My Experience Working for a Non-Profit

This summer, I volunteered for la Fondation Jeunes en Tête, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about the well-being and mental health of young people in Quebec. By spending nearly every Wednesday at their head office, I got to experience life working for a non-profit, meet incredibly generous and welcoming people, and contribute to a cause that I care about. Here’s what I learned and what I would have done differently. 

My duties this summer included research for events and sponsors, contacting past contributors, translating documents, and analyzing past campaigns. While these tasks often involved long hours in front of a computer, I got to work with great people who listened to my ideas and taught me about their work. I quickly became a member of their small community and acted a helping hand for many around the office. My contribution felt appreciated.

I had previously worked for a real estate company that had hundreds of employees. This experience taught me a lot about the work needed to support a large company, how communication is essential, and the ways departments must interact for smooth functioning. Surprisingly, I noticed many similarities between la Fondation Jeunes en Tête and the larger company—notably, the strong community. I learned that no matter the size of an organization, a community’s strength depends on their mission and the people who work there. I know that my positive experience at the organization was attributable to the amazing people who make the work feel important, share their gratitude, and help out. Because I cared about the organization’s mission, becoming part of the community felt natural.

I had a great summer working towards a cause I believe in, and my only regret would be not talking to more people and getting to know them better. My insecurity about my spoken French may have slowed me down at the beginning, but my colleagues’ warmth got me to step out of my comfort zone. Everyone in the office was incredibly welcoming and I only hope that I mirrored their kindness.

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