As if I’m not involved enough already, I chose to pledge a coeducational professional leadership fraternity this semester. Even though I never considered going Greek (and professional fraternities are pretty far from the stereotypical image of Greek Life), I chose to pledge Delta Omicron Zeta – USC’s Professional Leadership Fraternity. I had no idea what would be in store for me.

Let me back up and explain to you my reasoning behind pledging DOZ in specific. Every single activity I am involved in at USC has some foundation in an activity that I did in high school. Thus, the reason why I was interested in DOZ in the first place was because of my involvement in a Venture Scout Leadership Development Camp called White Stag, whose focus was to develop leadership skills in boy scouts from ages 12 to 17.


Rare footage of the Staff of White Stag Leadership Camp

I learned a tremendous amount about leadership through volunteering at this camp, and wanted to further expand my knowledge about leadership here at USC, and to improve my skills as a leader in the student organizations I’m involved in at USC (see the right hand bar on my home page).


Me hopelessly lost in a crowd of followers in the Ballroom and Latin Dance Team...

So, I embarked on the adventure of getting to know, quite honestly, the coolest people at USC (outside of engineering, of course…). Little did I know how genuine and diverse the crowd that I would be pledging would be. Such opportunities always give me a chance to expand my group of friends even beyond the circle of engineers.


Case in point - some of my coolest fellow journeymen (people who joined at the same time I did)

Within the first two weeks, we went on a retreat to bond with our fellow ‘journeymen’ (the fellow people I’m pledging with), started interviewing wise and old members of the organization, and had our own meetings in which we discussed concepts of what it means to have leadership in a group of all self-defined leaders (tricky problem…).


Seems like this problem is repeatedly seen throughout our society...

The coolest thing, though, that I hope to gain from this is a good support network of people who have the same desire to improve their leadership skills. I hope that they will be honest about critiquing me and that they will not hesitate to draw on me as a resource as well. In college, from what I’ve seen so far, I’ve been always faced with challenges – more challenges every day. But in order to balance those challenges, I have also been given networks of support that I can rely upon. Even though students primarily attend universities to get a degree or an education, we end up learning so many other things outside of the classroom, such as how to interact with other human beings and how to be an effective part of society.

But here is a question that I will leave for you to answer in the comments section – I’ve been collecting answers from everywhere for this: What’s the definition of leadership to you? I have my own answer to that, which I will reveal once enough people have shared with me in return what leadership means to them…

Until then, happy browsing until next time!