Who are you?
My name is Robbie Marsden, and I am the Northeast Leadership Consultant. I grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia called Media, Pennsylvania—also known as “Everybody’s Hometown.” When it came time to go to college, I found my second home a few hours westward on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Carlisle, Pennsylvania; home of Dickinson College. At Dickinson, I studied history and education with aspirations to teach high school social studies as well as coach football and wrestling. I was privileged enough to continue my football career as an offensive lineman for the Red Devils, making memories on the field and bonds in the locker room that will last a lifetime. It was also at Dickinson where my journey with Phi Delta Theta began.
Why did you become a Leadership Consultant?
Having been born and raised in Media and only going to college about 100 miles west, I realized that I had never left a two-hour southeastern Pennsylvania bubble. My passion is working with high school students, and I knew that I wanted to live in or around my hometown for the rest of my life. With that life trajectory, what would I have really seen? I thought to myself: “I have a 35 year career to teach and coach—what is the harm in taking two years to do something that will get me out of my comfort zone?” Becoming a Leadership Consultant has given me the opportunity to not only help develop an organization about which I am passionate, but it has helped me grow in an unimaginable way at both a professional and a personal level.
What do you do?
As the Northeast’s consultant, I advise 32 Phi Delta Theta chapters from Virginia, over to the Pittsburgh area, and all the way up through New England. I primarily work with undergraduates—coaching them one-on-one, facilitating group discussions with chapter leadership, and giving presentations to groups of up to 100+. I work with both alumni leaders and campus officials to push each chapter towards a shared vision. I quickly have to adapt to a new campus and chapter culture every 3 or 4 days, assessing chapter operations and prescribing areas for improvement. Above all, though, I am a representative of the International Fraternity. I get to build relationships one handshake—and one conversation—at a time. I learn about the goals of our members and commit myself to helping them achieve them.
What have you seen?
There are very few employment opportunities out there that allow you to travel across the United States. There are things that I have seen that I never would have had I not taken the job. Here are a few of the highlights:
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
View from the top of House Mountain, Rockbridge County, VA.
Meeting presidential candidate John Kasich in Salem, NH, and United States Surgeon General Vivek Murthy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.
The chair where Lincoln was shot, and the bus where Rosa Parks became an icon—Detroit, MI.
View from the Green Monster for Yankees vs. Red Sox, Fenway Park, Boston, MA.
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
The decision to become a Leadership Consultant has undoubtedly been one of the best decisions I have ever made. The position requires you to work hard, problem solve, and constantly adapt to new surroundings—but it also presents a transformative journey that allows you to get to know yourself and the world around you in a deeper way. My journey as a Leadership Consultant has molded me into an organizational development specialist, a charismatic facilitator, an expert in building rapport—all while becoming a road warrior, a master traveler, and most importantly, a more thoughtful person.