Why You Should Join Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society
Imagine spending all of your time in college with your head stuck in your books. You graduate, but you don't know how to go about getting a good job in criminal justice.
Fortunately, you may be able to avoid that situation by joining Alpha Phi Sigma. Not only will you meet friends, but you can prepare for your career before you need to apply for jobs.
Keep reading to learn why you should join the criminal justice honor society.
Develop Leadership Skills
One of the best Alpha Phi Sigma benefits is that you can develop leadership skills. Whether you take on a leadership role within your school's Alpha Phi Sigma chapter or simply help plan events, you can learn valuable skills.
When you're ready to graduate and get a job, you'll be able to use those skills to stand out. Even while you're in school, having leadership skills can help you succeed in your classes.
If you ever have a group project to complete, you'll know how to communicate and work as part of a team. Then, you won't have to worry as much about learning those skills later.
Qualify for Scholarships
Joining the criminal justice honor society is also useful long before graduation. If you have trouble affording college, you'll be able to qualify for more scholarships.
Then, you won't have to take out as much money in student loans. Depending on your school, you may qualify for small or large scholarships.
Even if a scholarship isn't tied to your Alpha Phi Sigma membership, it may come with having good grades. As long as you stay eligible for honor society membership, you should be able to keep your financial aid.
Improve Your Grades
If you want to qualify for scholarships or simply stay in Alpha Phi Sigma, you might need to maintain a certain grade point average (GPA). And if your current GPA is low, you'll need to raise it to join the honor society.
This can be an excellent way to motivate yourself to attend classes and study for exams. While you can find other motivating factors, they may not work as well as getting to join Alpha Phi Sigma.
If you want to join the honor society for your major, you'll need those good grades. And sometimes, that can be motivating enough to get yourself away from the TV and to the library.
Fill Your Schedule
In college, you may have access to a lot of clubs and activities. However, depending on your class schedule, you might not be able to attend certain events that interest you.
But since Alpha Phi Sigma is for criminal justice majors, odds are you won't have class when the honor society meets. That means you can have something to do outside of your classes, and you can look forward to meetings.
If you ever find yourself getting bored, you can attend an Alpha Phi Sigma meeting. Or you can find people in the society who you can meet up with and get food or do another activity.
Plus, you won't have to rely on events happening when you have free time. That can be nice if you have a class super early or super late and can't do things when other students would.
Attend Special Events
One of the most significant Alpha Phi Sigma benefits is that you can go to events and conferences the society holds. Then, you can meet other students and professionals in the criminal justice industry.
You'll be able to exchange business cards with potential employers and mentors. And when you meet other students, you could be meeting future bosses and coworkers.
While you can meet a lot of people at your school's Alpha Phi Sigma meetings, you'll meet more people at conferences. When it comes time to get a job or go to a different graduate school, you'll already know people in the field.
Even outside of conferences and other events, you'll get to meet a lot of people through Alpha Phi Sigma. First, you'll get to meet other students at all levels of education.
So even if you're a freshman or sophomore, you'll meet seniors and perhaps even graduate students. You may not meet those people in your criminal justice classes.
Joining Sigma Phi Alpha may also help you get to know a professor much better than if you only had a class with them. Depending on who advises your chapter, they might help you with your classes and career preparation.
As mentioned, you'll get to make friends with some of the people in your chapter and at other chapters around the country. While you will probably find friends in your college dorm, they will have various majors.
Your roommates and other dorm friends might not understand your criminal justice classes. By joining Alpha Phi Sigma, you can meet others in the same degree and who have similar interests.
That can be a great way to build a sense of community when you're away at school. Plus, you'll be able to continue those friendships after you graduate and go on to get a job.
If you meet friends at conferences, you can hang out with them if you happen to end up in the same city after graduation. That way, you won't have to worry about making friends from scratch.
Find a Mentor
Another reason to join Alpha Phi Sigma is to find a mentor for your college and career experience. Your mentor might be the honor society faculty advisor.
However, you might be able to meet a graduate student and convince them to mentor you. If you find that someone in the group has a career similar to what you want to pursue, get to know that person.
They might decide to help you figure out which classes to take and what else you should to do get your dream job. You don't need to have a mentor, but they can be a great resource.
A good mentor is someone who has been in your shoes before. They will know what got them to where they are now, so they can help you follow a similar path.
Prepare for Your Career
Whether or not your find a mentor, joining Alpha Phi Sigma can help you prepare for your career. The honor society will provide you with experience that you might not get otherwise.
As you get closer to graduation, you can add those unique experiences to your resume. You'll be able to talk more about those in a cover letter and interview, so you can stand out amongst other candidates.
For example, if you helped organize an event for Alpha Phi Sigma, use that experience to show how you can lead a team. Of course, other candidates may have similar experiences.
But you will have a list of experiences that others won't have. Use that to set yourself apart when crafting your resume and filling out job applications.
Compare Career Options
When it comes to career preparation, you should determine what type of job you want. Perhaps you want to become a lawyer, or maybe you prefer to be a detective.
Either way, getting to know people through Alpha Phi Sigma can help you compare your options. As you meet professors and other professionals at conferences, ask them what they do and don't like about their roles.
You might learn that a job you thought you wanted isn't the right fit for you. Knowing that information while you're in school can save you a lot of time, and you can choose electives that might be better for your new career goals.
Fortunately, you can take a lot of different paths with a criminal justice degree. Being part of Alpha Phi Sigma can open your eyes to more of those options.
Head to Graduate School
Some criminal justice careers, such as being a lawyer, require a graduate or professional degree. Being part of Alpha Phi Sigma during your undergraduate career can help you prepare for graduate school.
First, you can figure out what graduate degree might be best for your career. If you attend conferences, you may also get to know which schools have the best graduate programs for you.
Being able to put Alpha Phi Sigma on your resume can also help you stand out to graduate school recruiters. Plus, if that school has a chapter, you can continue to be part of the honor society.
Then, you can continue to meet new students and professors at your new university. When you finish your degree, you'll have a bigger network to use to find jobs.
Get Publishing Opportunities
Alpha Phi Sigma has an official newsletter called Docket. As a member of the society, you may be able to publish something in the newsletter for other members to read.
Getting publishing experience can be an excellent way to boost your resume in school. You can write articles about national or international issues regarding criminal justice.
If you want to get into research or publishing, Docket is a fantastic place to start. It may help you get into other publications later on in your career.
Alpha Phi Sigma also gives awards to members, so you could earn an annual or lifetime award for your achievements. Not every member will receive an award, but having the option is nice.
If you do earn an award, you can add that to your resume. Depending on the award and the job you're applying for, having it on your resume might help you stand out.
Long after you graduate, awards from Alpha Phi Sigma are useful. You might earn a lifetime achievement award years after you finish school, so be sure to stay active in the society.
Wear the Regalia
When graduation rolls around, you can stand out by wearing special Alpha Phi Sigma regalia. Of course, you can wear regalia for other activities you did.
You will be able to add the honor society regalia over any other cords you may receive for good grades or other accomplishments. If you have a big graduating class, having that regalia can help people find you in the audience.
And if you later become a professor, you can keep that regalia and wear it when you participate in future graduation ceremonies. While regalia isn't something you'll use every day, it is a great way to celebrate your achievements.
Simplify Your Job Search
Searching for a job isn't always the easiest task. You may have to go through countless job boards and listings to find something that suits you and your skills.
However, Alpha Phi Sigma and other honor societies feature job boards on their websites. You can use those job boards to search for jobs in the criminal justice field.
While you may still find jobs that don't interest you, these boards have a much narrower selection of positions. Plus, the jobs on these honor society boards are looking for members of the group.
You won't have to worry as much about if you meet the qualifications. Instead, you can focus on sending the best job application possible.
Connect With Alumni
Graduating doesn't mean you can't participate in Alpha Phi Sigma. The criminal justice honor society has alumni circles, so you can join an existing one or start a new one.
These circles have physical locations, so you may want to start one if there isn't one near you. Then, you can meet other alumni and make connections.
If you move to a new city, joining or forming an alumni circle will make it easy to meet friends and colleagues. Plus, the people you meet might know of local job openings.
Even if you don't get a job from the circle, you can make friends. And you may find friends that you keep up with for years.
Will You Join Alpha Phi Sigma?
Alpha Phi Sigma is the perfect place for criminal justice majors to learn about the field and meet others. But there are many other excellent benefits you shouldn't ignore.
Whether you're a freshman or a senior, consider if your school has an Alpha Phi Sigma chapter. Then, you can prepare for your career with like-minded people.
Are you ready to join Alpha Phi Sigma? Read more about the honor society and what it entails.