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Summer Volunteering: Gaining Experience Outside the Classroom

Written by: David (he/him)

2 min read | Published: July 4, 2024

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Summer breaks offer college students a unique opportunity to gain valuable experience through volunteering. Not only does it enrich your resume, but it also allows for personal growth and the ability to make an impact in your community. While any volunteering opportunity can help benefit you and those around you, it’s also important to find opportunities that will help with professional development.

Choosing the Right Volunteer Opportunity

There is no wrong way to volunteer if you’re giving your time to help a local, reputable organization. Still, it might be beneficial to find a cause that aligns with your interests or career goals. Whether it’s local community service or an online volunteering gig, the right match can offer invaluable experience. A great way to get started finding what would work best for you is to research organizations that resonate with your passions and offer volunteer positions.

Budgeting for Volunteering

While volunteering is unpaid, there can be associated costs like transportation or specific clothing. Creating a budget to manage these expenses can reduce some of the stress that might occur while volunteering. If you have a lot of expenses, volunteering might not be something you can dedicate a whole summer to, but you can still find a few hours out of your week to help support causes that are important to you and your professional development. Make sure to identify all potential costs and adjust your budget accordingly to ensure that volunteering is financially sustainable for you.

Gaining Transferable Skills

Volunteering can equip you with skills beneficial in any career, including teamwork, communication and problem-solving. Find time to reflect on your volunteering experiences and look for skills that can be used to enhance your resume. Try to think creatively and holistically when reflecting, as there may be skills you’ve learned or expanded on that you don’t think of at first. Once you have had time to reflect and have processed your experience, make time to update your resume to ensure it’s accurate.

Networking Opportunities

Volunteering can also introduce you to new people, from industry professionals to fellow volunteers. Meeting and developing connections with these new people can help expand your professional network. Engage actively with others during your volunteer work and maintain those connections to develop new friends and expand your network. This could potentially help you in your future career.

Summer volunteering is a rewarding way to spend your break, offering both personal fulfillment and professional development. By selecting the right opportunity, managing expenses, and leveraging the experience for skill-building and networking, you can make the most of your summer without financial stress. .


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