Keeping it Professional
by Connyr Lu
Photo courtesy of Delta Kappa Alpha
Students coming to Boston University can be overwhelmed with the sheer number of organizations offered on campus; whatever your interest, there’s a group for it. Greek life in particular is something that’s mentioned often, even before students make their way onto a college campus. Although BU offers many social fraternities for students to join, there are also many professional and community service fraternities that offer both a community and ways for students to grow professionally. Here are a few to get you started.
Epsilon Eta at BU, albeit very new, has created an inviting and motivated community for students interested in environmental sciences and giving back to the community. It is the only professional environmental fraternity at BU and strives to promote a healthy and sustainable environment.
According to Graham Rodes (CAS ’22), the social chair for the fraternity, EE has already been extremely helpful for him, especially in terms of building connections that can lead to internship placements.
“I felt that I found a community that wasn’t too social,” he said. “Joining Epsilon Eta helped me to define my aspirations—career-wise—because the brothers are, in a way, more helpful than advisors can be. Advisors are helpful—they have sympathy for you—but brothers are empathetic. My fellow frat members are all going through the same thing together.”
Members of EE have interned at places ranging from the Environmental Protection Agency to smaller green tech start-ups, but have gained invaluable experiences and skills across the board.
“Last year, we participated in a community service event related to the environment where we cleaned up a section of the Charles River,” he said. “It put things into perspective for me in terms of how I relate to the planet.”
Delta Kappa Alpha:
Delta Kappa Alpha is the only co-ed cinematic professional fraternity on campus. Although there are a multitude of organizations that allow students to pursue activities related to film and television, DKA allows students to build and maintain connections that can potentially foster lifelong creative and collaborative storytelling and ethical and productive business practices, according to its website.
“I’ve learned so much about being professional and the etiquettes of the industry by working with other people who have more experience than me,” said Paula Pinto (COM ’21), who majors in film and television and also is the fundraising chair for the fraternity. “It’s also allowed me to understand more about how the industry works and taught me about my different options for after a graduate and how to go about achieving my goals.”
DKA offers a community of people who share a passion for cinema and are knowledgeable about the industry. It’s helpful for those who are looking for feedback and tips on any projects that they’re working on, and fosters a network of people eager to share skills and advice.
Every semester, DKA creates a production that allows its members to put the skills they’ve learned throughout their academic courses and other related experiences to use. It’s a useful collaborative project that helps students get a couple steps closer to their professional goals.
Alpha Chi Sigma:
Alpha Chi Sigma is BU’s only professional chemistry fraternity. The chapter at BU was founded in 2016 and often hosts events with other AXS chapters in the area. Members participate in events such as Relay for Life, which supports cancer research, and often volunteer at local organizations such as Cradles to Crayon and Greater Boston Food Bank.
According to Brian Kendrick (ENG ’21), AXS allows brothers to connect with a variety of service organizations, and brothers participate in service at least once every semester.
“AXS has opened my eyes to the variety of professional opportunities that exist in the STEM field, past just industry and research,” he said. “Brothers and alumni are involved in fields that apply science to individual professions and that’s not a perspective I really saw before joining the fraternity.”
Kendrick is currently the fraternity’s recruitment chair and health and safety chair, and studies biomedical engineering with a concentration in technology innovation. AXS encourages students interested in chemical sciences and related fields to rush, as it opens doors to the breadth of professional opportunities available in the field.
Phi Alpha Delta:
Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) is the only co-ed pre-law fraternity at BU and is open to students of all undergraduate majors. Members are offered opportunities to attend speaker panels that speak to a variety of legal fields and exposure to PAD’s international alumni network. For students interested in applying to law school, PAD makes the application process less daunting in that it prepares students for the application process and real-world experiences in the legal field.
Jiabi Cai (QST ’20) is the first and current president of the fraternity, and started PAD at BU about a year and a half ago, in the spring semester of 2018.
“Through being a member of PAD, I experienced firsthand what it’s like to be a mentor,” she said. “Members are also better able to gauge their role in the industry and how they’re able to utilize law to reach their goals.”
Phi Alpha Delta is the largest co-ed professional law fraternity in the U.S., and seeks to provide a community for pre-law students on campus. For a resource that provides advice as to what is possible professionally in the legal field, you should read more here.