Samantha Harris

Volunteer, University of Waikato

Key Info

  • Bachelor of Communication Studies
  • Public Relations
  • Leadership Communication

What do you love about volunteering?

All the lessons it has taught me. The greatest thing I’ve taken from volunteering is learning to do something for someone, just because it is the right thing to do. We live in a society where people often expect something in return, with a ‘What's in it for me?’ mindset. It's not until you actually start going out of your way for others that you feel the satisfaction of showing random acts of kindness.

Tell us about a volunteering highlight.                                                                                                                  

All the new people I have met. Volunteering is a great way to network with people you usually wouldn't cross paths with. I have lifelong friends from some of my volunteering experiences, and this is the greatest reward for me.

What tips do you have for anyone getting started with volunteering?    

Grab a bunch or even one friend and get started with someone you know. This way you feel more comfortable because you know someone and you've just encouraged someone else to get involved – plus it’s more fun. Search online, and talk to your local community groups, teachers and schools as they will always have volunteering opportunities.

Has volunteering helped you get a paid position?

Yes – I currently work for a company called Sweet As Popcorn. When I applied, volunteering experience was an important factor they were looking for. Volunteering helped me get my job as it showed them I wasn't money driven; I could work for pay and also work out of the goodness of my heart.

What skills have you gained from volunteering?              

Confidence, interpersonal skills and positivity. These have all developed with the help of volunteering.

What was the best event you helped with?

The 2017/2018 University Open Days. They are are so much fun and meeting so many people is amazing. Hands down would highly recommend!

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