I know what you’re thinking; I have three uni assignments due, a part-time job and two 21st birthdays this weekend… how can I ever fit in time for volunteering? Although it seems painful to try to squeeze in another commitment, the pain is definitely worth the gain.
The job market is becoming increasingly competitive with more and more people receiving a tertiary education. Along with healthy grades, another important thing that will be looked at on your resume is previous experience.
WHY SHOULD I VOLUNTEER?
I know that not getting paid for your hard work seems like a waste of time and energy but the experience you attain from volunteer work is invaluable. Students can often feel like they are thrown in the deep end when they get their first graduate position because all your learning up until that point has been done through a textbook. So, building some real-world skills that you won’t be taught in a classroom will set you apart from the pack. Volunteering also shows that you are passionate about your field because eagerness to work unpaid to gain experience shows dedication!
HOW DO I VOLUNTEER?
For SHE students, I would suggest trying to get volunteer positions at hospitals, the CSIRO, other research institutes, engineering firms etc. Most well-established companies and organisations have easy to find links on their websites so be patient and start searching! Don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back because they could have thousands of application coming through or just not be looking for anyone at the moment!
Although it is beneficial to volunteer in your future field of work, general volunteering opportunities are also great to have on your resume, particularly if you want to do things like international charity work. These opportunities are all around you from your local Salvos Store to your local surf club.
There are also heaps of volunteer opportunities at our uni, so you really don’t have to travel far in search of a position! Here is a link to the leadership and volunteering page for more information latrobe.edu.au/students/leadership-volunteering
For all sorts of volunteering jobs, head to these websites:
Volunteering can help you learn new and transferable skills, expand your networks (remember sometimes who you know can be just as important as what you know) and can also help you explore careers. It will also provide you with concrete examples of experience you have gained outside the classroom which is invaluable when applying for jobs. There are also opportunities for volunteering abroad where you can volunteer and travel!