Life As A Working Delta: Anne Blessing

Can’t get enough of our Delta alumnae? Not to worry we got another sister here to tell you all about her time with Gamma Tau and her life in the city of Nashville. Anne Blessing is a woman who definitely left her mark on JMU and Tri Delta. Some people referred to as a super woman who would one day take over the world. See what this fabulous sister is up to today and some advice she wants to give to the seniors.

Name: Anne Blessing

Pledge Class: Iota pledge class 2006; Graduated in May 2010

Hometown: Currently live in Nashville, Tennessee; originally from Yorktown, VA 

Positions Held: Panhellenic President in 2009 and the President-Elect in 2008
-Lead the 2010 Extension Committee and helped choose to bring Phi Mu and ADPi to campus
-In Tri Delta specifically: two-time Greek Sing Hands Choreographer (Deltas of Oz…got to love it!)
-Chapter Life Study leader and Greek IV member

Favorite Tri Delta moment:  I’ll admit I harbored a secret love for dressing up for taking pictures at formals, Greek Sing practices and Jimmy Johns filled late nights in the house…but my absolute favorite Tri Delta moment was when I was disaffiliated in 2009 for Recruitment and got a rare opportunity to see our chapter from the outside looking in, and a reminder of how unique our sisterhood truly was.
At the time I was a senior and hadn’t had contact with any Tri Delta all summer long since I was leading disaffiliation as Panhel President. Three of my closest sisters were Tri Delta’s current President, Recruitment Chair (Ali Mali) and Assistant Recruitment Chair that year – meaning that I lead them in meetings all summer but we could never talk more than business, and I saw them throughout Recruitment, standing outside the sorority house looking gorgeous, cheering, laughing and leading our entire chapter through its most successful Recruitment to date, but couldn’t say a word to them!

Here I was a senior, about to graduate and end four years of being in Tri Delta at JMU, and instead of chanting in the same T-shirt as everyone else donning crafty nametags and bonding with a bump group, I was sitting among PNMs on the row seeing Recruitment through their eyes and re-living my 2006 rushing experience when I too first met Tri Delta. It was dejavu – wanting to be part of the group of girls inside the house vs. standing in line outside watching them have fun and showcase to the entire row why they were so awesome. Back in 2006, I was a young 18-year old girl who thought the girls in Tri Delta were pretty cool and I wanted to be their friend. Fast forward four years and I’m 21 and those girls inside the house with three triangles on it? They’re my absolute best friends. I no longer wanted to be their friend — I never wanted to leave them.

 Recruitment came to an end at the Panhel Reveal Ceremony. I stood in front of hundreds of PNMs who had just received bids and were about to meet their sorority for the first time. When the time came, I proudly traded my PANHEL T-Shirt for a pair of Tri Delta letters, running on stage alongside my Tri Delta Rho Gammas and declaring for the first time that year that I was a Delta Delta Delta (lucky person that I am!). I couldn’t help but think as I lead the 50+ girls who were about to be Tri Delta’s Mu pledge class that they had no idea all that was about to change for the better – amongst the group of strangers was some girl who would soon become an inseparable best friend they wished they had more time to be with. I ran through Tri Delta’s basement that night celebrating a sisterhood I was proud of, embracing women who were my closest college friends and knowing that in this full circle moment, that if I had to do it all over again, I would still choose Tri Delta. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.

What role did you have during your time at JMU? (This can be in and outside of Tri Delta) 
Since my answer before was so long, I’m going to skip this one!

Lauren Coble was my first friend in Tri Delta. We lived in the house together, bonded over high school boyfriends & belly button rings, disaffiliated together in 2008 (she was a Rho Gamma, I was on Panhel) and became the best of friends before graduating together in 2010. I just saw her last week in NYC with everyone!

How did Tri Delta impact your time at JMU?
A lot of the time I think sorority girls get flack – “Oh you spent the past four years partying with boys in bowties, dressing up in the same t-shirts and doing secret handshakes?” But that’s a stereotype we were need to defy and I like to tell people, “No, actually as a sorority woman from JMU, I’ve become an independent, mature leader who is not afraid to speak publicly in front of large groups, lead teams of women to instigate change that I believe in (example: The Be Beautiful Campaign was born from the eating disorders and body confidence issues I saw so often and personally on campus) and connect with all types of people from various backgrounds.” I’d be remiss not to mention that my friends in Tri Delta impacted all four years of my college career – and not just in that they added 1,000+ photos to my Facebook profile, cried beside me break up after break up and went to weekly brunches at Dhall with me in their pajamas – but in that they encouraged me to be bold, to embrace my weirdness (err…uniqueness?!), to demand more from people and to not be afraid of what others thought. Knowing that they were behind me empowered me to take charge of Panhellenic at JMU (something I was deathly afraid of doing…before I was elected, I had never even spoken up at chapter meetings) and more importantly, live a purposeful life. The values of Tri Delta resonated with me and made me very proud to carry out what we stood for in my daily life. It was always my goal to live out truth, service, self-sacrifice and friendship, and I still strive to do that today.

Here are some group photos of my close sorority sisters and Iota pledge class sisters throughout college. 10 of us just met up in NYC for a reunion. We plan to stay in touch every year and plan a vacation!

Looking back, what do you wish you would have known before entering the work force?
Buckle up and prepare to work hard! It’s not all glamorous but each day is taking you one step further to where you want to be as a person and career woman. Also, Google the question before asking your boss/coworker. You can probably figure most things out on your own and it shows initiative.


What are you up to now and where? Describe your job.
I work at a Public Relations agency in Nashville where I oversee marketing, media relations and communications for all types of national corporate clients and organizations. I write a lot and work in teams to develop creative brand messages, campaigns announcing a new product and strategic ways for our clients to share their messages online, in print media and on a national/international scale.

 

How did Tri Delta prepare you for the real world?
To be honest, the crazy sorority schedule of having late night meetings for something or another every day and learning effective time management has been the most helpful thing! I can manage my work schedule easily now and not much phases me. Tri Delta also gave me confidence to share ideas with my colleagues, speak up during meetings and multi-task a hundred (okay, more like ten or twelve) different projects at once.

What’s life like post-graduation?
It’s different! But it’s a good thing. You’re ready for the change once you graduate and Real Life is pretty exciting. There are noticeable differences – you have bills to pay, you have to use actual cash for vending machines, spring break does not exist and you have to actually book a plane ticket to see your best friends vs. walking up the road to the Manor. But there are also things that stay the same – the dating pool does not improve (hate to break it to you…), you still connect with your sisters constantly on Gchat/emails/Facebook, you’ll miss your mom more than ever and you have to work really hard to succeed. There’s a constant personal and professional growth that fuels you though. Sometimes I wake up and think I can’t believe I’m wearing a business suit, doing actual work that makes a difference and living a life straight out of Glamour magazine/Sex and the City. How cool is that? 

Any final advice for the seniors 🙂
Plan your work, then work your plan. Don’t settle, keep moving and if you want to move to a new city and start a crazy cool job that has nothing to do with your major – do it. But don’t underestimate your network…in the end your friends, family and faith are all you have and you have to take advantage of every moment with them!

I hope you enjoyed reading all about Anne, her time at JMU and where she is today. She is someone who exhibits a fearless mentality and is a great example for stepping outside of your comfort zone after graduating. Don’t be afraid to be bold and take a chance! We love you Anne 🙂

Delta Love,

-Gamma Tau

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