No placement? No problem! Psychology graduate Olabisi tells us how being involved in voluntary work has helped in the development of her career
Lots of WIT students get involved in different volunteering opportunities for many different reasons. Some courses may not include a placement opportunity, so volunteering gives them the chance to get hands-on experience.
For some, it offers a chance to give back or make a difference to people who need it. Others volunteer to learn or develop skills, experiences and knowledge. The more we give back the happier we feel which in turn increases self-confidence. When doing good for others we feel a natural sense of accomplishment.
Can volunteering help you get a job?
There are a lot of obvious benefits to volunteering, but you can also get lots of business benefits which can help you land your dream job.
If you need some additional experience for a particular job or promotion, volunteering can be a great option. Skills such as project management, sales and team management can be easily developed in different volunteering roles.
You never know who you will meet while doing charity work. In Ireland, over a quarter of the populations adults volunteer that’s over 1million people. It can be a great way to meet new networking contacts as well as make new friends. If you chose to volunteer in a role related to your target job you might run into people with similar interests or have a job like the one you are aiming to get.
Having voluntary work on a CV can make you stand out in a positive way because a volunteer’s passion and involvement with their community is evident. Volunteering can add depth to a CV and help get you noticed. It can fill in employment gaps on a CV with experience gained from voluntary work you took part in. By listing the organization and dates of your time working here, and instead of using the title “volunteer”, use the title of your responsibility – Project manager, Instructor, teaching assistant. Mention your awards, accomplishments or results without being misleading.
Psychology graduate, Olabisi Adenaiya explained how she started to volunteer in WIT with Childline. She found it very beneficial as the course doesn’t include placement. She is now doing a Masters in Psychology but continues her voluntary duty with Mental Health Ireland as a social media ambassador. Olabisi noted her previous voluntary experience really helped her get the position with Mental Health Ireland which really complements her degree.
She advises students to try out some type of voluntary work as WIT have a variety of options to choose from not only in Ireland but worldwide. Olabisi explained that volunteering isn’t required making people think they don’t have to do it, but by giving up some free time after college, on the weekends or during the holidays it can benefit you as a professional.