November 2017 / by Bryan Leach

Rhos Officially Join the Brotherhood

In the early morning hours of Saturday, November 11, each dedicated member of the Rho Pledge Class took to proving themselves one last time during their Court of Honor, the last step in their pledging process. Immediately following, all 27 pledges were initiated into the Omega Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi as full-fledged brothers.

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The pledging process this semester was seven weeks of fast-paced learning and growing where the pledges not only became a close-knit family, but also discovered what it truly means to be a brother of Alpha Kappa Psi and to uphold the guiding principles that conduct the brotherhood.

Brother Jenna Von Bradsky summed up her experience by saying, “To be a brother of AKPsi was something that I had wanted for so long, so Court of Honor and Initiation was a really special day for me and I'm sure I can say the same for the others. Now that I'm a brother, I'm very excited to continue to build on the relationships I've fostered thus far, and to create new ones as well.”

As a chapter, we could not be prouder to formally initiate our incredibly talented and committed newest members into the Fraternity. There is no doubt that these remarkable brothers will be an amazing addition to our growing network of business professionals. Welcome to the brotherhood, Rhos!

UDance Heating Up

One of the most anticipated philanthropic events on this campus is UDance. UDance is a 12-hour dance marathon that raises money for the B+ Foundation, which supports families financially while their child undergoes cancer treatment. For the past two years, Alpha Kappa Psi has had the privilege to love and support our B+ hero, Nate. Although the UDance marathon event isn’t until next semester, the Omega Alpha Chapter has already begun raising money for Nate and the other B+ heros.

Some of our brothers ventured to the city of Philadelphia to go canning. “We raised over $200, met countless amazing people, and had a great day out and about,” Jordan Langs recalls, “It was so amazing to unite with the Philly community to fundraise for cancer research.”

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Kristen Brokaw also contributed an impressive amount when she participated in Reps for Ransom. Sitting in costume in a makeshift jail, Kristen was set free after the brotherhood donated over $150 to the UDance page, pushing our team total over the $1,000 mark! But the UDance events have not stopped there: SIGC Fall Unity Carnival, UDance Dedication Days, Sigma Nu and Alpha Kappa Psi Spelling Bee, and Greatest of the Greeks have all been events that have been either by hosted and/or attended by our brothers.

When Alpha Kappa Psi’s UDance representatives were asked what their goal was for our fraternity this year, Francesca Gill replied, “We're hoping this year to reach $25,000, which is about $1,300 more than we raised last year! We also want NO ZEROS on our page this year!” How will they reach this goal you may ask? With “...increased off campus canning, pushing Blue Henvelopes, and emailing for donations!” Fran answered. The brotherhood is so thankful to have Francesca and our other representatives, Kristen Brokaw and Alyssa Cassiere, leading us to another successful year of fundraising. For a life, for a cure, and always for the kids.

There is still more to be done:
Please consider donating to AKPsi’s UDance Page, every dollar counts!
Questions? Contact Amanda Flores at udelakpsi.vpf@gmail.com

Alumni News

Congratulations to alumni Ray Corona for accepting a new position as an IT Risk Staff Auditor with Ernest & Young in McLean, VA!

Have exciting news? A work promotion, entrepreneurial initiative, or important life event? Contact Valerie Choy at udelakpsi.vpar@gmail.com so that the brotherhood can continue to support you no matter the time and miles apart!

Friendsgiving Fun

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The brothers of Alpha Kappa Psi were looking forward to a much needed break for the Thanksgiving holiday, but they weren’t about to leave without one more night of quality brother bonding time! After an exciting football game, many brothers were kind enough to contribute their cooking skills in order to create a Friendsgiving feast that everyone could enjoy. Mac and cheese, green beans, chicken nuggets, pasta, and every dessert imaginable was a spread that no one could resist.

 The brotherhood was even lucky enough to be sponsored by U.S. Cranberries. “A family friend from Pollock Communications reached out to us to sponsor our Friendsgiving with U.S. Cranberries food and merchandise. We had juice, craisins, sunglasses, signs, and some other marketing materials. It was a great way to spread some turkey spirit before break!” said Anthony Manno, who was the coordinator behind this year's Friendsgiving. By the end of the night, everyone’s stomaches were full and they were ready for a break.

Growing Families

This semester’s Big/Little Reveal was just as exciting as always! While all of our families continue to grow, a few families were lucky enough to even get twins! The pledge brothers were extremely excited and really enjoyed the whole process, especially the matching socks. They had no idea what was happening and loved the surprise aspect.

After the reveal, the brothers took plenty of traditional family tree pictures and welcomed the pledges into their families. Alexis Garhart, one of the 27 pledges, summed up the night for us all saying, “Big/Little Reveal reminded me of why I joined the fraternity, to find my family on campus and make it a home.”

Senior Brothers Teach "PD"

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Having decided to put a spin on the routine practices of fulfilling professional development requirements, Vice President of Professional Development, Jack Coyle, has worked each semester to organize a series of professional development events uniquely led by Alpha Kappa Psi alumni and current brothers. Most recently, Jack coordinated an event where senior brothers Hannah Crismon, Jess La Guardia, Sarah Safer, and Claudia Seemans offered their individual wisdom and advice to the Chapter.

To commence, brothers Jess and Claudia spoke regarding the benefits of having a mentor. They explained how a career mentor’s job is to coach and challenge the mentee, whereas a psychosocial mentor establishes more of a friendship. The brothers stressed the importance of having a source of support and advice as are starting new jobs and holding new positions. They advised the audience to think about what specifically they wanted in a mentor and then to utilize their network of friends, family, and coworkers to start finding themselves a match.
 
For the second half of the event, brothers Sarah and Hannah spoke on the topic of interviews, offering tips and tricks for standing out against so many others. First off, the brothers emphasized dress code, mentioning that for women, “conservative is king.” They then stressed the importance of practicing behavioral questions so that you are prepared to give a strong response, but to be prepared for the wildcards, like “Tell me a joke.” Sarah also mentioned that getting the interviewer talking is a huge advantage, because that gives you a more personalized conversation with them. She went into depth about sending a follow-up email, within 24 hours after the interview and during business hours, thanking the interviewer for their time. Sarah pointed out that it is imperative that one not ask any additional questions in the thank you email and to include a brief mention about a conversation topic that will help the interviewer remember you.

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Brother Hannah detailed her experiences at Super Days, an extended interview day(s) that usually consists of 5-7 behavioral and technical interviews, a group interview, a case study, and a networking lunch or dinner. She explained that these events are truly designed to test how well you interact and communicate with others. One of her tips to prepare: read the latest copy of the Wall Street Journal ahead of time so you are up-to-date on current issues.

The professional development event was a huge success, so another big thanks goes out to our presenting brothers, Jess, Claudia, Sarah, and Hannah!

LinkedIn Workshop Wins!

The Rho Pledge Class presented their Pledge Proposals on ideas for improvement on some of the events they attended throughout the semester. The first team, made up of pledges Alexis Garhart, Josh Schumann, Tom Shields, Jenna Vonbradsky, and Brett Yurkovich, focused on bettering the Homecoming Alumni Brunch held earlier this year. The team suggested a different venue, such as Trabant, which would thus incentivize more interaction between the brothers and alumni because it would create more space for movement and games. As pledges, they felt disconnected from the alumni and wanted to improve this lack of interaction by pairing pledges with alumni beforehand.

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The next team to follow consisted of pledges Jessica Brockson, Evan Gavalakis, Celia Giacoma, Jillian Lukac, and Hunter Rizzuto. They presented their idea of increasing the proceeds collected from fundraising by canning in a more densely populated area, such as a sporting arena. They felt that a basketball game in Philadelphia would be the most effective location, and after canning, the brothers would be able to sit back and enjoy - creating the perfect incentive to go canning off of the University campus.

The following team focused their presentations on reinventing the Social and Professional rounds of recruitment. Having just gone through the rush process, pledges Aeden Boyle, Ryan Chegwidden, Summer Kehl, and Nicole Posimato had some great insights. The team honed in on the most efficient ways to pull the most amount of information from potential new members (PNMs) during the Professional round. They wanted to split the PNMs into groups and have five brothers look at each resume by dividing the resume into five separate parts. They felt the PNMs would both gain the most feedback and be the most responsive through this new process.

One of the last teams to go consisted of pledges Jake Basso, Maddie Bebout, Alex Buchholz, and Erika Lawrence, who shared their ideas on how to make the annual Pie-a-Psi event even bigger and better. They planned on incentivizing more students to donate and participate by having professors get pied. The team thought to bring in professors by targeting the Alpha Kappa Psi advisory board and to increase social media exposure of the event.

Though all the groups had excellent ideas, the winners of the Pledge Proposals were pledges Angie Carroll, Ryan Delaney, Jesse Gittleman, Ryan Milligan, and Emily Moore. Their team proposed a LinkedIn Workshop directed towards the newest incoming pledge class. They wanted to start the workshop with an activity that demonstrated the power of networking in a more tangible sense, and then focus in on each new pledge member’s LinkedIn profile. They planned to invite alumni and other professionals, such as faculty members, to allow the pledges to gain a perspective on what professionals are truly looking for from a resume and LinkedIn profile.

All in all, the pledges put forth their best foot and presented extremely interesting proposals, of which we will no doubt try to incorporate into our future events and plans. A major ‘job well done’ goes out to the Rhos!

Spelling Bee is a Buzz

Can you spell, “idiosyncrasy”? This was the winning word that lead Sigma Nu brother Eddie Sullivan to win the third annual Alpha Kappa Psi and Sigma Nu Spelling B+ on November 9, 2017. Over 20 spellers competed in the event, including representation from our fellow brothers, Anthony Manno and Ryan Milligan. Brother Ryan Milligan recalled that, “Spelling with 500 eyes on you is nerve racking but well worth all of the money raised For The Kids!”

Amanda Flores, organizer and brother, commented, “We’re so thankful to everyone for coming out to support the B+ Foundation! We had a great time watching more than 20 spellers compete and seeing the support from their chapters and other Greek Life chapters on campus! It was great working with Sigma Nu and we hope everyone had lots of fun raising money for a great cause.”

Through our collaboration with Sigma Nu, we were able to generate over $2,400.00 for the annual UDance Dance Marathon and B+ Foundation. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported the event, and as always - FTK!


Brother Spotlight: Kerry Schwartz

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Kerry Schwartz is a junior Finance and Economics major, progressing into her second year of being an exemplary brother of Alpha Kappa Psi. She rushed fall semester of 2016; her sophomore year, when she joined the Omicron pledge class. Kerry has always been extremely busy and involved on campus and provides a great example to other brothers through her unrelenting drive.

Last year, Kerry completed an internship with J.P. Morgan from November to May, where she worked as a Transaction Processing Specialist at the Delaware office. She enjoyed “how immersive the environment was and how I learned a lot at a young age.” After J.P. Morgan, she was offered an internship with the Inverness Counsel, which is a privately owned investment counsel firm located in Manhattan. She was the only intern for the Inverness Counsel where she was put to work on equity research, wealth management and portfolio balancing. Looking back at her internship with the Inverness Counsel, Kerry says, “I gained many different experiences in different divisions of finance and business.”

Now, Kerry is a Special Events Intern at the University of Delaware Career Services. Starting this fall semester, Kerry has already gotten her feet wet with event planning. Every day as a Special Events intern is a new challenge from meeting with employers for the University of Delaware Career Fair, to comparing different pricing structures of nearby schools to ensure they are not turning away potential employers.  

Although Kerry does enjoy the event planning aspect of business, she still is invested in numbers and finance.  

Besides her internships, Kerry has a busy schedule on campus. At the University of Delaware, she is on the founding board of Women in Finance, which is a new organization that helps women become emerged in the finance world by providing networking and career tips. In the near future, Kerry hopes that she can bring in influential speakers and spread the organization internationally.  In addition, Kerry is a member of the World Scholars Program, Track and Field Club, Cross Country Club, and Women in Business Club.

Come this summer, Kerry will be working at J.P. Morgan in the Manhattan office. She will be working in Global Finance in the corporate investment banking and CFO division. In the future, Kerry wants to own her own wealth management firm in Manhattan while traveling to other countries; she has already visited 29, her favorites being India, Iceland, and Peru.  Kerry encourages brothers of Alpha Kappa Psi, “Don't be afraid to go after what you want, and the rest will follow.” We wish Kerry the best of luck and look forward to hearing about her future endeavors!

Alumni Spotlight: Ari Swerling

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Ari Swerling was a member of the Epsilon Pledge Class and graduated from the University of Delaware in the spring of 2014 with dual degrees in Management and Operations Management and a minor in Economics. Since graduation, Ari has been working for Gemalto, a global technology company specializing in cyber security in the Baltimore, Maryland area in a supply chain management role. When Ari was a student, he held the position of VP of Education on the Alpha Kappa Psi Executive Board and was involved with the Lerner Executive Mentorship Program, something that strongly influenced the pledge education program.

When asked about his fondest Alpha Kappa Psi memory, he remembers the last pledge meeting of his second semester as VP of Education. As the Iotas filed out of a Purnell classroom, Ari stayed behind to tidy up the room and place the desks back in their correct arrangement. He says, “It was surreal. Everything was done. I looked around at the empty classroom, turned out the light, and left. It was sort of like the closing scene of a sitcom series, both happy and sad at the same time.” Ari strongly influenced the VP of Education role and was very influential in designing the pledge education program.

Ari has continued to be an active member of the Omega Alpha alumni network by attending various Alumni Relations events and chapter rituals. He urges older brothers nearing graduation to maintain steady communication with the Chapter by keeping in touch with their Alpha Kappa Psi family and by sharing their unique career strengths with the Chapter. His biggest piece of advice to younger brothers is to learn the skill of networking earlier rather than later. Ari highlights how networking extends far beyond the bounds of the Alpha Kappa Psi network, but to the larger University of Delaware alumni community and to your own personal web of acquaintances. He urges underclassman to not shy away from approaching someone many years their senior and striking up a conversation. Learn how to find commonality and listen to the advice of those who have gone before you. These skills will not only sharpen your professional edge, but will continue to serve you well as you progress from Newark into a global workplace.

Ari is proud of Omega Alpha’s progress and growing presence in the Greek community on campus. His goal for the Chapter moving forward is the continued development of strategic initiatives from the executive board. By collectively uncovering operational inefficiencies and defining solutions, the Chapter can continue innovating and take the unique community to the next level.

Outside of the office, Ari enjoys the arts. Live theatre and cinema are his personal favorite outlets. He also enjoys following the markets and has a passion for personal finance. Ari has also continued to cultivate his love of community service. He will be visiting Houston, Texas next week to aid in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Within the next several years, Ari hopes to attend graduate school in pursuit of an MBA with a focus in supply chain management. Congratulations on all you have achieved Ari! Come home soon and we cannot wait to see how your career unfolds.