Did you know that you can make a difference through volunteering, as well as discovering your passions and career goals? These are just some of the benefits of volunteering, according to Kyle Jung, a 5th-year SIAT student who is also the Vice President of Operations, Interactive Arts & Technology Student Union (IATSU) and the SFSS Forum Representative.Read on to find out what other benefits you gain from volunteerism…
Q: What you are learning from your volunteer work?
A: I have learned a lot about accountability and organization. In terms of accountability, being a non-profit organization and part of a larger non-profit organization, I have learned how to keep a proper paper trail. But on a larger scale, to understand the internal workings of an organization like IATSU, or the SFSS, gives me a step up in a world where companies all have defined structure rule the world. I can use this experience to step up to real world positions.Also, I’ve discovered a new passion, which can directly help me find a career. I’ve found I enjoy project management. I find I can do it with a great degree of efficiency and it is a real world skill that I have developed almost purely through volunteering.
Q: What kind of people you get to meet/work with?
A: I get to work with people from all across the spectrum: students, faculty, administrators, campus staff, and industry professionals.
Q: Why you are passionate about what you do/why you continue to volunteer?
A: I am passionate about my work with IATSU because I believe I am affecting change on a scale that I never imagined. It is rewarding to leave a legacy in a way where changes I help facilitate will actually impact countless students in the future. Course content, program requirements, student space, and various other projects which all affect the well being of students.I also volunteer because it provides me opportunities I could never have dreamed of. As mentioned before, it allows me to affect change, but on a personal scale, it allows me to gain experience in areas outside my area of study. I also get to meet people I wouldn’t get to meet normally. Some of these people hold offices of importance both academically and within the community.
Q: What do you find rewarding/challenging in the volunteer positions you took on?
A: I’m sure I’ve answered this many times, but the biggest reward for me is that I know I’m affecting change that will better the lives of students to come after me. Sure, there are other rewards that come with the job such as perks with Student Ambassadors, but I really don’t need those to motivate me to volunteer.Challenging: Not too much actually. The biggest challenge is dealing with peoples’ views that I don’t agree with, but that person is the person of authority and doesn’t like to budge.
Q: What you would say to others interested in getting involved with the organization(s) you volunteer with?
A: I wouldn’t plug any organization in particular because not everyone is suited for the same jobs. But to anyone who is interested in getting involved I would provide the following advice:Take your time to explore and see what volunteer opportunities exist for you. Not every organization is suited to your goals or personality. There are clubs, student unions, the SFSS, Student Ambassadors, and Orientation, all of which are excellent ways to volunteer.
Q: Why you think it is important for other SFU students to get involved as volunteers/engaged citizens?
A: Volunteering is not working. Volunteering is a way to expand your horizons. You learn new skills, you meet new people, and you discover what drives you. Volunteering gives you experience and you learn valuable life skills.
Beyond the Blog
Missed first part of Kyle’s interview? Read it here!