milkchocolate

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Jul 16, 2010
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I'm interested in joining Phi Lambda Sigma (pharmacy leadership society). How does one get invited? At our school, the application consists of us answering a few essay questions on our leadership experience and showing we have at least a 2.5 GPA.

Are there any members here that can help shed light on what I should highlight in my application to make me stand out? I am a current Chair for APhA and have plenty of work experience but I am worried that's not "enough" leadership compared to a student org president.

Also, is it based on a popularity contest and who besides the current student members can invite you? Faculty?

Thank you for any advice! :)

Edited: formating
 
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bacillus1

10+ Year Member
May 27, 2008
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Where I went, you had to be nominated by others to join PLS. Usually active board members of pharmacy organizations and people in other leadership roles (e.g. student government president) got nominated. Really depends on what your APhA position entails. I remember at my APhA chapter, the chairs worked under the board members and didn't do that much.
 

zelman

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Every chapter is different. We tended to accept people with a variety of typical leadership roles or fewer but unique roles.
 
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milkchocolate

milkchocolate

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Jul 16, 2010
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Interesting...I always viewed the organization as legitimate since most of the members have upheld high leadership positions at my school. The only problem is getting to be a leader of an organization...and that I've noticed is most always due to popularity.
 
Oct 29, 2014
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I thought it was neat to be in while I was a student, but haven't given it a second thought after graduation. We had a turbo-crazy president who thought she would rule the organization with an iron fist, which was fun to watch. I got my pin. The president got a power trip.
 

hpamazing

7+ Year Member
May 21, 2011
73
13
Status
Pharmacist
I'm interested in joining Phi Lambda Sigma (pharmacy leadership society). How does one get invited? At our school, the application consists of us answering a few essay questions on our leadership experience and showing we have at least a 2.5 GPA.

Are there any members here that can help shed light on what I should highlight in my application to make me stand out? I am a current Chair for APhA and have plenty of work experience but I am worried that's not "enough" leadership compared to a student org president.

Also, is it based on a popularity contest and who besides the current student members can invite you? Faculty?

Thank you for any advice! :)

Edited: formating
Where I went it was based on leadership where points were allotted for offices held and events organized etc. Everyone and anyone who held a position got an invite and the respective candidate would apply. Once the points are tallied the top however many got in.
 

PolarPop

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Jun 5, 2014
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PLS is all who you know at my school as well, not just students but faculty as well. There are some students in there that have done so much less in terms of leadership than others who aren't even in it.
 
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BenJammin

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Standardization of membership is the same reason why hospitals and retail pharmacies don't even consider Rho Chi membership. My university only accepted the top 10% in a class. Two classes ahead of me the line was drawn at a student with a 3.2 who had failed a class while my class had a line drawn at 3.8. So you're going to tell me that the 3.2 student is better than a 3.6 student like me simply because of Rho Chi? Outrageous. Until they set a standard, neither of these groups can be taken seriously.
 

PolarPop

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Rho Chi has some standardization. If you are rho chi it means you are at least top 20% of your class. School chapters might be slightly stricter but that is the bare minimum according to national bylaws.

Not to say rho chi means much more because it doesn't, but at least it is a better defined measurement.
 

BenJammin

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Rho Chi has some standardization. If you are rho chi it means you are at least top 20% of your class. School chapters might be slightly stricter but that is the bare minimum according to national bylaws.

Not to say rho chi means much more because it doesn't, but at least it is a better defined measurement.
But it's not useful in comparing students who go to different schools and who graduated at different times.
 
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BidingMyTime

Lost Shaker Of Salt
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But it's not useful in comparing students who go to different schools and who graduated at different times.
The thinking is that classes from different years and from different schools, have different professors & different goals. The 20% is used to standardize and compare among the different environments. One class may have bad professors, and hence a lower class average, another class may have top of the line professors and a better class average. Rho Chi assumes that the top 20% would be the top 20% whether the professors or school was bad or good, this is the standardization.
 
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sde780

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May 15, 2011
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Hope your school is similar to mine...we're having trouble getting people to sign up for PLS since so many failed biochem P1 year...so more than likely anyone who applies with a GPA >3.0 will get in.
 
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The thinking is that classes from different years and from different schools, have different professors & different goals. The 20% is used to standardize and compare among the different environments. One class may have bad professors, and hence a lower class average, another class may have top of the line professors and a better class average. Rho Chi assumes that the top 20% would be the top 20% whether the professors or school was bad or good, this is the standardization.
It is still only useful in comparing within a single class (no difference in class rank). Yes, school A might be harder than school B (leading to different entrance levels) or the students at school B might just be better students than school A and Rho Chi or class rank doesn't really tell you what happened. It also doesn't explain year to year variation in the entrance requirement within a single school as professors are not usually that different between years.

My point is that all measures of a student are difficult to use between schools (including undergraduate) if they are not taken together. Just as "top of class" or a 4.0 gpa isn't the same at Podunk community college and MIT, it is hard to compare schools without knowledge of the school itself. This is supposed to be the point of entrance exams like the PCAT (although it may not do as well as other exams) and licensing exams like the NAPLEX (though it probably doesn't differentiate the top 10% very well).
 

oldstock

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So should we take some sorts of standardized exams for Rho Chi membership ?? What would you propose for the standards ??

It is still only useful in comparing within a single class (no difference in class rank). Yes, school A might be harder than school B (leading to different entrance levels) or the students at school B might just be better students than school A and Rho Chi or class rank doesn't really tell you what happened. It also doesn't explain year to year variation in the entrance requirement within a single school as professors are not usually that different between years.

My point is that all measures of a student are difficult to use between schools (including undergraduate) if they are not taken together. Just as "top of class" or a 4.0 gpa isn't the same at Podunk community college and MIT, it is hard to compare schools without knowledge of the school itself. This is supposed to be the point of entrance exams like the PCAT (although it may not do as well as other exams) and licensing exams like the NAPLEX (though it probably doesn't differentiate the top 10% very well).
 
Nov 15, 2014
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So should we take some sorts of standardized exams for Rho Chi membership ?? What would you propose for the standards ??
Nothing. The "good grades" society doesn't really have a point except to put another thing on people's CVs. The assumption they want you to make is that a group made up of the top 20% of students in each class (not even school) would make up the top 20% of students in the nation. I doubt that this would be true. At best it might be good to help compare students to the usual for that school. For example, maybe the line should be top 20% of students for the last 5 years. Maybe that would account for year to year variation. As it stands, it doesn't really represent anything that class rank wouldn't and GPA is probably a good surrogate.

PLS is really similar. Entrance standards are different from school to school, so it doesn't tell an outsider anything that a list of activities and positions wouldn't.
 

zelman

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Nov 27, 2009
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Nothing. The "good grades" society doesn't really have a point except to put another thing on people's CVs. The assumption they want you to make is that a group made up of the top 20% of students in each class (not even school) would make up the top 20% of students in the nation. I doubt that this would be true. At best it might be good to help compare students to the usual for that school. For example, maybe the line should be top 20% of students for the last 5 years. Maybe that would account for year to year variation. As it stands, it doesn't really represent anything that class rank wouldn't and GPA is probably a good surrogate.

PLS is really similar. Entrance standards are different from school to school, so it doesn't tell an outsider anything that a list of activities and positions wouldn't.
I think your problem is that you (and many others, including members) are regarding membership in these organizations as an award. It can be, but as you've pointed out, they are useless and meaningless awards. Membership in these organizations should be considered an opportunity to work with others who are focused on academic excellence or promoting leadership. My Rho Chi chapter put together review sessions for P2 students before their first Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics exams. My Phi Lambda Sigma chapter had resume workshop sessions with students who were trying to get more involved in leadership positions. These should be the sorts of objectives of PLS and Rho Chi applicants, not just membership itself.
 
Nov 15, 2014
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I think your problem is that you (and many others, including members) are regarding membership in these organizations as an award. It can be, but as you've pointed out, they are useless and meaningless awards. Membership in these organizations should be considered an opportunity to work with others who are focused on academic excellence or promoting leadership. My Rho Chi chapter put together review sessions for P2 students before their first Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics exams. My Phi Lambda Sigma chapter had resume workshop sessions with students who were trying to get more involved in leadership positions. These should be the sorts of objectives of PLS and Rho Chi applicants, not just membership itself.
Which is great! However, it seems like in so many places, these are treated as honor societies where only a very small portion of members actually do anything.
 

zelman

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Which is great! However, it seems like in so many places, these are treated as honor societies where only a very small portion of members actually do anything.
100% agree. Now we need milkchocolate to join and start fixing it.
 
Oct 29, 2014
38
21
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Pharmacist
I think your problem is that you (and many others, including members) are regarding membership in these organizations as an award. It can be, but as you've pointed out, they are useless and meaningless awards. Membership in these organizations should be considered an opportunity to work with others who are focused on academic excellence or promoting leadership. My Rho Chi chapter put together review sessions for P2 students before their first Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics exams. My Phi Lambda Sigma chapter had resume workshop sessions with students who were trying to get more involved in leadership positions. These should be the sorts of objectives of PLS and Rho Chi applicants, not just membership itself.
Wait, are you in the middle of a job interview?
 

zelman

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Wait, are you in the middle of a job interview?
A fair response.

But I happen to really believe what I wrote. I do understand that I'm in the minority, but maybe some pharmacy students will come across this thread, realize most schools' chapters are messed up and start to influence their chapter for the better. I did what I could for PLS at my school, and was minimally involved in Rho Chi - so I'm not saying I was the Greek letter pharmacy stuff savior or anything, but...you know...baby steps and whatever.
 
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milkchocolate

milkchocolate

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100% agree. Now we need milkchocolate to join and start fixing it.
Haha! Well fingers crossed I get in - should be hearing back anytime this week or the next.

I agree with whats been said above - which makes me respect PLS at my school because they dont just treat it as an honor society. It doesn't surprise me that the chapter does more due to the nature that they are all "true" leaders and don't just join organizations to beaf up their resume. In the past they've brought inspiring guest lectures and had a resume workshop as well that was open to the entire student body.

This is different than Rho Chi at my school where those who have been selected are naturally just "smart" and aren't involved in other organizations. It would be great if that chapter held events for the students but given that they would rather only focus on school work leads them into unfortunately not doing much.