AUTHOR’S NAME – Adeline Coelho, BALLB (Hons.), First Year.
INSTITUTION NAME – Christ University, Maharashtra.
Volunteering for any organization or event is much underrated in today’s world. Students dream of interning at big companies and firms but fail to realize the importance of volunteering at different organizations that will help them build a strong foundation for the projects that they will encounter in the future. The essence of volunteering lies in the selfless act that one does to contribute to society or be a part of an organization to gain knowledge and learn something new.[i] It is very important for students to volunteer so that they can gain a plethora of experiences and discover themselves in an in-depth manner. An individual gets the opportunity to learn something new and practically implement the skills one has learned. Working with people of different social and cultural backgrounds not only enables them to improve their networking but also instills in them a sense of respect and experiences from their fellow mates. There are numerous benefits of volunteering as a student:
- You get the opportunity to learn something new and upskill yourself
Volunteering at different organizations helps you to learn new skills which will eventually help you to upskill yourself. You get an opportunity to learn different skills be it time management, teamwork, social media marketing, content writing, leadership skills, etc.[ii] which will eventually contribute to a student’s overall development. Learning and enhancing one’s skills has become very important in today’s world because of the diverse opportunities that are available. Learning new skills not only helps you to upgrade yourself but also helps you to earn a side income which acts as a motivation for students to work hard and put in their hundred percent in the things assigned to them.
- A sense of responsibility and discipline
As you volunteer for various groups and organizations you are allotted different tasks that you need to do and goals that you need to accomplish within a specific time frame. This makes an individual more responsible and instills in them a sense of discipline, which will especially help students in the long run when they work at different corporate companies and agencies. Discipline is an important factor looked upon by various companies when they hire individuals. Students become more responsible because a specific task or work is allotted to them and they are in charge of it, so they look into the details of the work and make sure that they complete what is assigned to them in that specific time frame with maximum accuracy.
- Building connections and increasing network
As students, it’s very important to build connections and improve networking with people so that you can get a variety of opportunities in the future. Volunteering is the best way for students to interact with people and build their network. As a volunteer you get to work with people in different sectors, you get an opportunity to know them better and learn things from them which will also help you develop new skills and gain knowledge. These connections come in handy when looking for job opportunities or relevant experience at different companies and organizations.
- Selfless contribution and empathy
When you volunteer as a student you get to work for different causes, e.g. if you volunteer at a nongovernmental organization, you get to interact with children, underprivileged women, old age people, etc. which will make you realize the type of lifestyle they live in, their problems, the difficulties they face which will evoke a sense of empathy and make you contribute selflessly for that particular cause. There are organizations that work for women’s empowerment, teaching various skills to underprivileged women and many more. Volunteering for these causes will help you understand how things work at the basic level and the way one can contribute to the betterment of the lives of these people.
- Exploring different career options
You get to work on different topics and various teams, as you volunteer for these organizations you learn new skills and get to explore different opportunities. You also get a chance to identify your interests and discover career paths that cater to your needs. For e.g. Digital marketing, content writing, teaching, etc. You get to discover your abilities and interests. Volunteering as a student is truly a different and worthwhile experience that one gets to encounter in life. You work with different people, experience a variety of things, learn new skills, and get opportunities to upgrade yourself, socialize with people, and overall get a chance to contribute to society. These experiences and skills build a strong base for the students for a variety of opportunities waiting for them in the future.
Volunteering is a unique experience that helps you experience the joy of contributing selflessly to a social cause while continuously helping you to learn and enhance your skills. It is truly inspiring to bring a change in someone’s life. Theoretically, a lot of people talk about the different social problems in our society but very few are willing to practically bring a change in society through their efforts. Volunteering as a student gives one an opportunity to practically implement things in life and improve your skillsets like problem-solving, and analytical skills and gives you a bunch of never forgetting experiences.
[i] REBEKAH GLEBE, Is it Better to Volunteer or Intern?, goabroad, (July. 27, 2023, 9:29 PM), https://www.goabroad.com/articles/should-i-intern-or-volunteer
[ii] Sammi Pun, The importance of upskilling and reskilling in the aftermath of COVID-19, docebo, (July. 27, 2023, 9:29 PM), https://www.docebo.com/learning-network/blog/upskill-reskill-employees-covid-19/