Volunteer Internship Program (VIP-CSL): Applications Open
The University of Windsor’s Volunteer Internship Program at the Career Development & Experiential Learning Center (VIP-CSL) is accepting new applications until November 15.
This program is designed to empower students to not only make a meaningful difference in their community but also to equip them with valuable skills for their future careers.
Under the guidance of the Applied Learning Coordinator, Jane Sylvester, the University of Windsor’s VIP-CSL program provides students with the opportunity to “make a meaningful difference in their community while gaining valuable skills for their future careers,” says Sylvester.
Sylvester describes the program as “self-directed,” making it fit for independent students. She emphasizes the importance of “analyzing the quality of the application” and providing students with “good interview experience,” which are valuable skills for their professional growth.
VIP-CSL encourages students to apply to various non-profit volunteer placements, and it states an impressive “95% or higher match rate” when students are matched to organizations based on their application and resume.
Sylvester assesses students both before and after their VIP-CSL experience, with a particular emphasis on improving their “resume writing and cover letter skills.” The program aims to help students articulate their personal growth and boost their confidence, fostering a sense of “independence” in them. “Time management” emerges as a significant challenge within VIP-CSL, and students are encouraged to master this essential skill to maintain secure partner relationships during their experience and as well for the future.
VIP-CSL has proven to be a stepping stone for students interested in applying to further education in fields like law school, medical school, dental programs, and graduate school. Beyond its academic merits, the program offers intangible benefits that extend well into personal growth.
In Sylvester’s own words, she enjoys “seeing personal growth in the students” while they participate in this program.
As Sumer Gillan puts it, “VIP enabled me to exercise my professional skills and gain new ones. It’s a wonderful learning experience I’d recommend to any student.”
Liliana DiGesu adds, “VIP-CSL has been an incredible opportunity to meet new people in a workplace setting and develop soft skills for my future endeavours.”
Ophelia, a master’s student at the University, described the application process for the VIP-CSL program as straightforward and stress-free. One aspect that particularly impressed her was the support and guidance the program provided.
“They have a list of people to volunteer to; they match you to the correct one that suits you. Some positions need multiple people for different roles, some are more independent, so it varies, which offers variety to the student.”
Ophelia’s experience as a remote researcher at her chosen volunteer location highlights the diverse opportunities available within the VIP-CSL program. While Ophelia’s role allowed her to contribute her research skills from a distance, it’s essential to recognize that VIP-CSL offers a wide array of positions, each contributing to community engagement in its unique way.
In previous semesters, VIP-CSL has partnered with a diverse array of community organizations, collaborating to offer students a wide range of volunteer opportunities across the Windsor-Essex Country District.
These partnerships have included organizations such as
- Erie Wildlife Rescue, Downtown Mission
- WINGS Rehab in Amherstburg
- Connections Early Years Family Centre
- Ready Set Go
- Jack Miner in Kingsville
- Workforce WindsorEssex
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- Windsor Essex Community Health Centre
- Windsor Regional Hospital
These partnerships encompass a broad spectrum of community needs and offer students the chance to participate in volunteer work. Students are encouraged to explore the currently available VIP positions before making their selection, ensuring they can align their interests and skills with the needs of the community.
The deadline for winter semester applications is November 15th at 11:59 PM.