No More Comfort Zone – Chapter Consultant Perspective – Mary Coulter

The decision to apply to become a Chapter Consultant was easy. It was also the single most important decision of my life, to date. Ever since I became a member of the Gamma Mu chapter of Phi Mu in the spring of 2010, I knew that being a Chapter Consultant was an experience that I needed to have. Fast forward four years and here I am, writing this blog post in the International Services Hall at American University, on a visit to the Gamma Delta chapter. When I reflect on my time as a consultant, the memories come in a series of events that pushed me out of my comfort zone. I like to think that I no longer have a comfort zone- and I couldn’t be happier. In the beginning, I remembered being petrified of riding in a car with a stranger for more than five minutes. I thought, “What are we supposed to talk about?”, “How do I keep this conversation going to avoid the inevitable awkward silence?” After a while I realized that these questions had the same answer: our Phi Mu experience. I have found that the Phi Mu connection is instantaneous, so awkward silences are no longer my biggest fear.

Initially, I wanted to be a Chapter Consultant because I wanted to travel, while helping our chapters realize their potential to leave each one better than I found it. But being a consultant is so much more than that. I have visited 35 chapters, helped open seven chapters, have been the resident consultant at the Theta Nu chapter (FGCU) and I would like to think that I not only helped these chapters work more efficiently, but have helped to give the women in these chapters the best Phi Mu experience as possible.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the experience. Everything we do as Chapter Consultants is motivated by the idea of the Phi Mu experience, because we can relate, firsthand, to the wonderful gift that this organization has given us. Every one of us has been touched by Phi Mu, in one way or another, and using that experience to help others is something that I find quite powerful. During this season of thanks, I find it easy to think of many things to be thankful for, many involving my position as a Chapter Consultant. I’m thankful for my Phi Mu sisters, for my amazing consultant sisters (many of which are some of my best friends), thankful for the opportunity to work with such driven and gift chapter leaders and thankful to be a part of an organization that offers so much to her members.