Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lehigh Alum Joins SigEp HQ Staff

By Mitch Goldich, '09

Shortly after graduating from Lehigh last May, I began working for Sigma Phi Epsilon's Headquarters as a Regional Director. The position began with a two month training program in Richmond, VA before I hit the road as a traveling consultant for the fraternity. Now I oversee 24 chapters in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

I work with alumni, volunteers, undergrads, and university officials to help SigEp chapters improve their operations and serve as leaders on campus. The position focuses mainly on volunteer engagement, recruitment, retention, academics, finances, and housing situations. But rather than advising my chapters over the phone, I'm constantly traveling to see them. I live out of my car, and crash at a new chapter house every couple of nights.

You may be wondering, "What would make somebody want to do that?" Well, I had an incredible experience as an undergrad in SigEp, and it's very rewarding to help ensure that others around the country can enjoy the same opportunities I had.

It's interesting to see that every campus is different, yet they all share a lot in common. Greek communities nationwide are facing the same challenges, in overcoming old stereotypes to promote positive change and serve as leaders on college campuses.

I learned a lot from my experience at Lehigh, which has been valuable to me on the road. By getting involved with the Accreditation process, I had learned to think a lot about not just what my chapter does, but why. This perspective has been crucial to keep in mind as I advise my chapters in the Midwest.

It's a little stressful living out of my car all the time, but it's an adventure that you can only really have when you're 22. And even though I'll be driving more than 20,000 miles this year, it's probably not as bad for my car as four years of driving up and down The Hill, and bottoming out on the speed bumps down Taylor Drive. This job has been an incredible opportunity for me to grow and learn about myself, while helping to give back to others. I'm really excited to be able to share the value of my experience with the Lehigh Greek Community.