Do you feel stuck doing a job that’s the same day in and day out? Are you hoping to get a promotion but haven’t been able to gain the necessary skills within your daily work routine?
There is a way to break the mold and propel your career – Volunteer.
One often over-looked benefit of volunteering is the ability to create new skills to highlight on your resume. It’s not as simple as signing up to volunteer anywhere. You have to find a place that will help you gain the skills you need for advancement.
And what better way to increase your skills (while having an amazing time) than volunteering with your alma mater! Volunteering with the Phoenix College Alumni Association will boost your career in three compelling ways. Let’s see how it's working for one such volunteer.
Meet Phoenix College alumna and volunteer, Tammi Krause ’09.
ALUMNI VOLUNTEER SUCCESS
Tammi is currently employed with the City of Phoenix and manages capital improvement projects for the Water Department. All of Tammi’s accounting classes were taken at Phoenix College. She continued her education within Maricopa Community Colleges and completed a Masters in Public Administration from Grand Canyon University.
Tammi has a great job but she was looking for more. I sat down with Tammi last week to discuss why she chose to volunteer with the Phoenix College Alumni Association (PCAA) and what impact it has had on boosting her professional goals. She highlighted three skills gained through her alumni volunteering that have propelled her career in a positive and lucrative direction. Thanks to the three experiences she gained through her involvement with the PCAA, Tammi is in line for a fantastic promotion.
When you volunteer with Phoenix College, your resume could also be improved in these three compelling ways:
#1 - EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION WITH ALL LEVELS OF AN ORGANIZATION
While volunteering with the PCAA, Tammi was able to gain valuable experience in interacting with people in all stages of their careers – from interns to college presidents, city mayors, and other well-known executives.
As an Engagement Chair within the PCAA, she took the opportunity to meet influential alumni at Phoenix College’s Semi-Annual Alumni Hall of Fame Gala. At PCAA’s last gala, Tammi had the opportunity to come in contact with Phoenix Mayor Stanton and then-current Phoenix Police Chief, Joseph Yahner ’85.
Volunteering with the PCAA provides Tammi with ample opportunity to effectively communicate with college administration, event staff, vendors, and other alumni on a consistent basis.
#2 - LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE
As a PCAA volunteer, Tammi mentors scholarship students through their education at Phoenix College. A large component of leadership is the ability to effectively mentor colleagues and eventual successors. Mentoring students enables Tammi to impart her expertise, enthusiasm, and encourage her mentees to continue with their education.
“Mentoring has given me the opportunity to share my knowledge and assist in helping students continue through their education [and] work on their personal obstacles. I learn just as much as they do!”
Tammi is also the History Makers Chair of the PCAA’s Engagement Council. This council is comprised of chairs from seven areas of alumni focus (i.e. Alumni, Community, Half Century, History Makers, Mentor/Career, Scholarship, and Student Engagement). To see a list of council members, click HERE.
Operating effectively within this Council, she is able to contribute at a leadership level to a dynamic organization and have the satisfaction of watching it grow and succeed.
As the History Makers Chair, she is instrumental in coordinating efforts during the History Makers Alumni Hall of Fame Gala. As a seasoned volunteer and chair, she assists in managing other alumni volunteers and leads by example.
With multiple opportunities to showcase her leadership skills, she can translate that to actionable leadership experience on her resume.
#3 - WORKING SUCCESSFULLY IN TEAMS
As an accountant, Tammi’s work was primarily solo in nature. As a result, she did not have the necessary teamwork experience required on so many job applications.
As a member of the Phoenix College Alumni Association, Tammi was happy to be thrown into many team environments from volunteering at homecoming, graduation, and other exciting events on and off campus.
I asked Tammi what the most impactful moment has been so far with volunteering with a team at our alumni events.
“I would have to say last Homecoming. We were [at a booth] asking alumni about their dream jobs. An older gentleman came forward and I asked him what his dream job would be. He didn’t want to tell me. I say ‘you are never too old for Phoenix College – you can always come back.’ He finally wrote down his dream job and I posted it to our dream board. His wife came back later and took a photo of it as a reminder for him. There are so many awesome moments but that one was pretty impactful.”
Tammi is also instrumental in working as a team to sign up newly minted Phoenix College graduates during Commencement each year. She coordinates with other volunteers and staff in the team to make the biggest impact during the alumni portion of Commencement.
The Phoenix College Alumni Association is a dynamic team environment. Consistently sharing your time with Phoenix College will provide you with varied and interesting teamwork stories to share at your next interview.
CAREER ADVANCEMENT POTENTIAL OF VOLUNTEERING
Tammi’s career as an accountant left her little time to break out of the silo of accounting paperwork to learn needed skills for advancement. Thanks to her fantastic volunteer work with the Phoenix College Alumni Association, she confidently added three new executive skills to her resume.
“You would not believe the opportunities and doors this opens to put volunteering [at Phoenix College] on your resume. I’ve been able to compete for higher positions. I’m on three management lists now and I wouldn’t have gotten there without the volunteer experience from Phoenix College.” – Tammi Krause ‘09.
As she is routinely on Phoenix College’s campus, Tammi has also taken the opportunity to enroll in a few exploratory courses related to herbs and healthcare for personal growth.
In addition to volunteering, she is now planning to come back as a student. It’s never too late to go back to college and learn new skills, either through the classroom or volunteering with the Phoenix College Alumni Association.