Sigma Eta Pi, or SEP, was founded in 2010 at UCLA with the mission to bring together like-minded entrepreneurs in order to expand ideas, build professional skills and create a network of people to help members discover their career paths.
Sophie Waszkelewicz, a third-year cognitive science student and one of SEP’s newly-elected co-presidents, has countless positive remarks about the organization and how it has impacted her experience as a Bruin.
Waszkelewicz has been involved in business and entrepreneurship since she was in high school, so when SEP members handed her a flyer, she was intrigued to learn more. “I came out to rush and continued to come back because I really liked the people I was meeting,” she said.
SEP hosts rush during the fall and spring quarters. During the first two days, prospective members get to know the chapter and meet active members. The rest of the week consists of invite-only events, which include a number of activities leading up to official recruitment invitations.
The organization runs a number of events and activities to help members build their professional resumes, improve their entrepreneurial skills and network with experts in different fields. “We host events such as BruinTank, which is a spin-off of Shark Tank, as well as fireside chats with entrepreneurs in the area and a variety of different active workshops,” said Waszkelewicz. There are also a number of social events to attend, such as a formal and a retreat.
These professional and social events have boosted Waszkelewicz’s confidence in her ability to pursue her interests and goals. She recalled not knowing what to do when she first came to UCLA. “I switched my major a number of times and switched my career path even more times,” she said. However, SEP has given her opportunities and resources to put her entrepreneurial interests into action. “I gained a new sense of direction,” said Waszkelewicz.
Beyond helping members build their professional skills, SEP offers an irreplaceable sense of community. “My favorite thing about the organization has to be the people,” Waszkelewicz said. One of the organization’s main goals is to provide members with a second family to share lifetime memories with.
The time commitment is flexible based on each member’s preference for involvement, with the only requirement being attending the weekly all-member meetings. “Members can choose how much time they want to dedicate to the organization based on their availability and interest in certain events throughout the year,” said Waszkelewicz. This makes membership very easy to balance with other commitments.
Through a combination of mentorships, workshops and hands-on experience, SEP empowers its members to become successful entrepreneurs and leaders in their respective fields. The fraternity is a valuable resource for any student interested in entrepreneurship and looking to gain practical experience, develop their skills and build a network of supportive peers. Be sure to check them out during their next rush week in the fall!