Volunteering helps college students find work, says former student


By Carson Deveau

Feb. 8, 2016

Volunteering and getting experience outside of class can lead to a job after you graduate, says a Holland College journalism graduate.

Geordie Carragher made the comment during a Skype presentation Jan. 25. He talked about what he did to help him get full-time work when he finished the program.

Volunteering is important because it helps get your foot in the door, he said.

“You should take full advantage of any opportunity that can help you find a job in the field you’re interested in.”

Carragher works in Prince George in the University of Northern British Columbia’s athletic department.

He entered the journalism program at Holland College hoping it would lead him into a job in sports writing.

During his time at the college, his love for sports was well known and soon caught the attention of Holland College’s athletic and recreation director, Albert Roche.

Roche offered him volunteer work with the college’s varsity teams, where he did a number of different things with all the teams.

Carragher gained experience in a variety fields of sports journalism from interviewing players, to writing summaries for games and keeping stats.

The volunteering helped when he got an interview to work in Prince George. He may never have got the job if it wasn’t for the extra work he did for the variety teams at Holland College, he said.

“All that extra work I did gave me a slight edge over others applying for the same job I think.”

Ben MacNeill thinks so, too.

MacNeill is a second-year wildlife conservation student at Holland College and he has done his share of volunteering for activities outside of the classroom.

He has volunteered to work with piping plumber researchers and helped with a watershed program during the summer.

Recently, he volunteered with the Winter Woodlot Tour at Brookvale Provincial Ski Park, where he encouraged others to be active by helping them ski or snowboard.

Volunteering is chance to show your teachers you have an interest in what you’re studying, he said.

“It shows you have the initiative to do the work, even without the pay.”

The teachers don’t expect you to volunteer for every event, but they want you to be involved, he said.

“They want us to just be aware of volunteer opportunities and encourage us to help out whenever we can.”