By Linque Martin, 2015 AgCareers.com Campus Ambassador – Tuskegee University
As college students one of our primary focuses is trying to be actively involved on campus in order to help achieve personal growth as well as becoming acclimated with the climate at our respective school. One major thing that happens to be overlooked is volunteering in the community surrounding one’s respective university. By volunteering on campus as well as off campus you are helping to create personal relationships with people of varying career fields, which can help lead to better networking opportunities in your future endeavors.
Volunteering can also aid in gaining skills that one might not find so easily in the workplace. One of the major volunteer opportunities I participated in was working in the Legacy Museum on my college campus. Our museum is considered to be a national historic site, and is filled with employees as well as volunteers from the National Parks Service. By working in the museum I actually learned how to better my research skills as well as how to give proper oral presentations based on the campus tours. The best part was that I was actually able to schedule my volunteer hours around my class schedule so that I wouldn’t be too overwhelmed during the semester.
I also spoke with my mentor Mr. Rodney Stone about his personal views on student volunteers. Mr. Stone has worked for the USDA Forest Service for over 20 years, and has worked in most of the national forests in the Southern United States. He said that volunteering during the school year is definitely an opportunity that all students should take, regardless of their major. Employers actually appreciate prospective employees who take the time out to give back to their respective communities, and are actively involved in a cause that can lead to a positive change. It is especially beneficial for students who need direct references for the particular field of study they are pursuing an interest in. He is quoted as saying “The main goal of an employer is to find a well-rounded employee. The same way colleges and universities want well-rounded students, employers seek the same thing. Knowing that a person is flexible in their goals and abilities can increase their chances of finding a career that particularly interests them. Basically the more involved you are, the better.”
So get out there and participate in different opportunities throughout the academic school year. You never know who’s watching nor the opportunities that it can lead to! Learn about other ways you can enhance your resume outside of work experience by checking out the AgCareers.com Newsletter Archives.