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In the current recession and an increasingly competitive job market, networking has become more important than ever to landing a job in business.

And while Career Services offers many resources to help students network, joining a business fraternity provides some students with even greater networking opportunities.

Delta Sigma Pi President and Wharton junior Andrew Brodsky said one of the main advantages of joining a business fraternity is that it gives students the opportunity to network with successful alumni.

Wharton alumna Katherine Cernocky, one of the founding members of Phi Gamma Nu business fraternity, said she often serves as a mentor for members who are applying with her previous employer in management consulting.

Cernocky added that her fraternity’s internal resume workshops and annual internship fair also helps provide members with opportunities to network.

Former member of Phi Gamma Nu business fraternity and Wharton alumnus Anthony Massaro said although his fraternity didn’t directly get him his job, the mentorship and professional advice he received from older brothers in the fraternity strongly contributed to his success.

“Having seniors to leverage when I was a junior and a sophomore looking for internships was an incredible resource,” he said.

Massaro, who is currently an investment-banking analyst at Goldman Sachs, said having contacts and members in the fraternity that were invested in his success was a tremendous resource.

Wharton junior and member of Delta Sigma Pi Ryan Morgan said he found an internship the summer following his freshman year because of the strong alumni network.

“I received an e-mail on the DSP listserv about an alum who wanted someone to intern at a sports marketing firm in New York City,” Morgan wrote in an e-mail. “It sounded like a great opportunity so I called him.”

Morgan also added that DSP and the strong alumni network is like a family.

“The interview was much more like speaking with a friend than a formal interview, and we really connected on our common experiences of being in DSP,” Morgan wrote.

Brodsky said the strong alumni network in business fraternities provides members with mentorship opportunities that give them a “step up” when searching for an internship or a job.

“All of the members who have jobs already do case prep and finance stuff with us, and they go over the younger brothers’ resumes,” Brodsky said.

Some of the most accomplished alumni of the Beta Nu Chapter of Delta Sigma Pi include Vice President of Sony Music Entertainment Stephen Russo, Director of American Express Erika Fanelle and Manager of Disney/ABC Cable Networks Jennifer Turner.

But while Penn’s business fraternities are known for a well-established alumni mentorship program, there is also a strong emphasis on the social aspect of the fraternity.

President of Phi Gamma Nu and Wharton sophomore Nancy Zhang described business fraternities as the “best of both worlds” because of their combination of social and professional components.

“One of the best parts is the brothers putting aside time and helping each other out,” Zhang said.

Zhang also said business fraternities are unique because they incorporate professionalism into social activities.

Some of the most recent professional events that Phi Gamma Nu has hosted include an annual internship fair, a private equity case competition and an entrepreneurship panel. The internship fair included companies such as JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, American Express and Boston Consulting Group, according to Wang.

Over 750 resumes were passed along to recruiters at the fair this past winter, Zhang said.

Alpha Kappa Psi, another professional business fraternity on Penn’s campus, hosts a corporate benefit dinner every year that features an esteemed executive as the keynote speaker.

According to Alpha Kappa Psi’s website, the dinner “brings together today’s leaders … for a night of networking, professional development and philanthropy.”

While pledging these three fraternities consists of activities that strive to create a closer brotherhood, they also introduce a professional aspect into their pledging as well.

Zhang said pledging is different from a social fraternity because of a dry pledge policy, and because each pledge class is required to plan and host a professional event of their choosing.

Previous pledge events for Phi Gamma Nu include a venture capital case competition, an entrepreneurship panel and an event that featured a prominent speaker in wealth management.

“Getting to know more of the business world helps you decide what you want to do,” Zhang said.

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