Making the Most out of One-Day Volunteering

Last Week, I volunteered for Campus Life & Engagement (CL&E)’s Orientation session for newly admitted CEGEP students. Throughout the day, I signed in registered students, told attendees where their next destination was, helped set up information desks, and answered any McGill-related questions. Although this event only required a one-day commitment on my part (with a short training session a few days prior), the experience was well worth it. Despite walking into a room full of volunteers I didn’t know, I ended up making friends, learning more about McGill and other volunteer opportunities, and snagging myself a cozy volunteer t-shirt. Here’s how I made the most of it.

1. Learn about other volunteers

Although I didn’t know anyone going into the event, I ended up making friends and learning about different people’s experiences at McGill. From Neuroscience and Nursing to Political Science, I met volunteers who taught me a bit about what it’s like on the other side of campus. What’s more, I even got to work along McGill students who travelled from the MacDonald Campus. While every volunteer was incredibly different, it was easy to start a conversation because the whole event was full of positive and determined people.

2. Ask about other opportunities

Whether it’s from event coordinators or fellow volunteers, one-day volunteering can be an opportunity to learn about other chances to volunteer or get involved on campus. While I only volunteered for CL&E for one day, I now know more about how I can contribute to student life in the future. On top of that, asking other volunteers questions about what they were doing over the summer allowed me to consider other ways to spend my time over the next few months.

3. Talk to attendees

While the majority of the time I spent volunteering for CL&E took place behind the scenes, I made sure to take the time to ask attendees questions about where they were from or what program they were going into. I know that I would have appreciated any insight from McGill students as a freshly graduated CEGEP student, so any chance I got to give advice to future McGillians was taken advantage of. As a first-year student, there are so many things going on that you sometimes miss out on great opportunities. Learn from my mistakes!


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