Out of curiosity, I signed up for LinkedIn and we can all agree that filling in details about education, skills, and volunteering experiences are very tedious, especially when you must write a sentence or two about each individual criterion. While I was going through this process, I found out that I did not have much volunteering experiences, which meant that my employers will never know what I am passionate about.
I was disheartened and thought some Facebook memes would cheer me up! As I was scrolling through my feed, I came across EngSoc’s Volunteering Development Program (VDP) and honestly, I had no idea how it worked. It sounded fun so I applied right away and completely forgot about it until I received an email saying I got in!
I was super excited for my first workshop which was face-to-face (I miss uni campus) where I got to meet the EngSoc VDP team and my fellow peers. Unfortunately, the rest of the workshops and the charity event were moved online due to COVID but nevertheless, breakout rooms and interactive sessions still made the program enjoyable.
Then, it was time for all the participants to choose a charity that they would like to raise awareness for. I chose Fred Hollows, an organisation that strives to end avoidable blindness. I am very passionate about this cause because my grandfather lost sight in one of his eyes as he was mistreated. I was happy to meet my team members who were also equally passionate.
For the next 2-3 weeks, my team and I brainstormed ideas for the charity event. We were successfully able to raise awareness for cataracts and Fred Hollows by hosting blurry charades (mimicking cataracts vision), a short presentation and a fun round of Kahoot. As we planned and hosted the charity event, we were able to apply the skills we learnt throughout the program which was very valuable.
Quite frankly, VDP was probably one of the best things that happened to me in 2021 and I highly recommend this program to any engineering student wanting to develop their soft skills!