It's funny, but when I started the conversion process, I had little thought of joining a synagogue. I didn't even think it was a possibility, or something I should do. I thought I should convert, and had my eye on the "prize." During the Intro class I attended, I went to a couple of different synagogues, met some rabbis, and saw how each did things differently. But I found myself going back to the same synagogue over and over, as things became more comfortable for me, and I began to recognize more people there, people who would stop and say hello. It was the same synagogue as my rabbi.
During my year-plus of study, I figured out that I needed to have a Jewish community, and that I needed to be where I had respect for the rabbis and felt warm and welcome when I walked in. So, within a few months of my conversion, I joined Temple Sinai.
Yes, I did join the synagogue. I was not pressured to at all, but I decided to join simultaneously with my Beit Din/Mikvah day. It turned into kind of a nice ritual. I did the "ceremony" part in the morning, then went to the synagogue and gave them a check in the afternoon. Felt like I was completing the circle of fully joining the community.
Yes, at the time I didn't know of any other entry point into Judaism but to get connected to my local synagogue. I knew nothing about how to contact a Rabbi outside of a synagogue setting. We had no Jewish relatives, so it made sense to get connected to our local Jewish community for support and learning.
I joined after my conversion was completed. I didn't think it made sense to be a member if I wasn't a "full" Jew. After converting, I wanted to be part of a community. The day of my mikvah, I received an email from the membership director, inviting me to become a member. I love being a member at Emanuel. What a wonderful community.