During the long road of academia, students prepare to go into the working world, armed with a diploma. One CSUN fraternity, however, focuses first on what it means to be a professional before culminating from college.
Yan Wen, president of Delta Sigma Pi, said starting a career and making it in the business world first begins with the right attitude.
“Members of Delta Sigma Pi share the mindset that your future depends on how motivated you are and by how much you want to grow professionally,” Wen said. “If you don’t try your hardest the profit won’t be the same.”
Wen said members of Delta Sigma Pi contribute time to helping different organizations and causes. Each semester, the group takes part in at least three community service events.
“CSUN has such a diverse population that we try to be fair and do something for everyone,” she said. “We want to show our strength as a fraternity through our labor which we hope helps the community.”
Most recently, members made care packages for soldiers with Operation Gratitude, helped build houses in Pacoima with Habitat for Humanity and painted murals at a Los Angeles elementary school in order to provide children with a good environment.
Philanthropy is just one aspect of Delta Sigma Pi, as professional events are held at least four times each semester, Wen said.
“In order for us to learn to carry ourselves professionally, we ask for advice from alumni and other speakers that the business department recommends to us,” she said. “It is important for speakers to visit and explain how they have been motivated to start their own companies and make it in the business world.”
Professional events are held in CSUN’s business building and are scheduled in order to encourage Delta Sigma Pi members to take and apply what speakers have to say to create successful futures, Wen said.
Because the business department helps Delta Sigma Pi find speakers for professional events, the brothers host an appreciation tea to connect with faculty members.
“The faculty is what we’re growing out of and who we’re learning from and we want to show our how thankful we are for their advice,” Wen said.
While Delta Sigma Pi is a career-oriented fraternity, social events like the faculty tea and coffee night also take place during the semester to offer a sense of camaraderie between brothers.
“Having events where you can bond with brothers is really important,” said Agustin Castaneda, recently graduated business major. “I met some of my best friends in the fraternity I was in, although sometimes I wish I would have joined a business fraternity, as it is something more in line with what I wanted for my future career.”
Having a network of people around who intend to pursue the same type of career field is beneficial to college students, Castaneda added.
Although the co-ed fraternity has more than 500 alumni brothers, the current number active at CSUN is about 35, Wen said.
The fraternity works together to prepare for the business world, where becoming an entrepreneur is not just an idea but a goal.
“I think becoming an entrepreneur is a goal that every business student is looking to attain in their future,” said Mimi Okojie, senior vice president of Delta Sigma Pi. “It has many perks that make it attractive to students, primarily the fact that you’ll be working for yourself and that one can be an entrepreneur in basically any field.”
Being a brother in Delta Sigma Pi provides individuals with a forum for learning in both a personal and professional aspect, Okojie said.
“It is a place for me to make mistakes and learn from them and provides me with a confidence and self-assurance that I will be successful in whatever I decide to do, because I have the tools necessary to succeed,” she said.
Okojie said being in Delta Sigma Pi prepares brothers by placing them in working situations with large groups.
“[In school] you mostly work in groups of 5 or 6 – in Delta Sigma Pi you may be working with a group of at least 15 people and have to find a way to get people on the same page, working towards the same goal,” Okojie said. “The skill sets you learn are in addition to the incredible
network of people you automatically become a part of.”
Being in Delta Sigma Pi is not just a great tool that contributes to helping one create a future, but also a place where relationships are built, she said.
“I know that I have something that sets me apart from my peers,” Okojie said. “It is a place where I have met people from all walks and backgrounds in life, and yet these people have become my closest friends, my brothers. It is a place of happiness joy, frustrations, laughs, tears, love… brotherhood.”
Recruitment for fall 2010 is now closed, but more information can be found at Delta Sigma Pi’s website www.csun-dsp.com