Joining Us... Why?
The IEEE is a vast society with many goals and many resources. It is the largest technical society in the world, covering aspects such as standards, journal publications, conferences, and many more. Joining the IEEE means joining a network of like-minded individuals for technical, social, and humanitarian purposes. Given how diverse IEEE's offerings are, different aspects will appeal to varying degrees to different individuals. Please refer to IEEE's site regarding the benefits of the society.
This page is focused on the benefits perceived by us to be most relevant to you.
IEEE @ Strathclyde:
There are two main aspects to incentivise joining: things that help you to benefit others, and things that benefit you directly.
Things that help you to benefit others:
The IEEE as a society is in a position where it is high on money and expertise, but low on actual manpower. Many of its technical societies have budgets specifically to fund activities to help communities for outreach, or to invite speakers to universities. Their main barrier is simply finding the people willing to organise these things.
Ownership of existing projects within the university is something I am very conscientious about; I have no desire to snatch away what is being already done by an existing group simply to claim credit for the IEEE. As an organisation, they are very open to collaboration and have no qualms sharing the limelight. My goal is simply to funnel the facilities they provide to projects that are already fulfilling the IEEE's mission statements.
Conversely, for those that wish to volunteer productively, but haven't yet found the right cause for them: I would wish for this society to become a hub where sub-projects are proposed and the funding offered, and for volunteers to then take ownership to deliver it. This year, I will push for changing the society structure towards multiple 'work streams' where small clusters can focus on individual projects. This will hopefully make expectations more clear and manageable, and allow people to take full credit for given events. This leads onto to the second form of incentives:
Things that benefit you directly:
Direct benefits to you primarily centre around exposure. It can be difficult to find opportunities to reach outside of your standard curriculum and obtain valuable, professional skills. How easy it is to obtain funding, and organisational support to organise an event? Yet the experience in organisation, networking, budgeting, and leadership this provides is of great benefit to anyone's personal growth and to their CV's come job-hunting time.
In this society, you will have ample opportunity to help lead, organise, and deliver events. These events will be organised, hosted, and/or attended by professionals in both academia and industry. This provides you an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment and abilities, and to network with individuals in an industry you may wish to enter in the future. From this network, you can obtain an insight into the professional world not afforded to you as a generic job applicant.
Furthermore, there are ample opportunities to obtain travel funds should the Branch and/or Chapter perform well. These are not guaranteed and are dependent on individual merit, but the bar set is not unreasonable. I would suggest to consider this aspect a potential 'bonus' rather than a core reason for joining however given their unpredictable nature.
It is difficult to balance the pitch between: join because it is good for you, and join so you can be good for others. However, I think most volunteering roles should satiate both desires in order to be satisfying. We need members with individual drive to achieve something that is aligned with our goals. If there is something you want to work on that you think is of interest to our Branch or Chapters, please join and contact us. You can read some example planned projects in the events page.