Why volunteer? Opportunities, skills, experiences

Whether you are volunteering for personal or professional development, the benefits are valuable, and the  skills are transferrable. You can take what you learned in volunteer positions and apply them to your professional, academic, or personal work. 

August 2, 2022

How to Volunteer 

  • Think about where you would like to volunteer. 
  • Before you apply, take time to develop a thoughtful resume and cover letter. 
  • This can be beneficial when you apply for a paid opportunity. 
  • Treat your volunteer opportunity the same as a paid employment opportunity. 
  • You’ll be building connections, enhancing transferrable skills and exploring potential career options. 

Where to Volunteer 

Organizations across Hamilton offer a wide range of volunteer opportunities for students. These are a few ways to get started: 

  • Reference the “Volunteer: Places of Interest” tip sheet on our website for an extensive list of opportunities. 
  • Google an organization with “volunteer” in the search and explore related opportunities.

Using OSCARplus for Your Volunteer Search 

OSCARplus is a McMaster resource to support you in your career, academic, recruitment and experience- building needs. On-campus and off-campus organizations consistently upload volunteer postings to recruit McMaster Students. This is a great way to begin your volunteer search. 

Log in to OSCARplus and go to Student Success Centre > Volunteer & Experience Building to discover opportunities or book an appointment under Student Success Centre > Appointments > Experiential and Employment > Experience Building to gain support with finding volunteer opportunities. 

Typical Skills Developed 

The skills developed in volunteering positions can assist you in everyday activities, and they will help you in future professional positions. Some skills include:

  • Meet people who share a common interest 
  • Build successful professional relationships 
  • Gain entrance to a new world of volunteering or professional opportunities through networking 
  • Learn and ask questions to understand and appreciate the points of views of others 
  • Analyze situations and identify problems 
  • Be creative and innovative in exploring solutions 
  • Understand and work within the dynamics of a group 
  • Able to manage and resolve conflict 
  • Contribute to team goals by sharing information and expertise 
  • Work effectively without supervision 
  • Plan, set and achieve learning goals 
  • Become adaptable and work in ever- changing environments