To Apply or Not Apply?

To Apply or Not Apply?

By: Grace Chiu | Volunteer Services Assistant
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If you saw a volunteer position that you really like but the organization asks for applicants in a major that you are not enrolled in, what should you do? The answer is “apply!”

During last month’s Volunteer & Civic Engagement Week, a lot of students came up to me and asked me this similar question: “If I saw an opportunity that I really want to apply for on Symplicity but the organization asks for volunteers that are in a different major or field, can I still apply?”

The answer is “yes!” The reason why we put in the desired majors in the Symplicity postings is because we want students with that major to pay “extra special” attention to those opportunities as they may be the volunteer work that they are currently looking for. However, it does not mean that if you are in Arts you cannot apply for a volunteer position in, say, Science.

If you feel that you have the skills and qualifications the organizations are looking for in their volunteers, why not apply? It also shows something about yourself even before meeting the staff there: you’re a diligent individual who is really passionate about volunteering and is willing to take the time to go through opportunities that may necessarily apply to your field of study.

As well, it shows that you are someone who is flexible and not afraid to try something different because you are open to learning new skills and knowledge obtained from the specific major that the organizations are looking for.

The truth is, no matter how qualified you are for a certain volunteer position, you will always learn something new that you have never done or knew before from it. So, don’t be afraid to apply for volunteer positions asking for students in the majors that you are not enrolled in. You may be more qualified than you think you are!

Do you have other questions about volunteering? Send them to volunteer@sfu.ca and have them answered!

By Grace Chiu, Volunteer Services Assistant

Posted on October 07, 2009