Golden Key International Honour Society: Worth it?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 04, 2011 6:13 PM GMT
    I'm trying to decide whether or not to spend the money on membership with the Golden Key Honour Society.

    For those who don't know what it is, the Golden Key International Honour Society is a non-profit organization that recognizes academic achievement in colleges and universities. Membership is by invitation only, to the top 15% of students after the first year. Golden Key offers a number of services for its members, like scholarships, academic/career opportunities, résumé and graduate program assistance, career planning and opportunities, leadership opportunities, networking, and member discounts.

    Are any of you members of Golden Key? How do you find it? Are you active in your chapter? Are the benefits worth the cost of membership?

    Any info helps. Thanks guys!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2011 2:06 AM GMT
    i was a member...didnt really do anything for me. just something i wrote on my resume.
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    Jun 05, 2011 2:17 AM GMT
    My university pester me constantly to join.

    Friends who are in it have said that 99% of people are there so they can write it on their resume. They don't actively participate in any of the events they organise. I personally am not interested in joining something where that's the vastly dominant attitude.

    And the "invitation only, to the top 15% of students after the first year" sounds odd. I was offered countless times to join during my first year, and at club sign-ons they have a stall allowing anyone to join. I'm certain that it's part of the global 'Golden Key' organisation but it may be done differently in Australia.

    If you don't have a lot of other extra curricular activities/clubs to beef up your resume it can be a good option. However, lecturers have told me it's being seen that way by employers now, and unless you can prove active participation it'll be seen as you simply attempting to buy membership into things to look good.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 05, 2011 2:41 AM GMT
    it's basically a way to get your money for a resume booster... you're better off with phi beta kappa
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2011 4:08 AM GMT
    I've never heard of it, but if you're looking to join some sort of organization, I think it would be in your best interest to join something that has to do with your major.
    In college, I was a member of an engineering fraternity (theta tau), and many of my finance major friends were members of the business fraternity (alpha kappa psi). I also know there are fraternities for education majors.
    Also, when I say fraternity, I don't mean your stereotypical frat boy image. It's really just a name for any Greek organization. All of the ones I mentioned above are co-ed.
    This way you are actually a part of something that you can relate to, and would be interested in participating in their events and what not.
    Just my two cents ;)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2011 6:16 AM GMT
    Never heard of it. But if it's anything like my fraternity, it works as a resumé builder, and you may find the right connections to snag a job.
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    Jun 05, 2011 12:19 PM GMT
    I'm a member as well, I haven't really taken advantage of it. I have looked into some of the opportunities that it offers and thought they were pretty good. Now that you bring it up, I think I will start looking into the MBA opportunities that they may have.

    Good luck on making a decision. I know you've heard time and time again, but it is a good thing to put on your resume.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2011 2:23 PM GMT
    My opinion is that it is not worth it unless you are at the 14.99998 fringe and you expect to barely squeak by for the rest of the remaining semesters at university.

    My membership has done exactly nothing since the time I joined to present, many years later - beyond giving me a line on my resume that often gets deleted in favor of more exclusive honor societies or being able to add punctuation to my thesis title which brings it to an extra line.

    Most peers agree it is just a "paper society" that provides you with a certificate and is not incredibly active as far as networking goes. You would make much better connections in the academic fraternity for your major (e.g. Delta Sigma Pi, Beta Iota Omicron etc.) since you get genuine face-time with the faculty advisor in your major, a tenured professor, who can be useful for letters of recommendation as well as pointing you in a variety of directions for professional growth and development. Meanwhile the campus-wide faculty advisor for GK is probably not in your department and has little vested interest in helping YOU as compared to the other members of your cohort, some of whom likely are in the faculty advisor's department which gives them an instant advantage.

    While it is an achievement to be in the top 15%, you can just write your class standing and GPA on your resume to achieve the same objective as listing GK (assuming the person reading your resume even took the time to Google what GK is.)

    Even if you want to go into academia still skip GK - Mortar Board and Phi Beta Kappa will do wonders for your networking and give your resume an extra smiley face in the hands of graduate admissions committees icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2011 7:31 PM GMT
    Hey guys, thanks for the replies... Keep 'em coming!

    I would gladly turn to fraternities, but they're uncommon in Canadian universities and there are none at Concordia where I study. I haven't heard anything very convincing so far with regards to Golden Key, but my resume is indeed a little bare in the community/club/extracurricular department, especially in relation to my field. Maybe I should work on that instead.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2011 7:58 PM GMT
    The way I saw it, membership was offered to students in faculties with high grade inflation (e.g. straight-A psych students, theatre majors, etc.) while the programs that were difficult to get into and scaled down grades didn't stand a chance (engineering, business). Look at who the members are and see what it's worth to you. Top 15% doesn't necessarily mean the smartest or most successful.
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    Jun 06, 2011 4:05 AM GMT
    i think more important than being a member is being an active member. the places you'll be applying to for a job are looking for leadership qualities. so where all these organizations come into play is if you have a leadership role, be it president, vp, treasurer, etc. i was a treasurer for the organization related to my industry and i think that got me much further than the being a member of golden key. golden key was basically a filler for my resume.