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Your Guide To Penn State’s Business Fraternities

Penn State’s Smeal College of Business is home to five recognized business fraternities. 

All five fraternities hosted a joint mixer Thursday, allowing potential new members to get a feel for each organization prior to next week’s recruitment.

Kicking off on Monday, September 11, the co-ed fraternities will begin recruitment, featuring “open-house” style events Monday through Wednesday and invite-only events Thursday and Friday. 

In case you missed the mixer, here’s everything you need to know about Penn State’s business fraternities.

Alpha Kappa Psi (AKPsi)

Alpha Kappa Psi represents itself as a tight-knit community with about 40% of its brothers coming from majors outside of business. That diversity makes AKPsi a great place to find community, no matter your interests.

AKPsi’s three pillars in professional, brotherhood, and philanthropy overlap with its five values in unity, knowledge, integrity, brotherhood, and service. This overlap highlights the importance of service and brotherhood to the organization.

Taking its philanthropic side seriously, AKPsi has brothers serving as captains, directors, and executive directors to THON. AKPsi is also one of the top five general organization fundraisers for THON while also working with Strawberry Fields and NEILSTRONG, both philanthropic organizations.

“One thing I love about AKPsi is we have leadership positions available for you the very second you get into the fraternity and then you can continue to progress, like to the executive board,” Hope Urbanovsky, AKPsi’s vice president of outreach said. “Every semester is an opportunity for you to grow and expand into different leadership areas.”

AKPsi’s brotherhood isn’t to be overlooked. Both Urbanovsky and AKPsi Secretary Anushka Mandava mentioned their thoughts about transferring from the university before finding their community among the fraternity.

AKPsi is always on the lookout for unique individuals to elevate their organization.

“We really want to get to know you,” Urbanovsky said. “Any extracurricular you could think of we have someone who’s diehard passionate about that, which is why it’s super important for you to be yourself, because we appreciate all different types of interests and passion.”

Delta Sigma Pi (DSP)

Delta Sigma Pi is the only business fraternity that has a major specification. Currently, DSP only accepts students from the division of undergraduate studies, Smeal College of Business, and a handful of other majors outside of Smeal that are tailored toward the business track. However, when it comes to personality, they’re no less inclusive than the rest.

“If your goals are professionalism and to be surrounded by people that can assist you with that and surround yourself with a network, DSP is definitely the spot for you,” President Lilli Lucia said, a junior majoring in marketing. “But maybe you’ve already got internships and job offers, it’s also a great place to have a good time.”

Lucia believes DSP is the perfect place to foster professional development while also having fun.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” Lucia said. “You’re looking for something to better yourself and also looking for a community around you who can be your best friends who also want you to better yourself.”

While their pillars are in community, service, fundraising/THON, and social, DSP also has an aspect of friendly competition and brotherhood.

“We’re very competitive, but there’s no gatekeeping,” Lucia said.  “It’s not just a one-man show, we have the support and we have the network of the people that help you continue to move forward in that aspect as well.”

With that happy medium in mind, DSP is looking for members who fit the criteria of “work hard, play hard,” but are also true to themselves and want to grow professionally and socially.

Phi Beta Lambda (PBL)

Phi Beta Lambda, an affiliate of Future Business Leaders of America, is home to 120 active brothers and boasts a 100% job placement rate after graduation. PBL’s four pillars are professional, philanthropy, social, and competition.

President Eswar Chelliah believes being the only business fraternity that recognizes competition as a supporting aspect of its organization is what makes it special.

“That level of edge, it’s something different,” Chelliah said. “Preparing kids to take that next step is something we really like to focus on here, and not only in professional aspects.”

To showcase this, PBL participates annually in a statewide competition in Harrisburg with other PBL chapters. From public speaking to cybersecurity, members are given the opportunity to use their skills in a real competition setting. Any brother who wants to attend these yearly events is encouraged to do so.

While competition is a large part of their identity, it’s not the only part. PBL is also community-focused, with a large emphasis on brotherhood.

“There’s the professionalism, the networking, yes, but what really sets us apart is that at the end of the day, everyone has each other’s backs and it’s really apparent,” said Chelliah.

PBL accepts any major, emphasizing the advantages a diverse set of majors can bring to the fraternity.

“I’m looking for kids who are eager to take on leadership roles and develop in some form,” said Chelliah. “People who are going to be proactive in their approach when they join the organization. So you’re coming to rush super enthusiastic, but can you keep that enthusiasm going?”

Phi Chi Theta (PCT)

Phi Chi Theta is a professional organization that focuses on helping students develop their professional skills to prepare for their respective industries, whether that be resume-building workshops or cleaning up a LinkedIn page.

PCT’s three pillars of professionalism, philanthropy, and brotherhood are upheld by about 125 active members spread across all of Penn State’s colleges. 

PCT was second in fundraisings for general organizations during this past THON and also contributed to various other philanthropic organizations like Bring Hope Home throughout the year. 

Drew Reeser, who serves as PCT’s president, places the most emphasis on how different the brotherhood in PCT is, calling it one of the largest impacts on his experience at Penn State.

“The people that want to be friends with you,” said Resser, a senior majoring in finance. “It’s not just like they want you to join and benefit from the professional side, but they really want to get to know you as a friend and spend time with you outside classes and outside studying.”

According to Reeser, the camaraderie PCT boasts tends to last long after graduation.

“You could always find a PCT brother in Philly or New York or Pittsburgh or all these big cities around the country, there’s always somebody that’s somewhat close wanting to hang out with you or help you,” Reeser said.

Despite the lifelong bond that comes with it, joining the PCT brotherhood isn’t as daunting as it may seem.

“Overall we’re looking for people that are friendly,” Reeser said. “We’re not necessarily looking for people that are super professional and have the most perfect resume in the world, but we’re looking for people that are really professionally motivated and just want to grow themselves.”

Phi Gamma Nu (PGN)

Phi Gamma Nu is a co-ed professional development fraternity with a focus on brotherhood, professional development, and philanthropy. Though it’s not an official pillar like other business fraternities, PGN is heavily involved in THON and takes pride in being the top general fundraising organization for the past seven years.

President Jackie Arcaro, a senior supply chain management major, believes the best way to sum up PGN is through its motto: mixing business with pleasure.

“What makes us stand out from the other business frats is our brotherhood and how close we are,” Arcaro said. “It helps though, building our brotherhood builds our alumni network, which helps us with professional development as well.”

With about 130 current members, PGN accepts students across all majors, with most brothers scheduling a variety of classes with each other, adding to the benefits of the network.

“My roommates and most of my friends that I’ve made in college are from PGN, so it’s nice being able to practice those professional development things with people you’re super close with,” Arcaro said. “Joining PGN was probably the best thing that I could have done.”

As far as rushing tips go, PGN wants to reassure freshmen and remind them that confidence is key when presenting yourself.

“We look for people that are confident, are looking to make new friends, and develop their professional skills,” Arcaro explained. “We like to see when people are involved, but we understand that as a freshman it’s kind of tough, so we also look for people who are eager to get into leadership roles.”

Editor’s Note: Hope Urbanovsky is an Onward State staffer and a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, but contributed nothing more than a quote to the production of this article.

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About the Author

Megan Kelby

Megan Kelby is a senior at Penn State majoring in journalism. She is from the great state of Delaware and does not tolerate any 302 slander. Megan is a fan of Sudoku, music, and rocket pops. If you feel the need to, you can email her at [email protected].

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