When one thinks of volunteering, the thought of pet shelters and soup kitchens are usually the first thoughts that come to mind. However, did you know that you can put your own blossoming Design expertise to good use right now? Yes, we know you’re a student, and yes, I did say right now. Plenty of start-up businesses and non-for-profits would love your help in making their spaces great!
- A great place to start is volunteermatch.org. This website literally has every volunteer opportunity you can think of (even Design-related opportunities), plus you can search for opportunities by area code, to ensure you don’t have to stray too far.
- Don’t be afraid to go out there and offer your own services! But please, do come prepared. Have a well thought out strategy prepared for the place you’re pitching to, and you’ll be sure to impress! Sure, if you’re hired they’ll probably have plenty of ideas they’ll want you to work with, but this is a way of showing you’re serious about the project. Plus, the worst they can say is “no”.
- If you are an IIDA Student Member, you can keep connected to either your campus center or nearest city/ regional center to see if anything may have crossed their laps. You can even bring your volunteer idea to them and try to generate a team!
Aside from the obvious (good performance is always in style!) you’ll have a great learning experience under your belt that you can reference to when interviewing for jobs and internships. Being a “self-micromanager” to your own volunteer initiative can often be even more valuable!