You may think of your winter, or any other long break as the perfect time to relax, and travel. Trust me, I don’t disagree with you. All of those ideas pretty much make winter or any other long break the most wonderful time of the year. As a teacher getting six weeks off during the summer means a lot! Every year before school ends, I think about just kicking up my feet and relaxing. But, that never ends up happening because I always find myself applying for internships in India. And at the end of every internship, I walk out feeling satisfied and accomplished. So, the next time you get the winter off or have a nice long break, here are a few reasons why you should consider interning with an NGO (I promise, it’s worth a read):
a) Making an impact:
In earlier times, people viewed volunteers as some who might be sent out to get coffee, or make copies. However, over the past few years, volunteering options have expanded and the goal has now become to help volunteers contribute and grow along the way. As a student, you have very few chances to contribute meaningful ideas that make a difference. As a volunteer or an intern, you are given the opportunity to share ideas and make a difference. You will contribute to making a positive social change. Additionally, working alongside people who feel as strongly as you do about supporting a particular cause creates a path for developing strong relationships with others.
b) Gain real-world work experience:
Gaining real-world experience helps everything from improving the volunteer’s chance of impressing potential employers, to make sure they have skills that they can use to ensure success when they start a new job. Volunteer work gives students a chance to gain these skills while they are still in school. There is a certain level of accomplishment when you take the knowledge you learned in class and apply them to “work”. Your education reinforces the fact that these theoretical theories and concepts that your teachers keep telling you are actually useful in real life.
c) Network, network…oh and network:
Volunteers have invaluable access to colleagues at different levels all in an industry that they are considering as their future career path. This is when you “get your feet wet”, or try different types of careers when you have the opportunity to do so. Volunteering is also an awesome opportunity to network and meet new people! You will be surprised to the kinds of people you end up a meeting, and connecting with!
This past Summer, I interned with ConnectFor for about six weeks. Before applying, I was a bit hesitant about applying anywhere. But, I did it! That feeling at the end of my summer was….unbelievable. I realized that not only did I help the community I served, but it made me feel good. It helped me try something new (like writing this blog!) and allowed me to believe in myself by allowing me to expand my knowledge, skills, and talents. Have I convinced you yet?
So, go ahead. Check out these Internships -
Also, look out for updates on upcoming volunteering opportunities on https://www.connectfor.org/. I promise you-you will not regret this decision!