As a sorority girl, I quickly realized that your house or chapter needs constant attention. Despite the hoopla surrounding recruitment — and yes, getting new members was vital — those new members, as well as the existing ones, had to continue to be as happy to be an Alpha Phi as the day they accepted their bid to become a member.
This was why I was so committed to what they call “internal marketing,” or marketing to your members. As a senior, I created sisterhood events, published a bimonthly newsletter reminding everyone of our wonderful members, and tried to keep all members aware of why we had joined the house in the first place. (This is part of my job at PTPN today, creating publications and blog entries to remind dues-paying members what they gain as part of our network.)
So I’m happy to continue to show Alpha Phis, both current students at Mizzou and alumnae, what Alpha Phis from our chapter have been doing after graduation, how their time as an Alpha Phi affected who they are 5, 10, even 20 years after graduation. As Jessica points out, if you can rush a girl that doesn’t want to talk during recruitment, you’ll do great in any face-to-face interview.
Note: This website was taken down in 2017. The posts I wrote for the blog are no longer available to link to, so I have included the full text below, removing links where necessary.
Fabulous Alum of the Month: Jessica Josendale
Jessica Josendale, ’00, beams with all of the happy memories of her days as an Alpha Phi at Mizzou — studying at Memorial Union, living in the house her sophomore and junior year, Harpo’s on Thursday nights — but her favorite memory is winning Greek Week in 2004, her senior year. She says, “I still remember cheering at the steps of Jesse Hall. Our chapter had come SO far in the four years I had been there and I couldn’t have been more proud.”
Sisterhood became a family affair when her sister, Cathy, joined Alpha Phi in 2006. Jessica continued to participate in chapter events like recruitment and Mom’s and Dad’s Weekend, even though she had graduated and started her career in PR and advertising. While she grew up in Iowa, she thinks of Columbia, Missouri as her hometown, since she has spent more time in Columbia than in any other place. Plus, she notes, with two parents that are active Mizzou alumni, “Mizzou is more to all of us than just where we went to college. I still take pride in seeing the house at 906 S. Providence every time I drive by.”
Jessica’s first job post-graduation was at Fleishman Hillard in St. Louis, where she had a taste of what it was like to work in public relations. She built her resume with experience in marketing at a financial advisory firm before turning to advertising and becoming an account executive at such agencies as Osborn & Barr in St. Louis and Woodruff Sweitzer in Kansas City. She now works at Bennett Kuhn Varner, a.k.a. BKV, in Atlanta, Georgia, where she works with such clients as a national fast food chain, pet products and camouflage manufacturing.
Given that she loves to learn new skills, she embraces the fact that her industry is constantly evolving. Jessica enjoys the variety of experiences and people that her career has brought her way. She points back to recruitment at Alpha Phi as key to her successful career, remarking that “Learning to be able to talk to anyone with a smile on your face gets you further than you think! I’ve had more difficult conversations while rushing new women than any job interview I’ve been on.”
It’s no wonder then that Jessica has continually been involved with recruitment at Omicron; she’s been the Recruitment Advisor for the past few years, and this fall will mark the first time she wasn’t at rush in person since the year 2000. She seems to be animated by the energy within the house once the doors are flung open on the first day, although coffee may have been a part of that buzz:
- After that first horn on Open House Day, the fears and worries go out the door and the house comes together. Even when things are crazy behind the scenes, everything is perfect to those potential new members. I’ve truly enjoyed working with the chapter and getting to know the girls so closely over those two precious weeks each August. … Even though we are basically working non-stop, making sure everything is JUST right, keeping spirits of the chapter up, sleeping in the lounge on inflatable beds and drinking enough coffee to open our own Starbucks, it’s the best job in the world.
Most of Jessica’s best friends are Alpha Phis; she fondly shares that she’s been their bridesmaids, celebrated their weddings, and seen their babies, tracking their lives via Facebook and Twitter when they can’t see each other in person. She notes that she’s “worked both for and with Alpha Phis from across the country. Even if our college experience was different, we all share the same love for Alpha Phi.”
Jessica lives in Atlanta with her boyfriend, Trent, and their dog, Logan. They take advantage of the great weather in the area, hiking and playing tennis, and they’re learning how to play golf. She loves the range of restaurants and neighborhoods there, admiring their unique style and specialties. They also enjoy traveling Georgia and the nearby states, finding dog-friendly locations so that Logan can go as well.