Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Meet Ann Parden, our VP of Marketing!

What is your name and the position you hold in Alpha Phi?
Ann Parden, currently the Director of the Red Dress Gala - was the previous VP Marketing but now that position is held by the fabulous Julia Good! 

Can you give us some background on the Red Dress Gala event?
This year will be the 10th Red Dress Gala put on by the Zeta Gamma Chapter! As a chapter we have done amazing philanthropy work, including donating more than $600,000 to the Alpha Phi Foundation in the chapter's lifetime, something we are genuinely proud of! 

What has been the best part of planning this event?
I am looking forward to the actual event on April 25th! But so far the best part has been the inspiration from the sisters in our chapter. From a desert table donated by one of the senior families to a recommendation by a sophomore for the Preference Choir to perform at the event. The success comes from the team work of the chapter and the support of our community of family and friends. 

How is Red Dress unique from other Alpha Phi philanthropy events?
The Red Dress Gala is an opportunity to share Alpha Phi with our families. Many of the other events are geared towards students and the community. Red Dress is special, the freshmen families get to meet new friends while the senior families celebrate four fantastic years. There is a lot to celebrate at the Red Dress Gala! 

What are you most excited about for Red Dress 2015?
ALL OF IT! I want to keep a few surprises for the event, but guests can look forward to amazing auction items, good company, and a reason to get up and dance. 

What has made the Zeta Gamma Chapter successful at fundraising in the past?
Team work and passion. My passion stems from a friendship and sisterhood in Alpha Phi that existed before I was born. I am lucky enough to have my mother and godmother both Zeta Gamma Alpha Phis and both kick-ass philanthropists and amazing women. They are both a huge personal influence and why I wanted to take part in the philanthropy. But every girl in Alpha Phi has their own story and reasons to be passionate, and combining all these make for a unique, personal, and successful event. 

How do you think being an Alpha Phi has impacted you as you head off into the real world in a few short months?
I'm an engineer so a position like VP of Marketing came with a lot of new skills and a bit of a learning curve. Those skills are what will give me an extra edge as I venture off into the real world. 

Please reach out to me at rdg.alphaphi.2015@gmail.com if you would like to donate! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Meet our Healthy Sister, Christine!

Hey! My name is Christine Kuhns and I’m a sophomore Marketing Major at Santa Clara. I grew up in Manhattan Beach in Southern California but fell in love with Northern California after visiting San Francisco! 

In Alpha Phi, I have worked with the New Member Team for two years now and currently serve as the Director of New Member Education with the Executive Team. The time and effort the New Member team puts in makes a huge difference for New Members, and I am excited to be a part of their first impression of Alpha Phi! We plan fun sleepovers, sisterhood events, and trips off campus to make them feel welcome. Alpha Phi has been my favorite part of college so far, and I hope that all New Members could say the same! 

At Santa Clara, I’m primarily involved through the Business School. I’ve been a part of a few leadership programs such as ACE, CLASP, and NPI. CLASP was a great way to get off campus to hike and explore the area, and ACE has given me a lot of useful leadership skills. I also work in the Undergraduate Office as a Program Assistant – helping out business school visitors and implementing programs for students. During the school year, I also serve as a Brand Ambassador for Tilt, a SF based crowdfunding company. Although it is still catching on, Tilt has been a great way for Alpha Phi to pool together money for apparel, sorority events, and group dinners! 

I’m also very passionate about health, fitness, and wellness so I spend a lot of my free time at yoga or trying out new recipes! I’m currently doing the Whole30 - Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, and Alcohol-Free for 30 days leading up to Spring Break. Call me crazy but challenging myself like this really is something I love to do! I’m blogging about it too to keep myself accountable - https://healthydaysofmylife.wordpress.com/.  

During the summer after my freshman year, I had the chance to intern at a Start-Up in San Francisco. I got to work on some awesome projects in Marketing, Sales, Human Resources, and Product Development. Because it was a small company, I got to explore diverse areas of the business and even voice my opinions on different business decisions. At first it was hard to be away from home, the Start-Up environment was crazy busy all the time! By the end of the summer, I had helped reconstruct the website, LinkedIn page, constructed a plan for iPad implementation with the sales team, and coordinated product testing events. I’ll be going back next summer and can’t wait to see what I’ll be working on as the company expands quickly. Additionally, SF is the coolest place in the world and I am anxious to continue exploring all it has to offer!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Meet our Sister, Megan Chait

Hello Phi’s! My name is Megan Chait and I am a psychology major (thinking about focusing on bio-psych) from Los Angeles, California. Unlike many of my friends, I am not studying abroad; wish I was but the application was so tedious that I decided I would rather do something abroad over the summer by myself (or with my family)- sorry I’m too lazy for that application! But, luckily my parents love traveling so I’ve had the opportunity to visit many places (one of my all time favorites being South Africa).
Currently I work for the development office here at Santa Clara. I’m one of those annoying people that call up and ask for money-sorry ‘bout it. The job itself is not the most riveting but I absolutely love the people I work with. I’ll admit, they’re not the people I would originally go out of my way to get to know so I am so thankful that I got to meet them and become friends with them. They are super funny and awesome; a couple other A Phi’s work there too, which is awesome! This past summer, I also worked, but I was a nanny. I love kids, so spending the summer with twin 8 year old boys and a 12 year old girl, while tedious at times, was super fun. I also got to see Lady Antebellum (I love country music, sorry) and Ed Sheeran. Both ah-mazing experiences. For the upcoming summer I’m either going to nanny again or, fingers crossed, get an internship with a hospital.
This spring break though, I’m still not doing anything special… One of my best friends from school might come home with me and spend spring break with me just hanging out at the beach (one of my favorite places to be). We might drive up to San Diego, it’s only like an hour and a half drive and meet up with some friends but who knows. I’m just happy to be able to spend time at the beach.
So far, being an Aphi, working, and my overall experience here at Santa Clara has been phi-nominal. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people and have learned so much about myself. I love my family and am extremely lucky to have my older brother here at school with me!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Meet our Sister, Kate van Keulen

What is your name, grade, and hometown?

Hey there! My name is Kate van Keulen and I am a sophomore here at SCU. I am originally from Morgan Hill, California, which is just a short 30 minute drive south of campus. I am currently studying Finance and am hoping to make it big in the corporate world. 

What activities are you involved with on campus?
I am currently a Peer Advisor for the Leavey School of Business. If you have any questions about scheduling or classes, come to me, I'd love to help! Also, I play on the club Field Hockey team for Santa Clara. I have been playing competitive field hockey for about 6 years and was really missing team sports, so I have loved every second of joining the team here! Our season is during the fall, so be sure to come out to some of our games next year. Now that it is off season, I have more time to focus on volunteering for SCCAP. I tutor young children at an elementary school in San Jose, and have really enjoyed getting off campus to give back to the community through this amazing club. 

Do you have a job? Or did you have a job this past summer?
For a few years now I have been working at my dad's law firm during the summers. I love having a job and making money and I am really hoping to find an internship on my own for this upcoming summer. I am currently looking into a few different finance positions at local businesses. 

Are you going anywhere fun for spring break?
I am so excited for spring break this year (I mean who isn't?) because I have plans to road trip with friends to Chico, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego. I have high hopes for getting somewhat tanner during break as well! 

                                         Do you plan on studying abroad?
I have applied to study abroad my junior year. However, I have actually already studied abroad at the end of my freshman year. I applied to a course offered here at Santa Clara (Busn 182 -- check it out!) and during spring quarter we had class every other week and discussed current events in the European Union. Then for the first two weeks of summer, we traveled abroad to Germany and Poland. I have to say, those were the best two weeks of my life! We met so many amazing people, learned so much, and had a ton of free time to explore the cities on our own. Plus, it was during the world cup, so we really experienced German culture to its fullest!! I absolutely cannot wait to go back. 

What has been your favorite part of college so far?
I always pictured myself going to a huge school and somewhere very far from home, so being only 30 minutes away and only with a few thousand students was very unexpected for me. But I would not trade it for the world. I love it here at Santa Clara. I love the people, and how no matter where I go on or off campus, I will not only see a familiar face, but I will also meet someone new. Alpha Phi has been an integral part of me loving college so much. Just when I think I've met the coolest person, I meet someone new whose experiences and/or talents blows my mind. Greek life is an amazing thing, and has allotted me with a great balance with off campus activities. 

Do you have any summer plans? 
All I have planned for myself this summer is working -- hopefully! I would love to travel, if I have the time and money! I love spending my summers at the gym, by the pool, and surrounded by my closest friends. It really is the best time to decompress from the hectic school year.

                     Have you had a life shaping experience?
Again -- my trip to Germany! I have traveled a lot with my family, so being on my own in a foreign country was amazing because I got to do everything I wanted. I learned so much about myself, about the tiny world I live in and how much more is out there for me. I am SET on traveling for the rest of my life; there is so much more to see and do! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Featured Phi: Jenna Lipman

This fall, junior Jenna is studying abroad in Dehli, India. She tells us about her experience so far:

Hi everyone! My name is Jenna Lipman and I am a junior here at Santa Clara, studying economics and religion. I am originally from Port Washington, New York but have loved traveling to the West Coast for college. I guess you can say that I love traveling in general. Somehow my junior year at SCU has led me to a city on the complete opposite side of the world: Delhi, India. I have already been in Delhi for almost two months and it is slowly starting to feel like home.

Part of what has made Delhi feel like home is where I am living. I have been placed in a home-stay with an Indian family of four in a neighborhood called Saket. I am also taking an Indian Economics course at an Indian University called Kamala Nehru College. The school is an all girls campus of Delhi University, which has been an incredible experience given that many Indian women face obstacles I never even consider in the US. While living with a family and taking classes has been really wonderful, I have felt that I am in many ways being blinded to many realities of both the city and country I am living in.

I have recently started an internship with a national NGO, whose name I cannot disclose in order to protect their client base. The organization strives to protect the rights children, women, and young people and from my perspective does incredible work with victims of abuse and human trafficking. So far, I have been working on research for the finance department of the organization. The opportunity to intern at an NGO has given me more perspective and the chance to expose myself to issues I was closed off from otherwise.

Sounds like a wonderful experience! We are so glad you are enjoying yourself! AOE

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Featured Phis: Katie, Mari and Tierney

Alpha Phis stick together, even after graduation! Junior Katie Scheer spent the summer working with two Zeta Gamma Alumi, Mari and Tierney. The three of them tell us all about their past three months:


From left to right: Katie Scheer, Mari Tollan, and Tierney Siler
Junior Katie Scheer joined Alpha Phi Zeta Gamma Alumni Mari Tollan (class of 2014) and Tierney Siler (class of 2011) this summer to work at Blach Construction Company.  Both Katie and Mari are working as Project Engineer Interns and Tierney is a Senior Human Resources Associate in her third year as a full time Blach employee.

Blach Construction Company is an established, mid-sized commercial builder and construction manager.  The company has been serving the Bay Area since 1970 and has won numerous awards including one of the Best Places to Work and the Associated General Contractors of California best safety program.  Their commitment to consistently exceed high expectations is ingrained in their culture and much like Alpha Phi, Blach has been regularly named among northern California’s most philanthropic companies.   

      Tierney joined the company as an HR intern in 2010 while she was a senior at Santa Clara.  She graduated with a degree in Psychology and Communications and began soon after as a full time HR Associate. She was recently promoted to Senior HR Associate for all of her hard work over the past three years.  Tierney has focused her time at Blach to recruiting and under her leadership the program has truly excelled.  She has been asked to speak about the program to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Foothill/De Anza Community College, Santa Clara and at the upcoming national AGC HR Conference.  

Mari began her internship in June after graduating from Santa Clara with a degree in Civil Engineering, primarily focused in Environmental Engineering and Construction.  While at SCU she was affiliated with many of the on campus engineering groups including the American Society of Civil Engineers, Society of Women Engineers and the Association of Computing Machinery.  Mari is spending the summer on a construction site working closely with her project team and various trades to complete their project - Blach’s new headquarters in San Jose.  She will be heading back to Santa Clara in the fall to begin her career as a SCU graduate student working towards her Master’s in Engineering Management and Leadership with an emphasis in Construction and Project Management.  

As a native Nebraskan who made her way out to sunny California, Katie began her internship this summer after completing her sophomore year at Santa Clara as a Civil Engineer.  She is currently your Vice President of Risk Management, working closely with the executive council and the social team to ensure safe and fun events.  Last summer, she devoted her time to being an orientation leader.  This involved working with classmates, faculty, parents, and incoming students to represent, promote, and support the mission and values of the University.  This past year, she was a member of ASG and worked as the Associate Music Director for APB.  While at Blach, she has been working on the College Terrace Centre project just a block away from Stanford’s campus in the City of Palo Alto.  This building complex has been nominated, by the Silicon Valley Business Journal Structures Award 2014, for “Building of the Year” under the mixed use category.

Sounds like a great experience, glad you all had a great summer!! AOE 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Featured Phi: Jessie Aulakh

Junior Jessie Aulakh, a computer science major and also a member of the SCU Dance Team, spent the summer interning at one of the world’s biggest companies. She explains what she did this summer for Accenture:

Hi! My name is Jessie and I’m a Computer Science major, International Business minor at SCU. I’m going to be a junior this year and am looking forward to studying abroad in Paris in the fall! This summer I am interning for Accenture, the world’s largest consulting company. I actually got this job by doing a couple of interviews at the SCU career center. Accenture has offices and clients all over the world, but I was placed on a project in Sacramento, CA. I’m working on the Individual App/Security Team. It is really interesting to work in an office with not only fellow Accenture employees, but the client's employees as well. I’ve been doing a lot of testing, updating of wireframes and design documents, and working with defects and change requests. I have to attend a variety of conference calls (sometimes with people in other countries) and meetings every week and will give a final presentation at the end of my internship.

I have appreciated how I am not treated like an intern here, but just like any other employee. It’s crazy how much responsibility I’ve been given and how much I’ve learned in just a matter of weeks. The other interns and I have gotten to do a variety of fun activities as well. We have gone paintballing, to some nice dinners, and spent a weekend in San Francisco where we attended a Giant’s game. I also participated in Accenture National Intern Day of Service at Senior Gleaners packing surplus food supplies. Accenture sends their rising senior interns to Chicago for a student leadership conference during the summer as well. I’ve had an amazing experience this summer and definitely now have a better idea of what I want to do after college.

Sounds like a productive summer! We hope that you get some time to relax before you jet off to Paris!