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At Laurier, we believe that leadership and volunteer experiences are an integral part of your education. All the good work you do outside of the classroom not only builds a stronger community at Laurier and beyond, but it also provides the opportunity for you to apply your learning in the real world. And when you graduate from Laurier, you’ll leave with something called a Laurier Experience Record, a record of all the extracurricular experiences you participated in while you were here. You can use your Laurier Experience Record to communicate your achievements when applying for jobs and graduate schools.

Why Volunteer

Make an impact in your community | Volunteering is a great way to connect and engage with your community. It can be incredibly rewarding to support those in need and contribute to the common good.

Develop contacts/build your network | Volunteering can be a great channel for fostering contacts in a field of interest and building your network.

Explore careers that might interest you | Volunteering is also one of the most effective strategies for self-discovery and a powerful tool to help you expand your awareness of career options and develop important employable skills.

Develop and learn valuable skills | In today’s changing world of work, your ability to identify and articulate your skills is a crucial part of your job search and career development process. Volunteering provides an opportunity for you to hone the skills you already have while helping you to develop new skills. The Laurier Competency Framework helps you to track and reflect on your skills.

Grow in confidence and professionalism | Volunteering helps you to explore essential skills and competencies that are universally applicable across work environments. You will be able to learn ethical and professional workplace practices and behaviors. These skills will be very useful for marketing yourself in job applications…i.e., resumés, cover letter and job interviews.

International Students | As an international student, volunteering can play an important role in your integration into Canadian society. Through volunteering, you are giving back or contributing to the community you live in whilst also gaining work experience. Volunteering helps you develop skills for your resumés and cover letters, socialize and meet new people and helps you build a professional network for your career development.

How to Maximize Your Volunteer Experience

Start early | Don’t wait until you graduate to begin volunteering, especially as volunteering could help you to make more informed decisions about your educational direction.

Be strategic | Seek out opportunities that align with your values, passion and career goals and aim to volunteer in organizations that are connected to those goals.

Think quality over quantity | Be thoughtful about what you can realistically manage and prioritize positions that are meaningful to you.

Leave an outstanding impression | Treat your volunteer position just as you would treat a paid position. Be committed and professional.

Practice reflection | Pay attention to the skills you are gaining and track your successes and challenges. Ask questions and research the broad systemic issues that impact the organization and their service users. All these will lead to a profoundly meaningful learning experience.

Feature your volunteer experience in your resumé, cover letters and interviews | Make a list of all the skills and knowledge you will be developing throughout the volunteer experience. Connect and articulate these skills on your job applications. See Laurier’s Competency Framework for which skills may be related to your volunteer experience.

Update your Laurier Experience Record on a regular basis and identify the competencies you have developed | The Laurier Experience Record is a comprehensive record of your involvement in curricular and co-curricular experiential learning throughout your time at Laurier. (note that only positions that are connected to Laurier can be added)