Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

Are you a member of a professional society? March 18, 2009

Filed under: Careers,Science — Stephanie @ 9:51 pm
Tags: , ,

I’m always hearing about presentations, conferences, and networking sessions sponsored by professional organizations.  And that reminds me that I should perhaps think about joining one.

I know that there are quite a few groups related to my academic background and current work, such as the Materials Research Society or the American Ceramic Society.  Then there are also groups like the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) that are geared toward women in particular.  And there are plenty of benefits to joining groups like this.  I can keep up on the latest news/research in my field, network/meet new people, and otherwise utilize the group for both intellectual/career benefits and social/personal benefits.

I’m already a member of the alumni association from my college.  And I’ve gotten involved in activities geared toward recent alums like myself.  So I’ve done some networking and met some new people.  But I think I’d like to learn more about the latest research, and be able to meet new people in my field.

The membership fees for most of these groups aren’t too bad.  In fact, many professional organizations are providing membership discounts for unemployed individuals (so they can get back into the field).  So which groups do I join?  I’m thinking I should ask around at work to find out what groups are beneficial.

Are you a member of a professional society?  Which ones?  What do you gain from your membership?  Or if you’re not a member, why not?

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5 Responses to “Are you a member of a professional society?”

  1. shtinkykat Says:

    You’ve reminded me that I probably should be networking right now. I guess it’s less important which professional society you join than the amount of effort you put into the membership. In the past, I’ve only been a “passive” member and got little out of it. I guess you can contact each association to see if there’s an introductory mixer planned in the future. I’d go to them and see which one you feel is a best fit for you.

  2. I’m a member of the organization for my industry, but I don’t think I really get anything out of it except a magazine I don’t read.

    I’m also in an engineering sorority (haha, I’m a nerd), but since I live far away from my old chapter, I never do anything for that either.

    Only join a group if you think you’ll be able totake advantage of it. I might drop the membership to the first group I listed, just because I don’t feel I get anything out of it. I’m typically a non-joiner,though, so YMMV.

  3. Corinna Says:

    I agree you should look into joining one if you can take advantage of it by participating in person. I’m a member of SIGCHI, which is the special interest group for computer-human interaction, and I enjoy the magazine that comes with my membership. Need to go to more conferences, though.

  4. savings Says:

    I used to be a member when I was a student. Now, I just can’t justify the price… not because it isn’t a worthy organization, but because I have so many other things I could be spending the money on. Plus, they have a ton of events that are open to the public, and the job resources and online resources are all open to the public anyway. So, I don’t feel like I’m really sacrificing much.

  5. Try and see if your company would pay for your membership. Sometimes it benefits them as well to have an employee active in a group.

    That being said, I was also a member of several while I was in school, but now I barely have time so I haven’t seriously looked into any associations. In the future I will be looking into it though!


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