Updated: Dec 3, 2020
Volunteering is a fantastic way for high school and college students to explore their interests, build their resume and make connections. And it is a meaningful way to contribute to their community and the world while learning and gaining valuable experience.
Volunteering as a student can range from helping at a community event to shadowing a professional in an organization. In our competitive society, volunteering has become a way to contribute but also a way to get what is now referred to as an "internship". This is an important way to strengthen college applications, internship and job applications during college, and resumes for post college jobs. As a student, these volunteer internships are important to:
*explore a particular interest or field to see if it's right for you
*develop your skills that are important for the work world
*expand your resume by showing initiative and determination
*broaden your network of contacts
Seeking out and securing good volunteer opportunities or internships is identical to looking for a job. You need to:
*Decide what field or type of organization interests you
*Research and become educated about the field or organization
*Find available positions through postings, your school, or your network of contacts
*Promote yourself as a great candidate for the role
*Do the best job you can consistently even if you are volunteer
Find the right volunteer role or internship by reaching out to your network including:
*High School Guidance Departments or College Career Services
*Family and friends
*Teachers and coaches
Find Non-Profit Organizations that are of Interest to you: After you have researched the organization well:
*Reach out through LinkedIn to people you are connected to who work at the organization.
*Reach out to alumni from your high school or college who work at the organization.
*Reach out directly to the organization.
In all cases, tell them why you are excited about the organization and their mission and tell them how you think can contribute to achieving that mission.