The Power of Working for “Free”

“So is this a volunteer position?” is a question I hear consistently as I visit student organizations to recruit for the 2019 Welcome Week Team.

I was listening to Rachel Hollis, one of my favorite Podcasters, and was intrigued by her conversation with one of the world’s most up and coming photographers. In short, they discussed that young people lack the foresight to see the value in working for free. In a world where college students continue to become more and more busy, the value or return on investment just doesn’t seem like enough.
Both Rachel and that photographer shared that they had interned and volunteered for free to gain experience, build their connections, and get their foot in the door. As I reflected on my own life, I can pinpoint specific projects or initiatives that I have worked on for free that have ultimately resulted in gaining mentorship, boosting my resume, and even gotten me a job offer.
As a college student, it is so important to take notice when opportunities arise and be willing to participate, even without a monetary incentive. As an employer, I have often found myself fighting the hardest to hire or be a positive reference for someone who showed me their work ethic as a volunteer. So if you’re looking to build your resume or enhance your leadership skills, don’t be so quick to overlook a volunteer opportunity—no pay doesn’t mean no reward.

To volunteer for the 2019 Welcome Week Team please go to Applications close March 29th.

By Alyssa Teubner
Alyssa Teubner New Student Programs Coordinator