Thanks to the Internet, people can perform most tasks, services, and activities nowadays remotely. And volunteering is not an exception. This article explores the new normal – digital volunteering for students – by presenting you the case of Humanitrack.
With E-volunteering, you can create an impact on the community without leaving your house. The well-known saying teaches us that “It is better to give than to receive”. Opinions will inevitably divide if it is true or false. Even though this statement might plunge us into endless debates regarding its veracity, one thing is sure – for some, it is the philosophy of life. A case in point: student volunteering.
Freely giving any help to any cause and dedicating their time to unpaid tasks, volunteers serve as a catalyst for many societal changes. No exaggeration! Many non-profit organizations that support, develop, and fight for essential things are based purely on volunteer labour. A stark example of it is Humanitrack, which specializes in student volunteering.
Being established by Maxwell Hartman back in 2018, Humanitrack tackles global and day-to-day challenges within the STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – fields. His idea was to create an open-source knowledge hub, tackling global challenges powered by an impact-driven community. The idea was born after Maxwell faced difficulty with navigating among a vast amount of outdated and untrustworthy online articles, trying to follow up on his mother’s cancer diagnosis.
“There is an explosion of information and communication, but there is no validation. Who is the gatekeeper? No one!”
Indeed, the Internet is a gold mine of information. However, due to the extraordinary amount of shallow data and articles, you need to dig deep to find something worthwhile! As a result, it can significantly hamper the understanding of the matter, both on business and personal levels.
“It is hard to find relevant, credible and moderated information. I like to say that we make overwhelming information more accessible for students, professionals, or individuals,”
Digital is the New Normal
Despite that student volunteering is perceived as a part-time contribution and usually happens out of working hours, it often feels like a full-time dedication. And, with the best will in the world, it can be challenging to allocate a few specific time slots within fully scheduled days. Days of university students are filled with studies and exams, part and full-time jobs, thesis writing, friends, and family. But what to do if there is an issue, which strikes a chord in your heart and you want to be a part of its solution?
The answer would be virtual (or digital) student volunteering. Thanks to the Internet, nowadays we are able to perform a vast amount of activities flexibly and remotely. And, as you have already figured it out, student volunteering is not an exception.
“Considering that our mobility has been curbed, it has become much more essential that digital volunteering is front and center.”
Moreover, Divya explained that traditional notions of volunteering and sufficient voluntary dedication have changed due to technology:
“There are many ways that people (not only students) can volunteer at Humanitrack! Our platform – humanitrack.org – has multiple quests where people can sign up and do digital tasks around specific topics (e.g. Epidemic Response Quest, Cancer Research, etc.). The other way to volunteer is to be a part of the internal team Humanitrack, where our members volunteer for anywhere between 5-37 hrs per week. Every idea – no matter how big or small, matters!”
Widen Your Horizons
Now let us look into another popular wisdom, which says, “As you sow, so will you reap.” Passionate students will get to learn new skills, test their capabilities and grounds, as well as to gain community network, Divya explains. Moreover, she also emphasizes that the students get possibilities to learn on the job. It is something that many university students usually have no opportunity to do before they get into the labour market.
Being a bit more practical, student volunteering experience shows that a person is passionate, possesses additional competencies and communication skills, a growth mindset, and all that jazz. Tellingly, according to Deloitte impact survey:
- 82% of managers are more likely to choose a candidate with volunteering experience, while
- 85% of managers are willing to overlook other résumé flaws when a candidate includes volunteer work on a résumé.
Staggering, isn’t it? But, even though companies eye up student volunteering experience, do not boil everything down to a catching résumé. With E-volunteering you can create an impact without leaving your house. However, remember to engage with what you are whole-heartedly interested in, which Excelerate advocates for all university students out there.