RodionRaskolnikov wrote: FinallyGoing wrote:
I think this warrants a meaningful discussion.
You describe Mensa as "an organization that exists solely to recognize and celebrate the accomplishment of having scored well on some random standardized test."
This is patently false. I don't doubt that its your perception of Mensa; however your perception is simply not reflective of reality in this case.
Mensa is engaged in various philanthropic endeavors such as multiple scholarship programs, k-12 outreach (I was in GATE throughout grade school and my class had 2 "Mensa Mentors" who visited with the class once a week, providing free tutoring and coaching), the publication of several journals and support for local chapters. Local chapters themselves engage in various activities that benefit not only their members but the community as a whole.
So now that we've cleared that up there are still numerous problems with your contentions..
1. Why do you believe interviewers are aware of Mensa membership requirements?
2. You don't "get" why someone would join Mensa because you have an absurd perception as to what it actually is.
3. AFAIK most
reputable honor societies do require an application process that more often than not entails paying some sort of fee.
It seems to me that the bulk of the disdain for Mensa stems from a mis-perception of what it and its members actually do. To be sure, there are of course people who join strictly for the card and what they believe to be bragging rights; however I don't know why that image has proliferated and I remain confused as to why a person would ever go beyond simply OVERLOOKING something like Mensa to the point of considering an applicant in a bad light because of it.
Who knows, maybe there is a strong correlation between gunners and Mensa members
THIS! And I think SOME people here are against others who want to join Mensa because we are all going to apply to law school in or about the same cycle and it would be bad for them if we joined Mensa, put it on our resume, but they didn't because their scores weren't high enough.
Saying don't join Mensa and putting it on your resume is tacky/douchy is like saying joining Phi Beta Kappa and putting it on your resume/app is tacky/douchy.
I just saw these posts, so I am getting us back on the Mensa train (sorry). This will probably be it for me, if not, I guess Finally Going and I can take it to PMs, lol.
I see what FG is saying, but RR, I certainly don’t agree with you. I think most people here understand your resume is not a very important factor in law school admissions, so I doubt they are jealous over whatever slight benefit putting Mensa on your already mostly irrelevant resume might have. It is certainly not my motivation, I am Mensa qualified, and hopefully twice over once I get my Feb score!
Finally Going- You say I am wrong that Mensa is mainly about bragging about a standardized test score, but both Bernaldiaz and I more or less immediately arrived at that conclusion when you mentioned Mensa, and it seems MConchis also holds a negative view. So, ostensibly, this perception is not a rare one. So let me ask you, what matters when someone is reading your resume, their perception or reality? Are you willing to risk that the person reviewing your resume will make the same “mistake” I made (I’m still not ready to concede that Mensa is not mainly about bragging, even if I am letting that go for now).
As to the 3 points you listed.
1. -I think if they know about Mensa, they will know about the requirements and have the same negative view I have of Mensa, or just not care. Reasons for not caring would include not placing much emphasis on standardized tests scores or realizing everyone they are interviewing is most likely Mensa qualified regardless of whether they put it on their resume (I suspect most people, although admittedly not all, interviewing for Big Law or other prestigious legal employment meet Mensa qualifications). In either case, it does not help you and could only hurt.
-If they don’t know about Mensa and don’t ask you about it, it’s just filler. If they don’t know about it and ask you, you better be ready to convincingly articulate why it’s not just an organization for bragging about test scores. I contend you may have trouble doing this depending on the person, but even if you don’t, I still think they are likely to not care.
-The remaining possibilities are that they will know about Mensa and react favorably, or they will not know about Mensa and react favorably when you tell them, but I think the neutral-negative scenarios described above are more likely than either of these scenarios. I also think a negative reaction would be far more damaging than a positive reaction would be beneficial.
2.You may be right, but see point about perception above.
3.RR mentioned Phi Kappa Phi, I am in that. I didn’t apply, I think they just said, “hey, you’re in, send us money,” and I did. Regardless, it’s not that important to the overall argument.
Basically, I just don’t think the potential benefits of having it on your resume outweigh the potential cons, even if those cons stem mainly from a misperception (which once again, I am not admitting, lol).
On a side note, I did not realize they actually gave you a card when you joined and some people carry that around. You have to admit THAT is douchey, even if membership in Mensa isn’t!