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KSUViolet06 07-23-2013 08:40 PM

PNM advice: the importance of personal connections in recruitment
I see a lot of PNMs focusing on "tangible" items like recs, grades, outfits, and community service.

Those are important, but let me be the first to tell you that these are STANDARD items. That's the "foot in the door" stuff that EVERY PNM at a reasonably competitive school WILL have. You've got 3 recs per chapter, a 3.95, and were involved in 2 sports. Guess what? At Bama, Ole Miss, etc. that's EVERY girl in your group.

I find that GC tends to ignore something that matters A LOT in competitive recruitment: PERSONAL CONNECTIONS/RELATIONSHIPS.

Everybody has the standard stuff, but it really IS "who you know" that is a HUGE factor.

Chapter members tend to know who from HS, camp, cheer, etc. is going through and if these are women they know and like, they'll be the first to say "OMG. I went to HS with Becky! She'd be great."

Those are the women who stand out and when there are limited spots to go around, come to member's minds first.

A lot of PNMs come into recruitment knowing no one, from another state, etc. They tend to be at a disadvantage not because they're undesirable, it's just that invites are limited and there is little room for chapters to invite PNMs back whom they JUST met on day 1 of recruitment.

Let's look at personal connections from a numbers standpoint:

For example, let's say that ABC at Southern University has 100 members (not using big numbers because I'm tired.) Each of them personally knows 2 PNMs from church/camp/high school/etc whom they think would make great ABCs.

100 x 2 = 200 women whom members can already vouch for before they even set foot in the chapter doors on day 1.

Fast forward to after day 1. ABC has 300 invites for day 2.

Out of that 300, there are these 200 girls with personal connections whom members already know of and want.

Assuming that all 200 of those are issued an invite, that leaves just 100 spots for the "unknown wildcard" PNMs whom no one has heard of prior to recruitment.

My point is that personal connections are very important.

This is not to say that if you run off to all greek staffed summer camp this summer, you're a shoo-in.

But those PNMs who have attended camp, lived in the same neighborhood, gone to HS, and played softball since __ grade with sorority members (and have developed relationships with them) do have an advantage.

Can you get a bid if you know no one? Sure. Every chapter is different and there are some who have more room for the "wildcards" based on a lot of factors than others. But in dealing with those chapters who are releasing high numbers of women early on in the process, those with the connections are generally in a better position.

Note: This is EXTRA true for upperclassmen.

Extra note: emphasis on "know and like." Not "I know Katie Kappa from Science in 11th grade." Two different things!

Just throwing this out there so that PNMs can be thinking of it (and for those not rushing this fall, they can be cultivating some sort of personal connection with members.)

carnation 07-23-2013 08:58 PM

And this is why you shouldn't go ballistic if you don't get back a full schedule every day, even if you're Miss Everything with a 6.0 GPA.

KSUViolet06 07-23-2013 09:24 PM


So often, we hear "I don't know how I only got 3 chapters back out of a possible 8. I wore Lilly every day, fed the homeless every week in HS, had 4 recs to every chapter, and have a 5.0 in all AP classes."

When it came down to it, it's not that you weren't great on paper, or weren't cute enough, or that you have a horrible personality. It's because they met you first the first time EVER for 30 minutes during first party. You don't know anyone, and there was not enough time for anyone to even try to get to know you. When a chapter is pressed for time and has a finite number of invites, they are naturally going to be predisposed toward the women you've already met in other contexts.

Think of it this way: Blind date vs. guy you already know from class, know what he's involved in, his personality etc.

MaryPoppins 07-23-2013 10:03 PM

I'm borrowing these ^^^^ with you permission of course.

LuvMyPNM 07-23-2013 10:04 PM

At schools where recruitment week is after school begins, don't you think that those girls from OOS could meet some members and make connections so they aren't meeting up with members on day 1? Or do they hide out in their houses and not try to engage the rest of the student body? Just trying to understand.

KSUViolet06 07-23-2013 10:28 PM

If you're talking January recruitment, you should already know sorority members as you've had plenty of time.

Now if we're talking SEPTEMBER, anything you're really going to do to attempt to get to know someone is kind of "too little too late." You can try, but "Hi I'm Suzie" in class two weeks before recruitment is different from having known the member you're speaking to from last semester.

KSUViolet06 07-23-2013 10:39 PM

Also, this is where keeping an open mind comes into play.

Yes, I know everyone wants to be Phi Beta Popular & Epsilon Everyone Loves. But let's keep it real, these chapters are pressed for time and invites with little room for "wild cards."

If you're out of state or shy or you just don't know anyone in those groups, you might find yourself not invited back to these groups. It's not the end of the world. There are OTHER chapters on campus.

So often, Girl Who Knows Not A Soul in Most Popular gets bent out of shape about not getting invited back there. Meanwhile, she overlooks the other chapters on her list who are equally awesome who DO have room for/interest in her. Then the sorority ship sails while she's pouting over the chapter she wasn't anywhere in the universe of people who had a shot at an invite. Silly.

DeltaBetaBaby 07-23-2013 10:41 PM

But one more time: even at the most competitive recruitments, the VAST, VAST majority of women receive invitations every round. To add to KSUViolet's example above, if ABC is a strong recruiting chapter and gets to invite 300 women, there's also a weaker recruiting chapter, XYZ, out there that gets to invite 600. In the end, they'll both end up with 25 NM's, but ABC is doing more of its sorting early, while XYZ is waiting more to see which women are interested in them.

So, it's great to cultivate personal relationships where/when you can, but if you don't have them, you don't have them, and you should rush anyway, just knowing that your schedule might not be as full.

KSUViolet06 07-23-2013 10:43 PM

^^^That's why I added the post above yours. Being clear that SOMEONE has room for you, it's probs just not Most Popular. Deal with it.

DubaiSis 07-23-2013 11:09 PM

And to pile on, Most Popular is so about rumor and history. Girls who don't know anything about any of the chapters get to rush, spend an hour with their rush group and suddenly know, KNOW that the Pi Pi Perfects are the only one for them. First, they don't know that. Second, in a school where there are 15+ chapters, seriously you think there can only be 1 best chapter? That 1 chapter wins Greek Week, Homecoming, Derby Days, Anchor Splash and flag football? It just doesn't work that way. So therefore, Best is too elusive a thing to waste your time on. If every chapter is making the numbers (thinking Bama and Auburn as examples here, and I think all of their chapters are at or close to parity), they all make good grades (they do), they all participate in everything (they do), they all have mixers, etc. etc., you need to get over it about who is best.

What this boils down to is the Pi Pi Perfects may require you, by sheer requirements of RFM to be known personally by at least 1 chapter member and probably 2 or 3. But probably 12 of the 15 chapters at my theoretical school will probably be perfectly cool with you being out of state or not having attended the right camp. We are NOT talking about you having to accept the "ok, they really suck but we're supposed to sound panhellenic" chapter. STOP THINKING ABOUT TIERS AND YOU'LL BE FINE.

But in conjunction with the importance of personal connections is the importance of conversation. You can make up for a myriad of sins, mediocre grades, insufficient recs, meh looks, by having a sparkling personality and an easy wit. And this IS a skill that can be learned. Memorable in a good way is what you REALLY need to focus on and is one of the few things you can control when you're 1 month away from rush.

DeltaBetaBaby 07-23-2013 11:10 PM


Originally Posted by KSUViolet06 (Post 2227110)
^^^That's why I added the post above yours. Being clear that SOMEONE has room for you, it's probs just not Most Popular. Deal with it.

I think you posted while I was composing my post; I'm definitely not meaning to be contrary.

KSUViolet06 07-23-2013 11:20 PM

^^^Didn't think you were trying to be. I also read my post and was like "I hope she didn't think I was telling HER!" to deal with it. lol.

LuvMyPNM 07-24-2013 07:33 AM

Thanks for your insight. I'm certain my PNM doesn't have heart or mind set on any particular group. And I get that each house has their own personality and ways of going about things. That's what rush is about -- to find those that are compatible. Good fit for both house and member.

At schools where there is a big recruitment, say 50% of freshman girls who rush and pledge, but the #'s of upperclassmen in those houses aren't as strong, meaning they initiate 120 freshman, yet graduate 70-80 each year, when do members stop being so active? What are some common reasons?

Thanks again

carnation 07-24-2013 07:39 AM

Dropping out of school, transferring, money problems, boyfriend, difficult/time-consuming major, not liking the group.

Missouri Ivy 07-24-2013 07:44 AM

Some girls will transfer to another school. Some will graduate a semester earlier or later than they were scheduled to. My group allowed for fifth year seniors to take alumnae status, but that doesn't mean everyone does.

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