel at home since day one. I look up to each and every one of these women for different reasons, and that is one of the many things I appreciate about Chi Omega–that we can be individually together.
I also had the privilege of getting to attend Chi Omega’s 61st Convention in Orlando this past week, and let me tell you, it was a blast.
Firstly, Chi Omega allowed me to stay in the Ritz Carlton with the nicest accommodations I had ever lived in in my short life thus far. Waking up in a spacious, comfortable bed to a beautiful balcony and warm robe made for a marvelous vacation for me. Besides the fact that the Ritz staff woke me up one morning with delivering our coffee (because yes, my roomie and I are divas and had coffee delivered to our room, judge us) 30 minutes earlier than requested, it was the most pleasant stay. Five stars to the Ritz Orlando.
Also, who knew you could custom order and ask the Ritz to put up your own wallpaper for your convention! Too fun, Chi O. Someday I hope to be able to decorate my own hotel.
Anyway, Chi Omega Convention is where 1,300 of the most accomplished, passionate women in America come together to learn, grow, and inspire. And I left inspired more than anything. Inspired by my peers and by those greater in age than myself. Looking at the rock star women who run this organization and recognizing that almost all of them started as consultants brings me great pride. Great pride seeing that yes, someday I can be an impactful leader changing the higher ed world like them. I want to impact college student’s lives like them. I want to inspire and encourage like them. Being surrounded by so many world-changing, selfless women made me believe in myself more than ever before. After only working for this with organization for 3 weeks now, I can already tell that it will have a significant impact on my journey. I cannot wait to hit the road and have my life continually shaped by the amazing women I will meet.
This year will be unlike any other of my life so far. Every visit will have its unique challenges and circumstances, but I hope to approach them all with genuine humility and empathy. I am pumped to see God flex his power this year as He does “far more abundantly than all that I ask or think” through this role. I cannot wait to see how I grow and learn from each chapter I visit, and I can’t wait to share those lessons with whoever stumbles upon this blog.
Hopefully you’re reading it on purpose though…