If I told you that volunteering, joining certain non-profit organizations or studying or working abroad could help you stand out to employers, would you be surprised? Probably not.
Having experience volunteering, studying abroad or working with special organizations can give you an advantage against other candidates. Plus, it will help you learn new skills, it will expose you to a whole new field, with a whole new group of people, and you may possibly be put in a leadership position, which is always attractive to employers.
Here are five ways you can get involved on your campus, in your community and even internationally, and a few resources related to them.
Community Service/Organizations on Campus
If you’re looking to volunteer on or near campus, there are multiple places you can volunteer at, such as the Center for Students with Disabilities and at elementary schools in Whitewater. Tutoring other students or reading to children at the Children’s Center on campus are easy and fun ways to volunteer at UW-W.
Getting involved in Greek life is also a great way to volunteer on campus, as they contributed to 83% of the community service completed in the 2011 school year and continue to do many community service and philanthropy projects throughout the year.
- UW-W Community Service Website
- UW-W Volunteer Clearinghouse Website
- UW-W Children’s Center
- UW-W Center for Students with Disabilities
- Disney College Program
- Greek Life
As for local organizations, meaning within Wisconsin, there are tons of organizations and programs you can volunteer with, from working with animals at the Humane Society, to working with underprivledged children for City Year.
- Volunteer Wisconsin
- Wisconsin Humane Society
- YMCA – Milwaukee
- City Year – Milwaukee
- Hunger Task Force – Milwaukee
- Madison Children’s Museum
Some students still want to volunteer, but don’t want to deal with the hassle of traveling overseas and dealing with a different culture. There are a few national organizations, which work specifically within the United States.
For some students, they might have caught the travel bug, they might want to take a year off after graduation, or just feel that volunteering internationally is their calling. There are various international organizations that students can work with, and programs can last for one week to three years.
- Peace Corps
- Global Volunteer Network
- Habitat for Humanity
- United Way
- United Planet
- International Volunteer Programs Association
Studying abroad is one way to set you apart from the rest of the crowd. Even some corporate recruiters highly value students who have studied abroad. If UW-Whitewater’s Center for Global Education doesn’t have the right program, university or location you want to study at, there are multiple international organizations you can work with as well, and here is a list of a few of them.
- UW-Whitewater’s Center for Global Education Website
- American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS)
- International Studies Abroad (ISA)
- Institute for the International Education of Students Abroad (IES)
- CEA Global Education
- CIS Abroad
Hopefully these resources will help you look for opportunities to volunteer with, because volunteering is a really irreplacable experience you can have, either while, during, or after college.
Have I missed any important businesses or organizations? Where have you volunteered at? I would love to hear your stories and input!
Photo by Visions Service Adventures.