When I joined Phi Theta Kappa (ΦΘΚ) in January I never knew three letters would have such a monumental impact on who I’ve become. Now, only three months later, I sit on Alabama’s District 2 Phi Theta Kappa board as Vice-President, and I couldn’t be happier about the nomination.
When I decided to run for VP of district 2 in March, I was not only aware of the benefits that membership offered, but I had experienced them first-hand.
Phi Theta Kappa is more than just an organization comprised of the top students at two-year universities across the nation, it’s a means of garnering valuable life and business experience while you’re still furthering your education in school. Here are just a few of the benefits you’ll find yourself reaping once you’ve joined ΦΘΚ.
One of the most noteworthy benefits of joining Phi Theta Kappa happens at both the national and local levels: the events. On-campus, each chapter itself organizes events to help raise funds for scholarships, discusses honors study topics and hosts guest speakers. Regional meetings, usually one per state per year, allow for the members within an individual state to come together and share ideas and thoughts with one another to expand their horizons. At a national level, the events are even more rewarding.
The “main event” so to speak, of Phi Theta Kappa is the annual national convention. Also called “NerdNation,” the event is held each year around April and brings together thousands of the best and brightest young minds from across the country. These feature prominent guest speakers, competitions and a trivia bowl that foster personal and professional development in an exciting atmosphere.
Phi Theta Kappa’s alumni network is not only vast, but prestigious. Politicians on both local and national scales are alumni of ΦΘΚ, as are performers such as Trisha Yearwood and Sela Wood, authors like Wes Moore and Steven Whitehurst and even Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise. The Alumni Associations of each chapter are expansive and allow you to see just some of the successes that members in the past have experienced thanks in part to Phi Theta Kappa.
Phi Theta Kappa cultivates diversity in both alumni and current members. The honors society has seen the acceptance and enrollment of over 3.1 million members since 1918, many of whom come from different age groups, cultures and backgrounds. ΦΘΚ is truly a place to meet new people and breed your personal leadership.
The possibility for networking isn’t always enough for millennials. For being a nation of young professionals who are scrutinized for being attached to technology, many people believe that person-to-person communication is a lost art. However networking is exactly what landed me my positions on various political campaigns through the past few years.
Phi Theta Kappa helped me to establish new skills and build upon existing ones, such as my networking and leadership traits. Students who take advantage of membership and get involved will begin to see the benefits in not only their business lives, but their personal lives as well.
Being recognized as a member of Phi Theta Kappa in and of itself is worth some recognition. Not any and all students are invited to be a part of Phi Theta Kappa, so if you’ve received an invitation, take some pride in how you’ve performed in your academic career thus far. Each chapter comes with a set of morality and academic standards one must adhere to be deemed eligible for induction.
While still in school, members receive access to almost $40 million in scholarships presented only to honors society members. Upon graduation, members receive a membership certificate and ID card, notation of membership on college transcript and personalized letters of recommendation for employment opportunities. From induction to years after graduation, the recognition and opportunities that Phi Theta Kappa presents its members is rewarding through and through.
As a college student, I know why you may be hesitant. Your pockets probably aren’t overflowing with money at this stage of your life, and any organizations with a membership fee might seem daunting. As a devoted member and VP of my chapter, I can promise you that membership is more than worth the price.