It’s coming to be that point in the year when people ask you “what are you doing over the summer?” For some of us, we already know the answer to that question. For others, we’re still trying to figure it out. Maybe you just started the process of trying to find something to do over the summer late, or maybe some circumstances were out of your control and your plans fell through. It’s not too late to start looking at volunteering opportunities!
In an earlier blog post, I talked about some options available to you if you don’t land a job or internship this summer. One of the ones I think was most valuable was volunteering. Giving back to your community is a rewarding experience, and employers and graduate schools recognize that. They like to see well-rounded students who participate in community service.
So how do you find opportunities to volunteer? There are a number of different websites online that will give you a list of different events or places that you can volunteer at. For example, idealist.org is a really good place to start looking for volunteer opportunities.
Before going to these websites, think about what your goal is. Who do you want to help? Do you want to work in a field that’s related to your major? You might not think you can, but there are definitely ways to gain experience in your field through volunteering. For example, if you’re an Environmental Science major, consider helping out at a conservancy or park!
If you’re interested in politics or human rights, think about volunteering for big organizations that are trying to bring events to our local community. For example, the ACLU is a huge nonprofit organization that relies on volunteers to spread their message. You can find more information on different events you can volunteer with here.
It’s also not necessary for you to volunteer at big events. You can make volunteering a daily or weekly activity. For example, try volunteering at the soup kitchen once or twice a week! They need volunteers every day of the week. There are a bunch of soup kitchens in Baltimore, Paul’s Place, and Our Daily Bread, to name a few.
You don’t have to volunteer only if you don’t have a summer job or internship. All of us should take the time to volunteer, even if we have something else lined up for the summer. I’m fortunate enough that sparing a few hours of my time won’t make a huge difference, but those few hours could make all the difference in someone else’s life, and that’s motivation enough for me to give back.Add these volunteering experiences to your resumes, and then bring it over to the Career Center for us to review! Drop in hours are 2PM - 4PM Monday thru Friday on the second floor of Math and Psych, and 6PM - 8PM Tuesday and Wednesday evenings in the Library’s Writing Center.