There are many reasons why you should start volunteering, regardless of who you are. However, if you are an undergraduate, there are many perks if you involve yourself in volunteerism. Sure, life as a university student can be overwhelming and busy, with all the assignments and group projects. But if you have some free time during your weekend, you can spend it doing some volunteering work in the field of your interest.
When you decide to do volunteer work, it does not mean that you can only do activities that involve community service and so forth. If you are studying medicine, you can also volunteer yourself at research labs, working alongside professionals. There are many establishments that offer volunteer opportunities that you can go to. Cancer Research Malaysia offers both internship and volunteer work for anyone who is interested, they also work with MDC Planners that gives out consultancy in medical equipment in Malaysia.
Why is it worth it?
If you are a medical student, there are many benefits you can gain when you volunteer. As an undergraduate, volunteering in a lab is a gratifying transition from classroom studying to learning-by-doing and acquiring first-hand exposure with scientific procedures employed in a study in the subject of interest.
There are loads of things to learn, whether putting plant samples into bags, collecting tissue samples from crayfish, or performing more information and computer-oriented duties. One of the most exciting aspects of working in a lab is having the ability to view the broader context of the projects you’re working on. It’s not simply busy labour; it’s seeing how your participation contributes to genuine outcomes.
Volunteering at a lab and building relationships with other professionals is crucial training for a future after university, in addition to partaking in a unique educational experience. This is especially true for individuals considering postsecondary education, as laboratory skills are closely related to the sort of scientific research conducted in master’s degrees.
Working alongside lab members who are professionals at what they do might be scary as an undergraduate, but laboratories are incredibly supportive environments, and becoming engaged in volunteer work is a rather straightforward procedure.
Once you’ve chosen a lab that sounds like an excellent fit, email the lab director outlining your credentials, so they can assist you in becoming engaged in works that are related to your interests. If you don’t hear back straight away, don’t be disheartened. You’ll be pleased you tried and persevered until you found something that’s ideal for you.
Types of volunteer opportunities.
Many organizations offer realistic and challenging STEM job experiences for middle and high school kids in their research laboratories, which are equipped with advanced, modern technology and expert researchers. Volunteers support students in the lab as mentors, lab assistants, or instructors, leading them through experiments, responding to questions, and ensuring their safety. You can seek for one in your close surroundings.
- The Mentor is a representative of a sponsoring company who serves as a trainer for the students, encouraging, guiding, and teaching them. They provide answers to students’ queries concerning the culture in the workplace and career applications of the laboratory procedures employed, as well as ensuring the students’ safety.
- The Lab Assistant assists students in following protocols, completing computations, and utilizing apparatus, as well as making suggestions to professors about how to improve experimental processes. By supervising students’ progress, Lab Assistants safeguard the safety of the students.
- The Instructor is a subject specialist who advises students while they perform each experiment at the same research station throughout the day. They provide information in a concise and comprehensive manner, build confidence and passion, and help lessen the fear of laboratory work.
Besides that, there are also establishments that provide volunteer work in other matters that involve organizational work. You can choose this option if you prefer to work on the technicality, rather than with other people, or if you feel like you are lacking in some areas regarding lab work.
- The Social Media Specialist promotes the organization’s goals and objectives, advertises programmes and initiatives, as well as building and maintaining relationships with other organizations. Someone who is web-savvy and has strong speaking and writing abilities is preferred. Experience with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms is required.
- The Grant Writer work is to collect evidence and meet the standards of various funding agencies in order to legally request financing on behalf of their organization. Grants from different foundations and other funding organizations are the lifeblood and principal financing vehicle for many non-profits.
Video Production will also be offered as volunteer work. Some establishments want to enhance their appearance, so they opt for advertisements through social media. Other than making videos, you might also need to help in editing, designing and producing posters and captions for the organization’s public appearance.