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November 2015

Barbara Komendera

Where do I even begin? 

In just two short years since joining Alpha Phi I have developed my team-work, time management, public speaking, organizational and leadership skills to name just a few while holding the positions of Director of New Member Education and Chapter President. Through my involvement in Alpha Phi, I have learned how to effectively work with a given budget plan and carry out philanthropy events along with lesson plans for New Member Classes. Among the numerous successes, I have also experienced inevitable bumps along the way from costly venues to something as simple as decorations falling down moments before guests are set to arrive. Alpha Phi and my sisters however have taught me to always persevere. If a current method or approach is not working, there is nothing wrong with taking a moment to step back, re-evaluate and make some alterations if necessary. In times of sadness or feeling overwhelmed, I know that there is always a network of supportive sisters behind me that are always there to lend a helping hand or a warm hug. We are capable women. We are intelligent women. We are strong women and there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.

Because of the amazing support of Foundation donors, I was able to attend the Leadership Fellows program in Chicago this past July along with 37 of my sisters from all over North America - and we will all get the opportunity to reunite for Part 2 next June in Cleveland! In just 5 days I was able to get a firm grasp of my leadership style and areas that need improvement in order to further grow as a leader and empower those around me. I learned the importance of personal branding and how to network myself in order to advance my career opportunities after graduation. I was able to meet over 15 successful and inspirational alumnae and hear their incredible stories about their personal and professional journeys and how their involvement within Alpha Phi aided them along these paths. As a female student of the Mathematical Sciences program, I have always been aware of the challenges that I may face. From learning how to give a memorable handshake, to participating in mock job interviews with alumnae, I have emerged more confident in my strengths and qualifications and I am ready to face the challenges head-on knowing that I can succeed. I was privileged to work with and learn from the coordinators of the program, the 4 cohort facilitators and last but not least my fellow collegiate sisters. We laughed (a lot), we cried (a lot upon departure and saying "goodbye for now"), and we grew as leaders. I now have such a beautiful bond with 37 sisters from around the continent that I know will always be there for me. In just a few short hours, we had developed such a strong friendship knowing that we all came into this program with a common love for Alpha Phi, which ties us all together. There truly is no other bond comparable to the one between sisters and I am forever grateful to the Alpha Phi Foundation for expanding that bond to an international level.


Barbara Komendera (Xi-Toronto)
Leadership Fellows participant

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