Posted Friday, August 12, 2022 @ 11:06 AM
by Meghan Kalenborn
ORLANDO, FL – Karen Monteleone is currently the Assistant Vice President of Board Relations for UCF and a 2005 and 2013 UCF graduate. She is a proud Alpha Delta Pi and attributes a lot of her personal and professional life to her sorority.
Since achieving alumni status, how has life been post-graduation?
“Amazing, and I attribute much of it to the experiences and relationships I developed in FSL. I met my husband, Anthony, through mutual friends I knew through the FSL community. We’ve been married for 12 years (together more than 16), and have two boys Luke (8) and Michael (6) who are the center of our world and hopefully future UCF Knights!”
Professionally, I feel the leadership roles I held in Alpha Delta Pi (Executive Vice President and Scholarship Chair) were foundational experiences that have helped me throughout my career, especially at UCF.”
What are some ways that being part of a fraternity or sorority helped you prepare for life after college?
“Being part of a fraternity and sorority requires a significant time commitment, which includes the quality time you’re spending with your fellow members in the organization, but also the weekly meetings, fundraisers, intramurals, socials, etc., all while ensuring your academics are ultimately the #1 priority. Being part of FSL taught me a lot about prioritization, and how to plan my time to be the most effective and be present for what will have the greatest impact based on my strengths. I can’t say that it was always perfect, but the times when I did not prioritize my time well, I learned valuable lessons that have helped me professionally. However long you think something is going to take – add more time. Depending on the size and scope of the project, that could be hours, weeks, or months. You also learn about the importance of building relationships, developing and implementing plans, and collaborating with/supporting others to achieve goals.”
How did your sorority involvement enhance your undergraduate experience?
“When I pause to reflect on my UCF experience, my affinity for UCF was really strengthened by the friendships and experiences I had through FSL. If I hadn’t been in FSL, I’m not sure that I would have experienced some of the campus life activities like Homecoming, football games, etc. in the same way. I also came to UCF from out of state, so it was an opportunity to meet new people and start my next life chapter. Being part of FSL also helped me to learn more about the university. I was an Advertising and Public Relations major, and much of the work I did in this program centered around teamwork; learning how to build campaigns and developing the appropriate messaging to reach your target audience. The two experiences intersected in many ways, and forced me out of my comfort zone to learn different areas of the university and the Central Florida community. We are fortunate to be located in a metropolitan area that is growing and full of connections to many industries. I think about the times our chapter volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House, or participated in other community-based events that helped me to learn more about the region. This created several avenues for me to begin networking in the community and building relationships that led to internships and full-time job opportunities.”
If you could give one piece of advice to someone currently in an FSL Organization, what would you say to them?
“Get involved in the chapter! Taking on leadership roles and volunteer opportunities in the chapter help you learn about relationship building, project management, conflict resolution, and time management. All of these skills are what employers are looking for when they hire new graduates. Also, practice effective self-reflection by learning from your experiences, but do not let one mistake or bad experience bring you down. Own it, learn from it, and move on. You have a long runway ahead after graduation.”
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