Participating in service opportunities is an excellent way for you to gain valuable experience while serving a greater cause. Whether you volunteer locally or internationally, paid or unpaid, engaging in service and advocacy work can have several benefits for you as a professional.
Explore your interests
If you're exploring potential careers, engaging in service opportunities can help you gain hands-on experience and see firsthand what working in a particular field or setting might be like.
Employers want to hire individuals with employable skills and hands-on experience; service programs can help you develop these skills and gain valuable experience. As you search for service opportunities that interest you, think about what you would like to gain from your service to help guide your decision.
Not finding opportunities that fit the skills and experiences you want to develop? Consider speaking with the volunteer coordinators of programs in which you are interested; they may be willing to allow you to take on different responsibilities.
When engaging in service opportunities, take time to develop meaningful relationships with others. You never know who might give you a lead to your dream internship or job in the future. Share your career interests with program administrators, supervisors, and fellow volunteers. Let them know what you're looking for and ask for advice and referrals that may help you.
Start your search
- Center for Community Outreach - student-run organization at KU with service opportunities across multiple interest areas
- Roger Hill Volunteer Center - local opportunities within Douglas County
- Center for Service Learning - earn a certificate in service learning to complement your degree program
- VolunteerLink - listing of opportunities in the Kansas City metro area
- Volunteer Fair - held annually in August
- Idealist - searchable database of volunteer opportunities in the US and abroad.
- International Volunteer Programs Association - professional association with searchable database of reputable international volunteer programs.
- United We Serve - comprehensive federal site with searchable database of volunteer opportunities.
Specific programs and organizations
- AmeriCorps - federally funded service program that supports US communities through education, public health, environmental, and anti-poverty initiatives
- Cross Cultural Solutions - international volunteer and intern programs focusing on teaching, health care, community development, and much more
- Peace Corps - federally-funded service program that sends participants to serve abroad in a variety of capacities. Contact your KU Peace Corps representative at 785-864-3624 (located in the UCC office)
- Student Conservation Association - national conservation organization with volunteer and internship opportunities that benefit national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks, and other green spaces
- Teach for America - national teaching program that helps participants gain in-state teaching credentials while teaching in impoverished or otherwise underserved school districts
- Volunteering Solutions - volunteer and internship opportunities abroad organized by location and type of program
- Volunteers for Peace - international non-profit that coordinates over 3,000 volunteer projects in 100 countries each year. Also offers volunteer opportunities in the United States
- Volunteer World - listing of volunteer opportunities by country and category