Strategic Volunteerism for High School and College Students

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Strategic Volunteerism for High School and College Students

Four Good Reasons You Should Start Volunteering

1. Volunteering can help you explore a college major.
Sometimes a volunteer experience can lead you to something you never thought. When volunteering for career exploration select assignments that place you in the type of setting you want to learn about and let you work side by side with a professional you can observe and who can answer questions about their career.
2. Volunteering offers incredible networking opportunities.
In my volunteering experiences I have met a wide range of people, including many strong, influential community leaders. You can develop mentors and hear about job openings or internships, and develop great references.
3. Volunteering develops workplace skills, management skills, customer service skills and leadership skills that can be document in a resume.
Employers are often seeking well-rounded individuals who have good teamwork and goal setting skills. If you are developing new skills or exploring a new career option, volunteer work can give you valuable, practical experiences.
4. Volunteering offers opportunities to practice skills in a relatively risk free environment.
It is much more effective to practice a skill than to read about it or study it in a classroom. Volunteering is an excellent place to experiment, develop and practice new skills. For example, to explore journalism as a potential major, offer to write the organizations newsletter, research trends and start a blog for the organization.  For engineer majors, volunteer your time with Engineers Without Borders.
Instead of viewing volunteering as “free labor”, opt to see it as a strategic path for career exploration, developing new skills and connections and as a potential internship opportunity. Strategic volunteering offers you wonderful opportunities to explore a college major and career choices.

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About the Author:

Molly Carey Smith, M.A. is a career counselor who specializes in providing career assessments to help high school and college students identify college majors and career options and to help young adults transition more effectively in a new role or career. The Highlands Ability Battery, The Strong Interest Inventory and The Rutger's Value Assessment are the perfect tools to identify which college major and career options are the best fit. The more knowledge you have about yourself the more effective your life and career decisions will be. To contact Molly -