Full name (First name “sorority nickname” Last name): Charlene “Teal” Topacio
Chapter, class, and number: DePaul University, Zeta Class “Fortunate Four” #24
Current occupation and location: Marketing Operations Assistant at Uline, Pleasant Prairie, WI
What did you study at your alma mater and how has life been outside of college?
I studied marketing in the College of Commerce at DePaul University. Since finishing at DePaul in 2008, I continued to be active with Delta Phi Lambda for another year by serving the first term of Midwest Governor in National Board. I got a taste of the sorority on a national and regional aspect rather than just [at] a chapter level. It was bittersweet, but I do hope to attend alum events hosted in the future.
Career-wise: Life post-college was a bit of a struggle to find my place since the recession hit, but after two years of working to make ends meet, I finally got my foot in at Uline Shipping Supply headquarters in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin and have been here ever since September 2010. I started out being an administrative assistant and then moved on to being a marketing operations analyst focusing on new product suggestions to add to our products.
Things I like to do now with my time is to read, watch movies, snowboarding and spend quality time with friends.
Has there been any exciting news in your life?
One and a half years ago, I got my new corporate job, which was a big step for me. No engagements or weddings, but I am currently in a very stable, serious and loving relationship with my boyfriend of two years (two years is actually a milestone for me!) We have a dog named Diesel. We have talked about our future together, but nothing big happening for another couple years.
Do you still keep in touch with sister(s) even after college is done?
I do still keep in touch with sisters, a few more than others, but even if some time has passed, it’s always easy to catch up on old times regardless [if] it were a fellow sister from DePaul, another midwest chapter or even those I’ve bonded with in Georgia and Florida.
Unfortunately, I am not as active as an alum than I would like to be due to location inconveniences; however, I do try to make it to special events if I can. Recently, a lineage dinner was set up for last week but a snowstorm unfortunately got in the way and [had] to be rescheduled so I am definitely looking forward to meeting and getting to know those continuing my lineage.
How do you feel the Sisterhood has benefited you in life so far?
Sisterhood has definitely benefitted my life with great friends and confidants. For example: my line sister, Christina “Amor” Orda, is one of my best friends that I talk to if not every day, at least once [a] week. I also have a great relationship with my little sis, Diana “Ariel” Wong. Even when I visit out-of-state areas like Atlanta or Orlando, I love being able to spend time with sisters in the area and have a good time. I can really see that everlasting sisterhood being true for me through Delta Phi Lambda.
What is your favorite memory with Delta Phi Lambda?
I’ve had a TON of great memories with Delta Phi Lambda and the most memorable were during my trips to Midyear and Convention or other conferences, representing as the DePaul chapter of Delta Phi Lambda. i.e. Winning Purdue Lambda’s Boiler Olympics, dancing/step/strolling performances at showcases, bonding with our conference hosts and making DePaul their favorite guest chapter *wink* and most of all, all the times getting crunk with all my lovely DPhiLs!
Closing statement/sisterly advice to pass on your wisdom to future generations:
Although I had a blast in college with making new friends, sisters and networks, life outside of college is a total eye opener. I learned that what you did and how you did in college can affect the quality of your life afterwards. The knowledge, experience and certain skill sets gained during those collegiate years […] will make or break you in your life afterwards – so other than completely focusing your attention on one thing, find your balance and make it work with your sorority, studies, work, love and social life. The sooner you find your balance, the BETTER and the happier you’ll be. Remember, “PLAY hard, WORK hard!”