Todd’s Consultant Story
I went from college campus to college campus working with undergraduates, alumni and university personnel to improve the fraternity experience for members of Delta Tau Delta. The job was awesome. I got paid to travel to 38 states and Canada, and visited more than 100 college campuses. And I drove from place to place, so I really got to see the country.
Granted, that’s a romantic description of the job. In reality, it is also incredible challenging. It forces you to learn to become your own best friend. It challenges you to find comfort with independence. As a chapter leadership consultant, you need to already be, or quickly become a self-starter who realizes what needs to be done each day, each visit, and complete those tasks with little or no supervision. Those skills have probably served me the most in my working life.
Some former consultants will tell you that the job is an excellent networking opportunity. While I agree, I cannot credit my time as a chapter leadership consultant with giving me the “in” to land my dream job. However, my experience on the road did prepare me to excel in my future positions, be it as a television journalist, communications director on Capitol Hill and, now, a U.S. diplomat.
But, to be honest, looking back nearly three decades later, the first thing that comes to mind is not bunking in some random Brother’s room, or the hundreds of meetings with chapter officers, or discussing risk management with the Greek advisors. I remember all the incredible experiences when I wasn’t consulting. I reminisce about the day hiking in the Grand Canyon; my first trip to Vegas; visiting the Seattle Space Needle and the Gateway Arch; a Cessna flight over Mount St. Helens; sunrise in the Continental Divide; sunset at the Santa Monica pier; Mount Rushmore; building my first snowman ever at the University of Maine (Yes, at age 23. I grew up in Florida so cut me some slack.); eating the famed, two-pound “Duke Burger” in Mankato, Minnesota; and too many college and pro sporting events to name.
If you think that it will sometimes be tough to live out of your car and move to a new place every few days, you are not far wrong. The truth is that being a chapter consultant can challenge you like you never expected. More probable is that it will be a tremendous growth opportunity, both personally and professionally.