Why I became a volunteer
16 May 2013
Jennifer Arnold tells LV what motivated her to become a volunteer
Why did you become a volunteer?
Making a difference in an arena that you wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to and are really passionate about is why I recently become a GreatConnections volunteer.
I think there is more that I can do for organisations that may not necessarily have the people with a corporate background, particularly the corporate experience, IT and risk management experience I’ve been lucky enough to build over the years.
Where have you gained the skills?
I have been at Ernst and Young for the last 16 years.
What has motivated you to be a volunteer?
I want to be a board member of a not for profit organisation. My current role provides me with the opportunity to be a coach and mentor especially for women who return to work after having children. I’m happy to continue in this role but would also value the different aspect I would be provided as a volunteer board member.
I have always been a volunteer of some sort since turning 18, for example, as part of the Red Cross volunteer group. I recently volunteered my time to answer and redirect callers through various crises with the most recent bush fires.
I have four children, 13, 11 and 6 year old twins. Now that all of my children are all at school I feel like I have a little extra time to take on another volunteering opportunity.
The volunteer work I have been involved with in the past has really been about giving my time but hasn’t really incorporated the professional skills that I’ve gained over the past 16 years. I think this is a really great opportunity to put back into the not for profit community some of the skills that I’ve been fortunate to have gained.
What has drawn you to the Not for Profit sector?
The organisations that will interest me the most have to be important to me in terms of values and motivations. You must get passionate and think ‘this will be interesting, I’ll be able to provide real value here’! Volunteering provides an opportunity to view the world through a different lens, which is another very appealing reason to become a skills volunteer. For example, I don’t have the skills to be a social worker but I can provide Risk management or IT Risk support to an organisation that provides social work.
Since joining GreatConnections about a month ago, a number of possible opportunities have come along and there is one that I plan on exploring further. I already feel the passion as I read about the new roles and the possible value I can provide.