VAAL, South Africa – Volunteering is seen as a way to gain experience even in something that is different from your career. It is all about giving your services freely to a place of your choice and it can be at an orphanage home, old age home and even at any organization to boost your necessary career skills and for goodwill.
My volunteering days were the best
I am Thembekile Ntsele. During my varsity years I thought that after graduating I’ll get a job and be fine in life. I was studying Public Relations Management, thinking I’d find employment quicker. After graduating in 2016 I was happy to receive my Diploma and honestly I was ready to join the industry and flourish. I sent my CV to as many companies as possible and updated my LinkedIn account, I did a lot of things to get myself out there.
I love writing and this skill is essential in PR so why not volunteer for a year at a local newspaper and I did. The publisher and her team welcomed me, taught me about the media world. I was willing to write news though I didn’t study journalism. However, the hunger of learning was striking and I needed the skill.
I volunteered for a year because that was my plan to offer my service just for that period then move. I mastered this news writing, I learnt how to gather news, interviews and to build relationship with people and media houses.
Learn more than one skill
In 2017 I volunteered again for an NPO in the Vaal as a publicist. See my knowledge and skills which I obtained while volunteering as a news reporter; enabled me to build relationships with other journalists and my press releases were published, now that’s a BANG!. Of course I needed money, however I had to stick to the main goal and focus on gaining this experience. Because it is more valuable than money to me therefore I offered my service and worked with this NPO for few months. Now I can write news especially soft news, write press release, build relationship with media houses and also network.
Back in 2017 I went to a secondary school to give a motivational talk to matriculants and that helped me to improve my speaking skills. My time with them was worth it. I spoke to few graduates and they shared their views and experiences on volunteerism, read below:
Benefits of volunteering your way to the top
“I volunteered at Lusa Community Chest as a peer facilitator at primary and high schools covering topics such as self-esteem, respect and puberty. Volunteering helped me to improve my speaking abilities and that’s one key area I improved a lot on and the ability to impact and transform just one person’s life” – Ntsane Matla,Bcom Communication graduate from North West University, South Africa.
“Volunteering helped me to get work experience, I believe it’s a way of showing the next person who will hire you that you are willing to start from nothing and work your way up. I was part of the PR by taking pictures, and videos” – Thabiso Mamatela, Aviwe BDS graduate, South Africa.
“Volunteering gives you sense of purpose in life and by volunteering you help make people’s lives easy especially the community around you. It can help you meet new people and build strong social network that you can benefit from in your professional career. Volunteerism enhances professional skills and confidence that may help advance your future career.”- Ronny Koli, Information Technology graduate from Vaal University of Technology, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more”-H. Jackson Brown Jr