One and a half weeks into training, I'm finally finding the opportunity to sit down and write my first blog post. I hope this is an indication to all of you how jam-packed training has been so far. We have learned so much information and had so many great experiences already. At the beginning of the week, our boss, Kaya, used a fire hose metaphor to describe how much information we'd be receiving in these three weeks, saying training is similar to trying to take a small sip of water from a fire hose. Let me tell you how accurate this metaphor is. In the last week, I have learned new things about AOII, had things I thought were correct confirmed, and corrected information I'd been given that was COMPLETELY wrong. While it's been crazy, it's been SUCH a cool experience. By far the coolest part has been getting to know all of the women who work on AOII's headquarters staff and volunteers a little bit more. Everyone has been so sweet and excited for us about this experience, even though they train the new groups of ELC's every year, which, to me, is really a testament to how great the program is. I'll give you all a little synopsis of what we've done so far
Day 1 (July 22)
We all traveled to Nashville on this Sunday, so we didn't have much training at all. Kaya brought over pizza and we ate a family meal and discussed training expectations and the agenda.
Day 2 (July 23)
Day 2 was payroll, technology, and basically intro day. We all got set up with our brand new work phones, which was pretty exciting, and filled out paperwork.
Day 3 (July 24)
Guys, I literally had to remind myself of what we did on Day 3 because it's been so long. on Day 3, we got an awesome presentation about current trends in higher education. We talked about big issues we'll be likely to see on college campuses, as well as some recent events that will most likely cause ripples on the campuses we travel to. After, we all went to a high ropes course and got to do some fun team-building exercises!
Day 4 (July 25)
On Day 4, we learned all about AOII's governing documents with our first Past International President of AOII during training, Sally Wagaman. She was super helpful in understanding the different ways we can apply the governing do
Day 5 (July 26)
Recruitment Day!!! AOII just released some brand new recruitment workshops to roll out to our chapters in the last year. Which is awesome. I don't think I can stress that enough. Being Vice President of Membership Recruitment for my chapter, I had to create all my own content and it was so. much. work. Having these recruitment workshops already created with all of the best information is a godsend. We went through the material really in-depth and then got the opportunity to practice facilitating.
Day 6 (July 27)
More recruitment!! We learned about Release Figure Methodology, today, and went in depth on AOII's specific membership selection criteria. At the end of the day, we did hand bid matching, which all I have to say is, thank god for computers. After training, we went out to a couple local places near Vanderbilt's campus and ate a delicious Mexican meal (like our third of the week) at Chuy's. The weirdest thing about being in Nashville is all of the bachelorette parties. We saw one casually hanging out at Chuy's on Day 5. Why???? Honey, it's your bachelorette party!!!! Go have fun!!!! Don't eat at Chuy's!!!!
Day 6 (July 28)
Pancake. Pantry. That is enough of a description for the day. Nashville has this beautiful creation known as Pancake Pantry where they literally have 1 billion different kinds of pancakes. I got Banana Bread pancakes and ate legitimately every crumb, it's fine. After breakfast, we had a facilitation workshop where we were given advice to combat frequent facilitation fears.
Day 7 (July 29)
Our first day off!! Unfortunately, we had to drive to Atlanta in the evening, and left pretty early in the day to beat Atlanta traffic (which is IMPOSSIBLE). We had a lot of fun on the drive down, though, and had some delicious sushi and hibachi for dinner which was a 10/10 experience.
Day 8 (July 30)
Day 8 was AWESOME, but EXHAUSTING. As I said, we traveled to Atlanta on Day 7 for training with other National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) Consultants. Phi Mu was gracious enough to host the training at their National Headquarters, which was gorgeous. Alpha Delta Pi consultants were also invited, so it was a great day of networking with other chapter consultants that we might see on the road. The highlight of the day, though, was listening to Lori Hart speak about Risk Management. Coming from GVSU, risk management was never as big of a worry as it is at some other schools, so it was definitely something that I was worried for coming into training, but Lori broke it down in a phenomenal way. I feel confident and ready to deal with risk management issues now. Not to mention, Lori is THE FUNNIEST speaker I have ever listened to. AND, she's an AOII herself, which is pretty cool.
Day 9 (July 31)
Finally!! A more casual day!! Today, we stayed at the Nu Omicron house for training, where we dove deep into our ritual. We got to hear about ritual education and some ritual best practices from the AOII Ritual Expert herself, PIP #2, Ginger Banks, and fellow committee member, Leigh Perry, both of whom are ritual superstars. It was awesome hearing about the unique aspects of AOII's ritual such as: AOII has NEVER changed their ritual EVER. How crazy is that. Our founders wrote it 121 years ago and it has been applicable in the lives of women of all ages ever since, which is maybe the coolest thing I've ever heard.
Day 10 (August 1)
Finally, to today. The fire hose was on full blast today (hence the blog post title). We learned about AOII Properties, who (obviously) oversee all AOII properties and facilities. In addition, we were trained on the AOII Foundation, which collects money for Arthritis Research and Development, as well as several funds that help sisters. PIP #3 came in today, Carole Jones, to speak about her role as the current Chairman of the National Panhellenic Conference, which was awesome! We ended the training day with sessions and resources on how to keep members engaged and deal with some different engagement issues. Our night concluded at PIP #4's house, Barb Zipperian, who graciously welcomed us into her home in Franklin for the evening. We got to hear some amazing stories of her time as a collegiate member and her time serving as an international volunteer.
Tomorrow, Thursday, August 2 marks "one-week-left-of-training," which is terrifying. My first day on the road is August 12th, but I haven't gotten my schedule yet, so check back to see where I'm sent!