I have been volunteering since I was about 12. I started at the church across from my house, serving sandwiches and tea at the socials, afternoon teas, weddings, anniversaries and other community events. I even wrote about it once for an East Coast magazine.
Fast forward a couple of years — I volunteered at museums when I was in university, explaining to visitors over March Break and over the summer what a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach ate, or about tidal habitats and how to gently handle star fish in an interactive marine organism pool. In these positions, I enhanced my communications skills – which also helped in journalism school.
Fast forward a couple of years — I volunteered for organizations that were close to my heart – doing portraits highland dancers at my local dance school, shooting photos at the annual Highland Games, for which I also created communications, press releases and did all of the social media.
Fast forward a couple of years — Continuing my volunteering for organizations close to my heart – I volunteered for journalism societies and associations. In 2019, I was both a member of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors, and a representative on the national board of the Canadian Association of Journalists. Through these positions, I found myself moderating panels, hosting events, delivering presentations, and putting my enthusiasm and networking skills to use, helping represent the public face of the organizations.
In addition, I travelled to key industry conferences, volunteering for the world association representing international magazine companies, covering sessions and creating content for the web and social media. For five years, I travelled at least once a year to these conferences, covering five or six presentations a day (for two or three days straight), with half an hour turn around for the website.