Professional societies are available for every profession and sometimes there are multiple, depending on their primary focus. Professional societies, or organizations, serve different purposes to different people. Some just want to say they belong, some read their monthly newsletter, some attend their luncheons, some people use it for networking, and some are deeply involved with furthering their profession through these professional organizations. They are what you put into them; depending on what outcome you are looking for.
Professional societies have many facets and many things to offer, it just comes down to the type of relationship you are looking for. I know at my company, we are part of the American Society for Civil Engineers. We are adequately involved, we attend the yearly banquet and are a sponsor but we don’t really attend any of the networking events that they offer. It gives us a chance to meet other engineers and engineering students, but our limited involvement may not open up all of the opportunities that are available to us. But our level of involvement works for our company, so that is all that we choose to do with it.
And that is fine. You don’t have to be overly involved, or spend all your free time going to every event that is offered. That’s the great thing about professional organizations; they give back to you what you put in. I know some students that got jobs through being involved when they were in school. And I also know some people that build great friendships through their involvement, so it becomes a place to hang out and socialize. It is what you make of it. Look up what societies are available for your profession, and go to a meeting to see what it’s all about!