The Value of Volunteerism

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By Tosh Umesh, Contributing Writer

In the fast-paced, kill-or-be-killed world of business, it can often be tempting to ask, “what have you done for me lately?” The question many of us should be asking, however, is “what have I been doing for others?” Volunteerism isn’t a bullet point on a resume or a talking point for your next Tinder date. Volunteerism means giving up our most valuable resource, our time, for the benefit of others.

“But Tosh,” you might say, “why would I want to give back to society. What has society ever done for me?”

There are literally thousands of volunteer options out there to explore. Whether it’s helping the broken and beaten refugees from war-torn countries, or going to a soup kitchen to serve the homeless, there’s a way you can get involved. Find what you’re passionate about, pursue it, and help make a difference. Plus, hey, there is still that resume bullet to think of!

“But Tosh, I got into business school to make money, not to give away my time for free.”

Value is not always the outcome of the action, but oftentimes the action itself. Companies these days like seeing volunteerism on a resume not only because it shows that you are a caring and humanistic individual, but also because it demonstrates that you can understand a problem from a different perspective. When you work in a grassroots capacity, it illustrates that you aren’t simply “throwing money at the problem,” as many companies and organizations do these days. Working as a volunteer gives you insights that others won’t have, which frankly makes you a better and more capable leader.

“Alright Tosh, you convinced me. I really want to help out, but I don’t know how!”

Lucky for you, you’re a T-bird! There are many on-campus organizations that host volunteer events for Thunderbird students and alumni, such as Net Impact, Thunderbird Student Government, Rotary Club, African Business Club, Latin-American Business Club, ACEL, and many others! There are also great organizations in the Downtown Phoenix area that can help connect you with opportunities, such as Changemakers and HandsOn Greater Phoenix.

“Tosh, I am volunteering for an organization right now and I love it, and I know others will love it too. How can I get other Thunderbird students involved?”

Feel free to reach out to me by email anytime at and we can discuss how to get the word out!

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