October’s Alumnae Spotlight highlights what our soror, Faaiza Rupshi, from the Mu Line of Delta Chapter is currently up to! Read about her journey and the advice she has to share!
Currently I am an attorney practicing in Texas. Kappa Phi Gamma prepared me in countless ways, which came to fruition as I landed my first job as a lawyer. Kappa Phi Gamma is centered around the fundamentals of professionalism. Being an attorney, it is of utmost importance that we exude professionalism in every facet of our lives. Through the new member process and my time as an active sister, I learned how to not only dress, but also act like a professional.
First, as a female professional, the way you dress speaks volumes about your persona and ultimately how others perceive you. It is paramount that you dress in a sophisticated and proficient manner. Being introduced to the concept of Business Casual attire early on in my years as a sister resonates with me even today at my current job, as I am required to dress and act in a professional manner. Being around clients and attorneys on a daily basis, you are constantly assessed on your professionalism. How you dress is vital to your success.
Second, Kappa Phi Gamma taught me pertinent leadership skills while collectively working with others. As a member of KPhiG, I served as VP of Internal Affairs and President. As you know, both of the positions are substantial and prominent positions that require you to take on leadership roles. As I settled into both roles, I came to the realization that as a leader, you must not only learn to work with the sorority, but more importantly, learn to work with others. The respect you earn from your sisters and the ability to work with them is what truly solidifies your role and stature as a leader. Without that respect and appreciation, your role and judgment as a leader will continually be called into question. I have transported those principles into my professional life as I work with my colleagues on a daily basis. It is because of Kappa Phi Gamma that I am able to refine my leadership and communication skills in the workplace.
My biggest challenge(s):
1. How to acclimate yourself with different personality types in the workplace.
What makes KPhiG so unique is the range of personalities the sorority has to offer. You encounter different types of women from all walks of life. As a sister, finding that balance in meshing with different personalities is a valuable lesson my time at Kphig taught me. To be able to be exposed to different personalities and connect on a professional and personal level, no matter the vast differences is a skill that transports in your career. Today, I work with colleagues, lawyers, paralegals, law clerks and other young professionals with a myriad of personalities. Learning to work with a such personalities can be a struggle, yet it is an essential skill that we use in every phase of our life.
Another struggle I encountered accepting as a young professional, was that it is okay to make mistakes. When I first became an attorney, I envisioned myself as a perfectionist who wanted to prove herself to her superiors. I learned very quickly that I will not succeed until I fall. As I grow in my career, I am learning to accept that it is okay to make mistakes. It is a pertinent part of human nature that us as professionals and people must acclimate ourselves with the struggles of being a young professional. Some of the biggest and best lessons I’ve learned have come from me making the biggest mistakes at my job. I am learning that at the end of the day, I am only human and our errors are our steps to success in disguise.
My favorite part about my career field is that I am one of the few minority females in this field. Being placed as an equal amongst my male counterparts in a male dominated career is something that I work towards on a daily basis. As a South Asian female, I believe in diversity and equality for females and hope to see even more South Asians and other minorities be a part of this career field for years to come.
My work life balance constitutes of squeezing in a work out (atleast 30 minutes) every single day. Going for a run or simply doing cardio every day helps alleviate work stress. Also, it’s crucial to have that work/life separation. Most people, like myself, are guilty of comingling professional and personal life. Enabling yourself to disconnect from work mode is essential in finding that balance. Furthermore, it’s important to remember that work is not your life, but more so a fraction of your life.
Benefits of joining Kappa Phi Gamma:
1. Professionalism. Kappa Phi Gamma has taught me professionalism in more ways than one. Different facets of professionalism such as: the way you dress, the way you act, the way you treat your peers and others are all essential skills I learned through Kappa Phi Gamma.
2. An immeasurable amount of networking opportunities. When you join a sisterhood, you are essentially opening yourself up to a plethora of new people. By opening yourself up, you are creating relations with people who will be there for you in more ways than one. Whether it be professional or personal, Kappa Phi Gamma has a range of sisters that are willing to go out of their way for you. I am extremely appreciative of the sisters who have done just that for me. Whether it be my own chapter or one that is thousands of miles away, I take great pride in the fact that these sisters are only a phone call away if I ever needed a reference, help, or just a friend.
3. Exposure to leadership opportunities and skills. As a sister, I had ample opportunities to gain leadership experience through my role as VP Internal and President. Through these positions, you gain knowledge and skills for future roles in your career. Managing a chapter/colony takes great dedication and commitment. As a by product of taking on leadership roles, you are inadvertently gaining experience and refining your leadership skills for your future roles of leadership in your respective careers.
The advice that I have for women who are attempting to follow my career path is to follow your dreams. Set goals for yourself, stick to them, and most importantly believe in yourself. You will ALWAYS have naysayers and skeptics but ultimately it’s dependent on how hard you’re willing to work for your dreams and ambitions. Remain resilient in your pursuits because hard work always pays off. Lastly, don’t worry about how much money you’re going to make. Choose a career path which you are truly passionate about. It’s a lot more rewarding and fulfilling.
I measure success in three ways:
1. Ability to influence/make a difference in someone’s life. The most rewarding part about my career field is that as an attorney, you represent people who cannot represent themselves. Essentially, you are a voice for people for their legal battles. The ability to help someone through a legal issue in hopes of them leading a better life is rewarding in and of itself.
2. Ability to strengthen and reinforce intra/interpersonal relationships. Being able to maintain a healthy relationship not only with others, but also with yourself, is one the most crucial parts of attaining success. Being cognizant of your actions and being self aware of how you treat others is an outlet of measuring personal success. Placing great importance on your relationships with friends, family and co workers speaks volumes about your character and how people ultimately perceive you.
3. Ability to constantly learn and grow. We are lifelong students throughout the course of our careers. It’s important to constantly learn and better yourself everyday. Excelling in your career is a process that you experience all throughout your life. You constantly learn and evolve throughout the process. There is no end point to growing and learning in your career.