HOW TO: Find Volunteer Work Related to Your Area of Study

Many SFU students by now are already aware of the many benefits of volunteering. In fact, a recent survey that we’ve conducted showed high student interest and demand for volunteer-related services.

One of the most common questions we receive from students is regarding opportunities that specifically relate their study. Although altruism is a great motivator for students to get involved, many are also using volunteer work to gain work-related skills.

Based on the advice I’ve been giving students, I’ve compiled some of the tips on how to find volunteer work that’s related to your discipline. Be sure to contact us if we’ve missed anything. You can also comment below to share your tips to other students.

1. Filter Your Symplicity Results

By now, you’re probably already aware of Symplicity, SFU’s comprehensive online system where job and volunteer opportunity postings from Volunteer Services, Co-operative Education and Career Services are placed. What most people don’t notice, however, is that you can also filter your results to see postings that were specifically tagged for your area of study.

On Symplicity, go to the “Jobs & Opportunities” section and look for the “Majors” drop down box, just to the right of “Keywords”. From here, select your program. If you’re not getting enough results, try expanding your search by selecting a faculty instead of a specific program.

2. Sign up for our faculty-specific eblasts.

We regularly send out an email newsletter with information about opportunities, events, and contests. These eblasts also have links to the latest stories from the ENGAGE blog.

If you’re worried about spam, don’t be. We only send out faculty-specific eblasts every month, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

To subscribe to our faculty-specific newsletters, go to this page, fill in the form, select your faculty, and submit the form.

By the way, we also have general eblasts which we send every two weeks. Subscribe to these eblasts for even more opportunities!

3. Visit Our Resources

Did you know that we have faculty-specific handouts for you? From Business to Communication to Education to Environment – whatever you’re studying, we have the resource for you. These resources give you an idea of the different volunteer opportunities available in your faculty; it also lists some sample on-campus and off-campus volunteer opportunities.

We’re always striving to improve our resources, and so if you don’t find one for your area of study, please let us know.

4. Visit Your Faculty’s Website

Some faculties at SFU have specific sections on their websites where volunteer opportunities are listed. For instance, the Faculty of Business Administration has a portal for undergrads where opportunities from different student clubs are posted. The Department of Molecular Biology & Biology website has an area for ongoing research projects, which may be helpful for students looking to volunteer.  Visit your faculty or program’s website and see which resources are available.

5. Volunteer for clubs and student unions

Most programs and faculties have a corresponding student clubs and unions that allow students to get to know each other and to bring events on campus. Check out the SFSS website for a complete list of clubs and student unions.

Still need help?

If you’ve done all the steps above and you happen to still need help, we’re here for you! SFU Volunteer Services provides one-on-one advising for students.  You’ll find our contact information on our website.

By Kelvin Claveria