Last year over 4,500 UW-Whitewater students participated in volunteer service projects on-campus, in the community, and internationally. Collectively these students amassed more than 31,000 hours of service, and raised and donated in excess of $94,000 to local and national charities. UW-Whitewater students have consistently been generous with their time and talents, and have demonstrated the compassion and commitment to make a difference in our world.
What does this have to do with career development? Well, everything. Especially in more in-depth volunteer service roles, students have the opportunity to gain knowledge and practice skills that serve as valuable evidence in their job search process. During an employment interview you will be asked to give an example of a time when you worked effectively as part of a team, for example. It doesn’t matter whether or not the evidence you provide is part of a paid, work experience, or a volunteer service experience – the fact that you have evidence is what’s important to the individual conducting the interview. Collectively and individually, your service experience provides evidence of the knowledge and skill you would bring to the job.
On April 29th, UW-Whitewater and the City of Whitewater will again sponsor the annual Make-A-Difference Day. This service activity accommodates hundreds of student and community volunteers, all working together to contribute to the public good. For those students who have yet to begin their service journey, the Make-A-Difference Day event is a great introduction to the benefits of service, and I encourage both experienced volunteers and those new to service to participate in this wonderful event. Students (and faculty and staff) can register by going to their MyUWW site. Community members should go to the City of Whitewater site to register for the event.