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Volunteering,Alumni and Part time Jobs for Career Hints and Guidance

Only when we start working,even if it is PART TIME,we start feeling the pressure,the real work,the role,the experience.

Photo of Madiha Ahmed
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Career is more important than the Classes ?

Classes are more important than the Career ?

No.Both are equally important,irrespective of the background we come from,be it the low income type or first generation learners or any other.

In Kolkata and many other cities in India,I have seen both these cases failing.I had friends who missed out or compromised on classes (that would have enlightened them) for career-they opted for more side courses that helped them get jobs. I,on the other hand,focused only on classes and therefore job was difficult to get for quite some time but I had more solid knowledge that helped me be creative,volunteer and get more out of life (now I realize that).

As a student,after high school I wanted Zoology but did not get it in any college so I had to settle for Botany but I realized over those 3 years that God's plans for me were great.Thank God I did not choose Zoology.


While I was at College,I did a lot of Volunteering at college and outside college.I volunteered for educational,social work and environmental groups based on my interests,with the help of my family,friends and relatives connections and suggestions. I made contacts to do work but that led to building more contacts and in time,they approached me for jobs seeing my enthusiasm,abilities and work in some of the fields.

I never wanted to be a teacher because I thought everyone eventually ends up being one if nothing else seems to work out. However,whenever there was a need for volunteers at an orphanage or weekend Sunday school,I chose to help out. These experiences made me realize that I was good at it. Students enjoyed my presentations and style of teaching. I got teaching jobs at two places.

As part of helping out my siblings,cousins,friends,juniors and peers at college and neighbourhood and sometimes for other educational or social groups,I would read up articles and look up the internet to help them with their projects,life challenges or just homework-drama,singing,public speaking etc. Eventually,in trying to help and uplift others,I realized I was good at Public Speaking-the motivational type especially. This made me start preparing and conducting workshops and in writing a book,which I intend to publish the next year. Also,my ability to write and express myself helped me get online jobs.

I always wanted to make the most of the student experience so I always took part in all the school and college activities even Sports. That made me take an interest in sports like cricket and karate. Now,I am not only learning karate but helping a group find links and connections I have so far, to start karate,this too can lead to getting a job with the karate group in future.(I have much to keep me occupied now)

If Volunteering is made a part of Community Service or an important part of the semester or the system,each semester students may be given different choices or allowed to pursue the same kind of volunteering jobs.


Alumni-If only we use this resource and if only the alumni is cooperative to extend this help and service (salary could be incentive besides an honorary post kind of thing),it would be great.

Alumni from different fields can be requested to allow students to work part time or be involved or be present or participate in their work.

Alumni can help with career counselling and guidance by:

-sharing experiences at college and university and how they made it to their career choice

-making suggestions to the students on how they can balance both career and studies with practical tips

-allowing students to work part time or participate or volunteer in their present business ventures and projects to get insight into the career. This can be contract based (certain time kept aside for observation,participation and then if qualified-to work part time or full time)


Part time jobs related to the work of our interest may help us get some cash as well as some insight into the kind of work we want to do.

The college or university can Collaborate with part time job websites and organizations from different fields to help students get connected and apply easily. This way part time job websites and organizations may receive a lot of young and fresh talent.

Notices and posters can be put up in the campus or on the website and students maybe encouraged to apply.

There are many part time jobs available worldwide-some local,some national and some global. When a student applies to either type or level,they can get insight into whether they want to make it full time. And maybe if their work ethics and quality is good,they maybe hired full time by the same groups or people for full time jobs.

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine higher education to support the needs of tomorrow?

-Students/Individuals -College/University authorities and management -Alumni -Websites,Organizations hiring part time -NGO's -Voluntary based Groups/Organizations

This idea emerged from:

  • An OpenIDEO outpost or chapter
  • An individual

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Approaching the groups/people mentioned above or sharing links of this article with them. If they need to discuss further,I would love to help.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I have been advised this and have tried it on my own self and have encouraged others to do the same.It has worked well for many.

Tell us about your work experience:

I studied Botany,Teachers Training for Primary level. I have volunteered,worked with and am working with several Organizations and Groups like Calcutta Muslim Orphanage,International Gosoku Ryu Karate-do Association,Lifebushido,IIOHS,Sri Aurobindo Bhavan,CSR at Sanjha Chulha. Besides this,I am establishing my own Organization-YouEd,Empowering YOU to LEAD,blogging at The Cooking Criteria,Writing my first book,13 Inspirations @23,aspiring to be a Karate Instructor (I am a blue belt now).


Join the conversation:

Photo of uzair sukhera

Dear Madiha
These are interesting thoughts. I've worked for past 7 years with my Alumni Association as a member of the core team and have observed the challenges of Engineering University in Pakistan first hand. After living and working in USA for several years I've moved back to Pakistan and we have started working with our university on similar lines as suggested by you. We are trying to connect Alumni in Industry with students in a manner where students can work part-time (along with their academics) on something interesting which can be of mutual value. These part-time jobs will bring additional skills to the students, build their personal networks and also earn them some extra income to support their studies. We have also reached out to a few institutions such as hospitals where the students will spend their community service credits. We are working to build a framework where students are trained on Design Thinking so they spend their time with purpose: immerse themselves into the community, learn about the challenges of hospitals and identify opportunities where they can bring a difference through their problem solving or technology skills. Would you be interested in exploring some collaboration on this shared cause?

Photo of Madiha Ahmed

Hi Uzair,

That is great ! You have done something incredible for the society. Congratulations !

Have you tried reaching out to any other industries besides engineering and medicine ?

A few questions that came to my mind related to this challenge are as follows. (If you do not mind then please help me understand better by answering them):

How did you go about this for the 2 fields you mentioned ?
How much time do students spend on these kind of jobs ?
Do they face issues managing huge academic pressure along with job pressure ?
Are there any students who have reported the benefits they received and if they got jobs after this kind of task/opportunity ?
What percentage (rough estimate) of students benefitted through this initiative ?

Thank you so much in advance for replying to my idea.

Yes,I would be glad to help in any way because I think the subcontinent has similar issues.
Please tell me in what way would you like me to contribute ?

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