Whether they’re elite societies such as Phi Beta Kappa or super connected like HonorSociety.org, these five honor societies should be on your radar.
Phi Beta Kappa
I bet that girl sitting in the front row of your Brit Lit class would love Phi Beta Kappa. They invite only the top 10 percent of arts and science graduate students to join. So getting an invitation means you are literally one in a million. Founded in the same year as our nation’s independence, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society. Merica. Accepting an invitation would mean joining the ranks of 17 U.S. Presidents, 38 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and over 130 Nobel Laureates. I’m sorry, could you be any more patriotic?
For those who would like to meet living members, engage with top scholars by attending public lectures and exhibits. If you’re interested in showing off your scholarship while showing off your new dress, attend the more exclusive events, like the Gala Weekend in D.C. and the black-tie Fellows Award dinner. Network a bit. Rack up some awards and national scholarships. Laugh at the rest of us mere plebeians who are nowhere near the top 10 percent. Here’s to hoping you’re one in a million.
HonorSociety.org is all about the future. Say good-bye to waiting for mail and any paper trails, this society is the Internet’s biggest fan. When you log in, priceless resources such as career guides, scholarship opportunities and test preparation are immediately one click away. Get your own name up on their site by posting blogs about current events, studying abroad and gaining internship experiences. At HonorSociety.org, you’re always connected through the society’s Facebook page, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Intimidated by their web presence because you don’t have one? Chill. They build your very own online profile to show off to future employers who dare Google you. If you’re one of the braver few in this era of technological detachment, you can shake hands with fellow members and alumni at social events, including the NCHC summit in Chicago, and field trips, including their member trip to D.C. and L.A.
When you’re ready to join the real world, HonorSociety.com has your back. Their job search feature allows members to search over 16 million jobs from part-time (nanny, dog-walker gigs) to career-worthy (investment banking, doctor, lawyer positions). Talk about connections.
Check out the 10 perks of getting invited.
Golden Key International Honour Society
Scholars, leaders and word travelers unite under the banner of the world’s largest collegiate honor society. As power-hungry as Frank Underwood? If you’re not satisfied with chapter or regional leadership, aim to become an international officer among the two million members of Golden Key. Can you say resume builder?
If your to-do list includes personal, professional and altruistic goals, then, first, I must applaud you for even knowing the definition of altruism. More importantly, Golden Key offers various outlets for these ambitious goals including one million dollars in scholarships and awards, a Graduate School Connections portal, an On-Demand Leadership Training Library, and partnerships with non-profit organizations and major corporations.
Last pitch: joining Golden Key means joining the ranks of honorary members such as Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel and Bill Clinton. Hey, maybe your next stop is presidency, too.
Phi Kappa Phi
Welcome to the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline honor society. No children allowed. This honors organization offers membership exclusively to the top 7.5% of second-semester juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students.
Although it entails a killer line on your resume and some rocking accessories at graduation, membership is not exclusively limited to recognition. Overflowing with old and wise college students, Phi Kappa Phi wants members to be hands-on at every level of the organization. From local chapter leadership and event planning to participation in civic projects in the surrounding community all the way to representation on the Board of Directors, you can be a recognized genius on and off campus.
Membership offers valuable opportunities and skills, but more importantly, it offers money. Through awards and grants programs that recognize love of learning, literacy and artistry, this society drops more than a mill dollars each biennium. I bet Phi Kappa Phi members don’t have to Google what biennium means.
Gamma Beta Phi Society
Can you guess what the Greek acronym Gamma Beta Phi means? A self-proclaimed non-profit and “non-secret” organization, Gamma Beta Phi revolves around education, life and friendship. Brainpower isn’t the only requirement of this society. Possessing a trinity of intelligence, motivation and good intentions, the 40,000 active student members are expected to focus as much on community outreach as they do individual growth.
Through the development of and active participation in service projects, leadership, camaraderie and other virtues are fostered at state and national conventions. The success of these projects can’t be counted on your fingers. Yes, I’m speaking both metaphorically and literally. Members have collected thousands of books for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, donated 6,000 pairs of shoes for Iraqi citizens and written thousands of letters to the service men and women on board the USS Kitty Hawk.
If like me, your philanthropy does not extend beyond the act of finishing every particle of food on your plate, then you may want to take a page from the Gamma Beta Phi chapter. Chapter. Get it?