Connecting your CIO to your Future: Alpha Phi Omega

Career Administrator

Check out this week’s spotlight on Alpha Phi Omega (APO) featuring Joyce Lee. Learn how your participation in APO can lead to the development of skills in leadership, organization, teamwork, and communication. Read on to learn Joyce’s journey with APO.

What is the benefit of joining APO?

Oh wow, where to begin? We have three cardinal principles that we focus on: leadership, friendship, and service and the benefits reaped from these areas are bountiful. First of all, joining APO means leaving the UVA bubble and helping people in our community. We get to go to farms, gardens, schools, and other sites around the city that most students don’t even know about. Second, there are many leadership opportunities to run for the exec board or take charge of a service project so there are many benefits of growing as an individual. Lastly, but definitely not the end to benefits, are the bonds and friendships created. APO is home to a lot of our members and that clearly shows when we go to each other’s class presentations to support each other, get lunch at Newcomb weekly, help fix a flat tire, or send an encouraging text message to each other. We aren’t perfect, but we are family.

What is your current role and overall experience of being involved in APO? How have you achieved, or hope to attain personal development?

I am currently the Public Relations chair for APO and I have had a wonderful experience being in this organization. It can be a lot of work managing the social media, advertising, reaching out to UVA students, and volunteering around Charlottesville, but it is so much fun and meaningful. Definitely worth the time and energy commitment. As for personal development, I have learned to become a better friend, serve with a purpose, and lead by example. Doing service can be hard, but I have learned from my friends in APO to serve others with a big heart.

What are some transferable skills gained from being a member of APO that can be mentioned in a resume or interview?

We focus a lot on leadership. The entire pledging experiencing includes planning and executing a big service project and fundraising about $4,000 dollars for it. Other service projects and activities involve coordinating information with site contacts we volunteer with, learning how to work with tools, being able to work on a team with others, organization skills, and the list goes on and on. Here at APO, you learn how to communicate your ideas, reflect and become mindful of what you do, and become responsible in helping your community and your fellow members.

How does APO help undergraduate students explore?

Since our organization revolves around service, there are many diverse people who are involved in many different areas on grounds. Many of our alumni go into Peace Corp, Teach for America, a sustainability track, politics, computer science, law school, business, you name it. These diverse minds help students explore their options and ask questions. Also, APO provides a lot of opportunities to step outside of your comfort zone which helps you understand what you’re good at, what you’re not so great at, and the potential you have.

What general advice do you have for students who are uncertain in what they want to get involved in? How can they start exploring?

College can be difficult because there is so much pressure to make it the best four years of your life. When it comes to CIO’s and extra curriculars, it’s good to try out a lot of different things and be open minded! A good way to start is by going to UVA’s CIO website where they have every single CIO listed. Also, talking to upperclassmen is a good way to get real reviews and paying attention to flyers and chalking will help with finding out what’s going on Grounds!  

To get in touch with APO, follow @apoatuva on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram or email Joyce at