Top 5 Overlooked Volunteer Opportunities

Top 5 Overlooked Volunteer Opportunities

By: Nicole Strutt
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While it may seem difficult to find experience in your field of study, there are a large portion of volunteer opportunities that are often overlooked.

1. Volunteering as a Sustainability Peer Educator 

Whether you have a passion for issues in sustainability or are a student enrolled in Geography or Science, volunteering as a Sustainability Peer Educator is great for any students who are looking to make an impact at SFU or looking to gain experience within their field of study. Sustainability Peer Educators are responsible for representing student ideas regarding environmental, social and economic sustainability and are in charge of promoting these issues across campus to the SFU administration and community.  Volunteering as a Sustainability Peer Educator gives students the opportunity to a) Enhance knowledge of environmental issues b) Learn how to engage the SFU student body regarding important environmental c) Develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills and d) Gain applicable experience in your field of study!

2. Volunteering at Local Sporting Events

Whether you decide to volunteer for a local half marathon run or a charity event in your community, you have the opportunity to: a) Give back to the community and feel good about yourself, b) Build confidence, because you are volunteering your time for a good cause and c) Continue to build your personal network.

Last summer when I volunteered for a half marathon event during the summer, I was able to network with an HR professional for a local Vancouver company, by being friendly and socializing with other volunteers. Since that event, I now have expanded my professional network and could draw on that contact for future career possibilities in the future.

I strongly believe in the theory that if you put yourself out there, great things will happen. The same goes for volunteering; you never know who you are going to meet or what doors may open, just by partaking in a volunteer opportunity.

3. Volunteering at your Local Hospital

Volunteering at your local hospital can a) Grow your personal network b) Increase your feeling of self-worth and if you are looking to get a career in the healthcare field c) Gain valuable experience and insight into the health care system and d) Give you sound references that you can use when applying for other jobs. Hospitals have a variety of volunteer positions open ranging from data entry positions to volunteering directly with patients. Choose the position that best aligns with your goals and objectives and the benefits will follow.

4. Volunteer Abroad Internships

Student-run organization AIESEC specifically at SFU’s chapter offers international volunteer experiences ranging from volunteer internships in Global Talent, Teaching and Global Citizen Cultural. Great opportunities for any students majoring in Education, Business, Communications, International Studies or any students who want to broaden their cultural experience of the world. Taking on an AIESEC internship has the possibility to develop professional as well as personal skills for yourself. 

5. Volunteer as a Learning and Writing Peer Educator

Volunteering at Student Learning Commons as a Learning and Writing Peer Educator gives you the chance to help fellow students with studying and writing strategies to help make the transition into university easier for undergraduate students. Student Learning Commons mentions that students would benefit from: a) “Recognized tutoring credentials from College Reading and Learning Association's International Tutor Program Certification” after completing 25 to 50 consultation hours”, b) Career related skills in teaching and writing that can help get work post-graduation and c) Enhance personal writing and studying skills.

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*Lead image: creative-commons licensed photo by Evil Erin

Posted on January 23, 2014