Do you find during the school year you are too busy to focus on future career options? You are so overloaded with work it is almost summer and somehow all your friends have internships? Well don’t fear, internships are great, but there are other ways to get the experience needed for the real world; it is through summer volunteer programs.
How do you find out about these different programs? If you are in high school there may or may not be a career center on campus; here are both situations: 1) go to your career center and ask the counselors about information on summer volunteer programs (they should provide you with a list of companies, hospitals, community centers, etc. that offer programs) or 2) if there is no access to a career center on campus do not fret, the Internet is a great resource to research volunteer programs around your community.
What programs are offered? There are numerous opportunities to volunteer in any career field. Research what career fields you find most interesting then look into organizations that have similar descriptions. For example: if you want to go into the field of healthcare, hospitals and assisted living care facilities would be a great place to volunteer.
How much time do I have to commit? This is probably the most frequently asked question in regards to summer volunteer programs. I can only speak from personal experience and the knowledge from my friends. Usually volunteering takes only a couple hours—two to three times a week. Do not take my word for this though, you must talk to the supervisor and ask which days and hours are available. From my experience volunteering supervisors are very flexible and grateful of your time donation; they should be able to make a workable schedule for you if there are other commitments.