Choosing volunteer opportunities

Now is the perfect time to step up your volunteer involvement – you can leave your current volunteer opportunities on a high note, and jump right into new ones as soon as you start school. According to research by LinkedIn, “41% of hiring managers say they consider free labor for a good cause to be ‘equally valuable’ as other experience, and one in five has hired someone for a paying job because of his or her volunteer work.” Look for opportunities that may fit the brand you want to project!

Always remember, the most effective way to differentiate your volunteer experience is to articulate a clear impact.

  • Interested in finance? Try volunteering to teach economics to school kids. You will be able to practice presenting in front of a demanding audience, while also achieving quantifiable results (specific topics taught to a certain number of children).
  • Want to transition into brand management? Volunteer to create or refine an organization’s social media strategy and measure the number of people that you’re reaching through new initiatives.
  • Trying to further the use of technology in education? Support an entrepreneur who has an education-related venture; this will allow you to help put the newest initiatives into the education marketplace.

We’ve seen some great examples from people who were successful:

  • Helping a local sports start-up => offer from a sports analytics firm
  • Dress for Success™ volunteer => internship at Nordstrom strategy
  • Local women’s finance group => investment management