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Service Activities Foster Career Preparation

Without lessening the intrinsic and rewarding benefits of volunteer service, students are encouraged to view their efforts as a means of career preparation that includes job sampling, skill building, networking and more. Whether your student favors humanitarian, political, civic and/or environmental causes, there are numerous opportunities available on campus and in the community. The benefits of service include:

Sampling career choices

Similar to informational interviews or job shadowing, service experiences facilitate career exploration. For first-year and second-year students, these initiatives can lay the groundwork for internship possibilities in later years.

Gaining practical skills

Like any real-world experience, service positions can help a student build confidence and demonstrate leadership. It also carries an added bonus - it is an opportunity for a student to meld personal interests with work experience.

For example, a student majoring in marketing who supports environment-friendly laws may want to contact companies, politicians and organizations that support green efforts to see about service positions related to marketing.

Establishing key relationships

Professional contacts gained through mentoring and networking can help a student with job and graduate/professional school opportunities. Encourage your student to look for positions with professionals who can mentor and introduce your student to important associates.

Building resume material

Because service activities include skill-building experiences, they should be included in a resume. Career experts encourage students to treat service as a form of work rather than something done as a side interest.

Academic advisors, the BW Career Center and Brain Center for Community Engagement can assist students in finding the right service opportunity.