The San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) is a non-profit organization that serves as a clearinghouse by receiving and storing truckloads of donated food, produce, and other grocery products in San Antonio, Texas. Photo Courtesy: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Completing their courses and becoming a graduate is undoubtedly a very exciting time for any youngster. Their eyes are full of dreams and their hearts pound with excitement at the prospect of going out into the big world and make a difference.
However, except a lucky few, they find that they have landed from the Earthly oxygen rich atmosphere of college to the harsh Martian winds blowing in the current job market. There is always this danger of many of them turning into cynical non believers or simply giving up their conjured up dreams of a meaningful career and settling for a lesser choice than their actual potential should command.
Volunteer with a Reputed Non-Profit Organization
The better informed members of this group can create for themselves a buffer between the cozy confines of college days and the much competitive job market by choosing to enhance their real life job skill sets. One of the best ways to gain such experience is to volunteer with a reputed organization in their chosen career or becoming an intern. And one of the best places to become an intern is at a non-profit organization.
Alisha Dosani, a young graduate, in her article â€œThe benefits of interning at a non-profitâ€ published in USA Today has narrated her first hand experience about interning at a non-profit and the benefits derived from it. She considers herself lucky enough to intern with Make-A-Wish foundation and found it â€œto be the most rewarding and beneficial work experienceâ€ she has had so far.
A Boon for the Interns
One has to agree with her observations that the often seen disadvantage of a non-profit to hire at will – because of limited funds – is a boon for the interns. They get to do more hands-on-work under a mentor involving responsibilities that otherwise only a regular paid employee might be taking care of.
Non-profit organizations also give you an opportunity to create a respectable network of professionals and make new connections. This experience sits pretty on your resume too. Moreover, I believe that the work culture at a non-profit is, obviously, not profit oriented and more steeped in humanistic values versus monetary ones at a corporation, thereby creating a warm atmosphere. So it may prove to be the perfect buffer which I mentioned earlier. As a result, the conditions are much more conducive for a graduate to get ready to move out into the more competitive world waiting ahead.
Non-Profit Organizations have Come a Long Way
For those of you who are apprehensive that a non-profit organization is a dull and drab, operating out of a couple of dimly lit rooms set up, let it be known that they have a come a long long way. They are on par now with modern corporations, minus the profit motive, and have embaraced the latest technologies available. If you have watched the coverage of a natural disaster on a TV channel like CNN, you might have observed on what a big scale they are prepared to deal with it, having the latest equipments.
Even on a lesser dramatic scale, you’ll find non-profits catering to vast segments of society whether it be food distribution to the needy or helping the job seekers in a region. No wonder, the personnel and presence of such organizations is received with a warm welcome by the receiving sector of society.
Enhance Your Multi-Tasking Skills
Another advantage of working for non-profits is that even though you are placed in a certain role, often you have to perform other related or unrelated duties. This hones your multi-tasking skills that will stand you in good stead when you move on to any other employment. On the other hand, you might like it so much right there that you might like to keep working for them. If you are hard working and enjoy the tasks given to you, your supervisor will definitely notice and try to fit you in soon as a vacancy arises.
Finally, if you make a choice of joining a non-profit as an intern or a volunteer, you have everything to gain. Not only will you be helping yourselves making a career but will also be serving society at large. A city like New York prides itself at having one of the largest number of non-profit social organizations. No wonder philanthropists open their pockets generously for these laudable institutions’ cause. So it’s worth having a look at the various non-profit organizations in your own city or region for an intern opportunity.
To read Alisha Dosaniâ€™s full article, please visit:
â€œThe benefits of interning at a non-profitâ€ – Alisha Dosani, USA Today