Content: Suzanne Buzek

Why Volunteer? Because you make a difference

This week is National Volunteer Week. In light of #NVW2016, I’d like to make a case for volunteering with Cincinnati AMA. First, let’s acknowledge my bias upfront—I am VP of Volunteers, after all. However, I think my bias is one that benefits all who read this, so let’s continue.

I’ve been a member going on three years now, and a volunteer for almost the same amount of time. I’ve jumped into committees, have had to back off, jumped back in again and have been tapped on the shoulder to participate in new things. It’s been a rewarding experience, it’s been some hard work, but it’s all been worthwhile to make a difference.

For those that might be considering getting involved—whether you just received your new member guide or have been a member for years, here are some reasons why you should act on your interest.

The Work

Volunteering with AMA isn’t always structured. It’s fluid, and you can use that to your advantage. If you’re helping Programming source speakers for Signature Speaker Series, you can make a game out of researching marketing superstars—and do it when it’s convenient for you. If you’re looking for new business development opportunities for your company, you can make volunteering part of your professional development track, so it’s actually part of your job to get involved.

Volunteering is not always as direct as showing up early to an event “just in case” you’re needed. Sometimes it’s staying on top of emails, contributing your late-night ideas, or negotiating a venue contract. The work is the elbow grease that helps keep our local chapter successful, and what you are able to do is appreciated, recognized and rewarded.

The Perks

Monthly board meetings on Friday mornings? With coffee and laughs, they aren’t so bad. Committee meetings that are combined with happy hour? Makes the couple hours of work fly by. Actually getting to know and enjoy hanging out with the new people you meet? Takes the awkwardness out of cold networking.

These are some of the perks I’ve uncovered in my time volunteering. You’ll probably uncover your own. Another major perk is when you show up, you get pulled up. Regular attendance makes you an ideal board member candidate, where you can expand your reach within the chapter (and get discounted tickets for events).

The Growth

You grow your professional network. You make friends. You initiate and hone diversified skills to bring back to your company. You grow in ways professionally and personally that you otherwise would not by getting involved.

The biggest reason you should volunteer? Because you, individually, make a difference. Your unique skill set, attitude and experience are bound to bring something productive to the organization, and help keep Cincinnati’s AMA chapter one of the most active and award-winning in the country.

Feel free to reach out to me personally to learn more about our most active needs. Here is my email.