Volunteering can be a unique experience since you are providing services to young people who need it, but you are also benefiting from a wonderful and fulfilling opportunity. Although you do not gain financially from volunteering, the benefits you do get can make a significant impact on your personal life or career.
To ensure that your volunteering experience will be a good one, you should first make sure that you join an organisation that does work you are passionate about, or that matches your skills or interests. After that, you will then be able to make the most out of our volunteering experience.
Below are a few tips on how volunteer tutors and mentors with GT Scholars can make the most of their experience as a volunteer. We will look at some of the benefits of volunteering and tools you can use to avoid being in a volunteering environment that does not allow you to achieve your personal goals.
Understand the benefits
Your personal development goals are a core part of your volunteering experience, and your ability to meet them could be the deciding factor in whether or not you continue to volunteer. Fortunately, many of the benefits of volunteering tie into helping you achieve your personal goals. For example, volunteering allows you to gain valuable work experience and develop your skills. This improves your employment chances as potential employers will see that you have some practical experience.
Additionally, volunteer work is a great way to expand your professional network, which can also improve your chances of employment and the number of opportunities you have access to. If your personal goal is to become more employable, volunteering can definitely help you achieve it.
Volunteering also gives you a chance to develop your skills. This is because as a volunteer tutor you are able to continuously sharpen your academic and teaching skills and develop your self-confidence through teaching others. This can help you make the most out of your volunteering experience as you receive the direct benefit of improving your skills, and you also feel good about yourself because you helped someone else to learn in the process.
Know what you want
You should understand the reasons behind your decision to become a volunteer tutor or mentor. Questions you should consider include: What you want to get out of your experience, what are you willing to sacrifice to be a good tutor, are you able to meet the commitments of volunteering etc.
It is important to know why you are becoming a volunteer as having a purpose or a specific passion will help you to stick to your volunteering commitment in the long term. So asking yourself these questions is important as it can help you decide if being a volunteer tutor or mentor is something you really want to do.
Make good use of your time
If you ensure that you make good use of your time as a volunteer tutor or mentor, it will be easier for you to achieve your personal development goals. As previously mentioned, being a volunteer has many benefits, but in order to make the most out of your volunteering experience, it is important for you to use these benefits to help you achieve your personal goals.
For example, if your personal goal is to get a full-time job, then throughout your time as a volunteer tutor or mentor you should be measuring any improvements you make that would be relevant to the job you want. This is so that when you apply for the job, you are able to demonstrate the improvements you made. So to make the most of your time as a volunteer, it is important to always consider your personal goals and how you can use your time to achieve them.
Make the commitment
An important consideration for volunteering is understanding the commitment it takes. Your time is valuable and volunteering can be a significant commitment. So in order to make the most of your volunteering experience, it is important to make sure that you are able to make the commitment. This will make your experience more enjoyable, and if the tutoring or mentoring sessions are enjoyable, it will make your experience more beneficial.
Showing up and always doing your best to assist the scholars will help them to feel more confident in your abilities and then their own abilities as a result. It will also help create a good reputation for you, which is important when you need references for new career opportunities. People notice hard workers and those who put in their best effort. So sticking to your volunteering commitment and maximising the time you spend is key in making the most of your volunteer experience.
Communicate and enjoy yourself!
It is important to understand what is expected of you as a tutor, and that GT Scholars knows what you expect of them. This comes down to maintaining good communication between you and GT Scholars. If you have questions or experience problems, do not be afraid to communicate this to the team so that they can help you. Understanding that you are always supported will make volunteering easier and more enjoyable.
Enjoying yourself is one of the most important factors in making the most of your volunteer tutor experience. This is why it is so important to engage in volunteer work that is in line with your passion, interests, and personal goals. This will make your whole experience very beneficial in the long run.
GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.