Essay on Volunteer Experience and Skills

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Wesleyan University
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1) What do you hope to gain from your volunteer experience?

I am looking forward to acquiring valuable soft skills from my volunteer experiences like interactive social skills, communication, professional development, organization and management skills, compassion, friendships. Additionally, I want to widen my skills and review the knowledge that I have acquired from my college.

2) What skills and qualities do you have to contribute as a volunteer?

Having had the opportunity to work for multi-national companies and organizations, I am comfortable and experienced in working with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Therefore, I am confident that I can provide courteous and professional customer based service for your hospital.

Please consider my abilities, mentioned below

1. Good organizational ability

My good ability to organize work, set priorities, and monitor workflow to achieve goals is an outstanding capability in my present position since I frequently undertake many tasks at the same time. I have maintained a professional image of the law firm and performed a full range of office duties including handling inquiries, word processing, arranging internal and external meetings, training luncheons, seminars and presentations as well as travel and accommodation for visitors. Additionally, I also offered support as a legal secretary to lawyers when needed, a prospect that has enlarged my worldview on human relations. According to Anderson et al., (2014), volunteering forms a strong base for future engagements, especially in cases whereby professional ability is required.

2. Capacity to work independently

My experience as a Legal Secretary has enabled me to sharpen my skills in office administration, word processing, as well as the ability to work with minimal supervision. My employment engagements have involved managing an office, e.g. operating photocopier, printers, and fax machines, scheduling maintenance routine, and using computers. I, therefore, believe that I have what it takes to fill this position, including appropriate keyboard skills, word processing, and clerical skills.

3. Ability to work as part of a team

I have worked in the context of a team for more than seven years, and I understand the importance of teamwork. In my previous engagements, I have worked well with other team members enjoying a good rapport, both at work and sometimes socially outside the office obligations. In my present job, I have learned that good team spirit is vital to ensure that all seminars run well on a regular basis and that report distribution is undertaken on time. I believe it is important to complete my share of the workload and if needed, take on extra tasks to help the team produce satisfactory and required results.

In my recent seminar, "Changing in Vietnam Labor Code," I worked closely with other secretaries in the Employment Group to foster an open communication environment, to help the team come to a workable decision and implement a strategy to achieve expected goals. Our Managing Director was pleased with our clients feedbacks.

4. Capacity to communicate effectively

My ability to communicate effectively with a range of people became evident in my position as a Legal Secretary with the Baker & McKenzie (Vietnam) Ltd. I dealt with members of the public, officers from the local councils and government departments, and representatives from the private sector on a daily and regular basis.

I communicate with these people face to face, over the phone, and by email. As I am the first point of contact for the international firm, it is essential that I am professional, courteous, and helpful in my office and business interactions. Moreover, I have to write many reports, letters, to use clear, concise language in correspondence as well as including content fitting for the purpose and audience when preparing written briefs and reports. According to Anderson et al., (2014), communication forms an important aspect of any professional engagement.

5. Account experience

Working at a law firm for the past seven years has developed my numeracy, literacy, and accuracy skills to a high level. I have learned that when dealing with clients cases and information, it is vital to be accurate and take great care with attention to detail.

I regularly deal with accountants and the billing officer for our busy office, which involves the valid input of financial data into the computer system as well as claiming lunch training fee reports. I am also required to communicate with suppliers and other offices via letters and emails. It is important that these communications are constructed correctly, I am in charge of monthly advanced undertake cash handling tasks with the expectation of zero cash errors. The above functions have helped me improve my accounting skills and at the same time, improved my literacy in money management.

6. Good information management skills

Working as front-line staff, I am the first person that many people (both inside and outside the office) reach when they need information. Besides providing legal consulting services, our law firm also offers extra information such as finding lease properties for setting up a representative office, travel agents, suppliers, etc. The above obligations often tasked me with keeping suppliers data updated. I use both electronic record and paper-based files to make sure that they are easy to access at any time. The above has helped me improve my record keeping skills, in addition to accountability.

7. Ability to use some computer program effectively

I am competent in using Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook as I have been using this package with my employment and more recently while studying. My competence includes both older versions and new versions of Microsoft Office.

8. Relevant office experience

I have worked at the law firm for the past seven years as a Legal Secretary. In the position, I have effectively performed a full range of office tasks, including assisting with 18-lines operator; managing correspondence and documentation that comes into the office; updating the electronic record for billing department and expense cash for the accountant. Besides, I performed other secondary support to lawyers while their secretary's absence in areas of document preparation, travel booking, etc.

9. Certification of completion all requirements for Adult and Pediatric First Aid, CPR, AED course, which was conducted by American Red Cross on 8 July 2017

After this course, I will be certified to recognize and care for a variety of first aid emergencies such as burns, cuts, scrapes, sudden illnesses, head, neck, back injuries, heat, and cold emergencies. Additionally, I will be in a good position to respond to breathing and cardiac emergencies to help victims of any age - adults (about 12 years and older) and pediatric (infants and children up to 12 years old).

With all my experiences, I believe that I have enough ability to satisfy your requirements. Moreover, given a chance in your hospital as a volunteer, I will heartily try to fulfill all my tasks and implement the intramural regulations.

3) What would make you feel like you have had a successful volunteer experience?

Through living and working in a spacious environment with family members, friends, colleagues, supervisors, I understand my strengths that would help me to have a successful volunteer experience.

Here are my four strong points: carefulness, sense of responsibility, friendliness and thoughtful. First, in any life situations or tasks of workload, I am always careful and to think twice, perform cautiously and check things meticulously. I often wait for detailed information, clear directions from my supervisors and useful advice from colleagues before taking action. I want to be careful in doing any tasks to minimize any mistake along my line of duty. Secondly, I am highly appreciated by my supervisors and colleagues for my sense of responsibility. When assigned any tasks or volunteer for a course, I keep my words, try to do my best and take on my responsibility to fulfill the tasks. Thirdly, I am friendly and cooperative. Other people love to work with me because I am easy-going, patient, and good at staying calm. I seldom lose temper. Lastly, I am always thoughtful and willing to offer my assistance. Therefore, I know how to develop great relationships with all of my co-workers and supervisors and as Anderson et al., (2014), maintain, interpersonal relationships are important to success in any volunteer engagement.

4) Do you have previous volunteer experience? If yes, for what organization, position, responsibilities, and dates? Also, what were your total service hours provided?

In the past, I have found service oriented activities to be particularly rewarding. During my first Bachelor Degree in Ho Chi Minh Open University in Vietnam, I took part in the student government association. As a member of student government association, I had many opportunities to interact with individuals with a variety of personalities to ensure that my peers had a chance to express their ideas and opinions freely. I also acquired some valuable soft skills during this time like networking, social skills, professional development, leadership skills, organization and management skills, friendships.

Besides, in and from 2010 to 2016 I also volunteered at the Friends Group, Not Lang Organization, The Library Project Organization, Duc Tin Catholic Church in Vietnam devoting my time to take some trips to many places that have high levels of poverty. I assisted and delivered food, clothing, books, necessaries of life and money for the poor in the Middle East of Vietnam. I love it, learned a lot, being able to dedicate every hour to help poor people of all ages. Many of the friends I made among the people and other missions are still very close, and the lessons I learned from all of my experiences affect my life every day.

Moreover, from July 2015 to July 2016, I dedicated myself to teaching English for the orphan children (6 to 10 years old) in a small Orphan House every Saturday afternoon. I was a leader in English teacher group, so I spent more time on planning the lesson for each children team; create games, activities... so that children could learn English while they were playing. The kids made me increasingly confident in my teaching ability and taught me to excel in everything I do. They also taught me that money and material possessions are not the key to happiness, but rather good health, family, and friendships.

Finally, at the beginning of 2017, I reunited with my parents in the United States. My parents are living in the US for nearly eight years; now I am a legal permanent resident. I volunteer to serve as a lector the Mass reading (fourth a month) and a meal served to the poor (every Thursday evening for an hour) in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church until now.

In conclusion, each experience has enhanced my ability to build strong interpersonal bonds based on respect, communication, and compassion.



Anderson, N. D., Damianakis, T., Kroger, E., Wagner, L. M., Dawson, D. R., Binns, M. A., ... & Cook, S. L. (2014). The benefits associated with volunteering among seniors: a critical review and recommendations for future research. Psychological bulletin, 140(6), 1505.


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