Volunteer to make your MBA Application standout

A key element of your MBA application is your ability to showcase a 360 degree vision of your personality. The western world greatly values the holistic development of a person, and a hence volunteering experience is a key differential to your profile. Such fellowships are ideal for  applicants who face the challenge of an over-represented profile or those who have not got any leadership opportunities at work. For them, these programs can offer a chance for both.

Although, there is one word of caution: these programs require considerable commitment, some of them are full time involvements. These are not fit for applicants who want only a cosmetic uplift in their profiles. Moreover, since this is serious stuff we would urge only those who are genuinely interested to go join these programs. You will also have to take a call whether taking a 3 month to 2 year break is feasible in your scenario.

In this blog, we will look at the various volunteering opportunities that can boost the profiles of Indian MBA aspirants.

1. Swaniti Foundation

Swaniti’s vision is to build a vibrant, inclusive and better India, by delivering development solutions by working with elected officials on issues of health, education, gender and livelihood. They target particularly progressive MPs and work with them on topics that are very important for the country.

This is what the founder Rwitiwika Bhattacharya says in a video about the initiative’s alliance with MPs and MLAs: “Democracy and development are tied together, to that end we believe that democracy cannot thrive unless there is some amount of development happening in the country. In order to fulfill that we work with MPs on constituency level or state level development work”..

The fellowship offers an opportunity to work directly with MPs and MLAs on various projects such as Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), National Skills Development Mission (NSDM), and National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).

 

How can you get involved?

Swaniti Fellow – The fellows work directly with Member(s) of Parliament and Legislators on Swaniti Engagements. They do research work or implement the actions taken by the Swaniti Team under the supervision of the Engagement Manager. This is a full time opportunity with Swaniti with a minimum one-year commitment.

Eligibility- Prospective applicants need at least an undergraduate degree, with excellent academic record to be eligible for this program. Work experience bwteen 1 and 3 years is preferred.

Web Developer – As a member of the Swaniti Technology team, the applicant provides designs, web development and IT support across the principal work areas of the Swaniti Initiative.

Software Developer – As a member of the Swaniti Technology team, the applicant requires extensive programming knowledge. The software professional will be solely responsible for implementing designs suggested by the Jigyasa Program lead and develop an online open data platform.

Apply only if you are passionate about: making a change in India’s governance process.

 

2. Teach for India

Teach for India is part of a global initiative Teach For All, which aims to deliver quality education to every child. TFI’s mission is to create leaders who will work towards elimination of educational inequality in India. The fellowship was founded in 2008 by Shaheen Mistri, ex-CEO of Akanksha, in partnership with Wendy Kopp, CEO and Founder of Teach For America. In less than six years the campaign has spread over six cities with over 910 fellows and 660 alumni working towards eliminating educational inequity.

How can you get involved?

TFI has a fellowship program for high performance professionals and grads. The fellows are chosen after a rigorous selection process, involving multiple rounds of interviews. During the 2 year tenure, these fellows work as full-time teachers in under-resourced and low-income schools. The fellowship is a unique challenge not only because it helps the fellows demonstrate their leadership skills but also transform the lives of the children in their class. There are four application rounds starting late August and ending early February.

If you are not the types to take a two year sabbatical from work, you can still get involved by becoming a TFI ambassador and spread the good word among colleagues and in your other communities.

Apply only if you are passionate about: teaching kids

 

3. Jagriti yatra

Jagriti Yatra is a unique experience encompassing the length and breadth of the country. The vision of Jagriti is ‘building India through enterprise’. The yatra aims to arouse the sleeping giant i.e. the Indian middle class, by stimulating middle class Indian youth, to steer the growth of the nation by enterprise, thus unleashing a movement of Enterprise-led-development. Jagriti Yatra aims to nurture 1 Lakh entrepreneurs by 2022 and create 10 Lakh jobs in this process.

How can you get involved?

As a Yatri: Over the 8000 km journey, 15-day long train journey, Yatris can meet role models, leaders, change drivers who have positively impacted the lived of thousands in this country. The Yatra is also a good opportunity to network, since over 450 like-minded youth will participate in the journey, and at the end of the journey, you will have bonded with people who were complete strangers a few weeks ago. Together you can develop ideas which will help you contribute to nation building by enterprise.

Selectors Panel – You will need to assess candidate applications and choose the right candidates for the yatra. You will need to identify potential social/business entrepreneurs through applications submitted by candidates. This activity requires a commitment of 3 hours per week.

Awareness Ambassador – This is exclusively for alumni of the yatra. If you would like to share your experiences and help the yatra expand, you can contribute as an Awareness Ambassador. You will need to help us spread awareness and create interest in the Yatra amongst the public. Jagriti Yatra has an active Campus ambassadors program (CAP) all across India. This activity requires a commitment of 2 hours per week.

Engine Room Club (ERC) – Do you have thing for operations and people management? The ERC is perfect for you. The ERC is basically the Operations Management group of the organization, ensuring that the train reaches the next stop on time, that everyone onboard has been served fresh, delightful meals and that the experience is smooth and conducive to learning. Join the Engine Room Club to help with the operations, programming and media on the biggest train event of its kind in the world!

Apply only if you are passionate about: Entrepreneurship and learning from local enterprises.

 

4. Make A Difference (MAD)

Make a Difference is an organization that empowers orphans or destitute children to discover their true potential and give them a mission in life. The organization seeks to empower the youth of a underdeveloped and under-privileged community by implementing development models which will provide a better life for the vulnerable children of the very same community.

As a volunteer you will implement various developmental projects, which will provide children with vocational skills and guarantee employment, leading to social and economic development of the entire community. Currently, MAD operates in over 23 Indian cities with over 2100 volunteers teaching close to 5,200 children.

How can you get involved?

Connect Volunteer – As a Connect Volunteer, you are a role model for a class of 10 children. You will teach the children English using the Cambridge curriculum.

Discover Volunteer- As a Discover Volunteer, you help children realize their aptitude and interests and help guide them with their choices in life.

Engage Volunteer – As an Engage Volunteer, you gather financial support for other volunteers by conducting workshops, sales drive etc by reaching out to the local community.

Dream Tee Volunteer – As a Dream Tee Volunteer, you form teams and reach out of to the young community by reaching out to top colleges and corporates. Each tee-shirt sold can take care of the cost of one child’s education for a month under MAD’s Connect Project.  Dream-Tees are high quality Tees priced at relatively low cost, with limited edition designs changed once every 4-6 months, and is a way of promoting conscious consumerism!

Apply only if you are passionate about: teaching kids

 

5. Streisand Foundation

The Streisand Foundation, follows a unique methodology to empower street children in India, by providing their older siblings (usually between 18-26 years of age) education and training in various trades for a period of three months. Upon completion these students are placed in well-known companies with a minimum wage of Rs.5000/- per month, enabling them to become economically self-supportive and help community development. The three months of intensive training gives the youth self-confidence and also boosts his morale. The benefits of educating and empowering a youth transcends when he transforms into a role model for his community and the initiative gives hope to all neighboring children for a better life ahead.

How can you get involved?

Volunteers are expected to provide the underprivileged youth their basic needs such as pre-schooling, education in health and hygiene, prevention from ailments, as well as motivating and educating their mothers not to discontinue the youth to attend classes. Hands-on training is provided by volunteer teachers with a proven history of success in their respective fields, with focus in the areas of retail/sales, guest care (hospitality and office), service driving, plus art and designing.

Apply only if you are passionate about: making a change in the lives of the underpriveleged

 

6. Yuwa

 Yuwa is an awarding winning NGO, which won both the Nike Gamechangers Award in 2011 and NDTV Spirit of Sports Award winner for ‘Best Education through Sport’ in 2012. Today the organization has built a small rural hub for sports and education of girls in Jharkhand. Yuwa uses football to empower these girls and serves as a powerful means to bring girls out of isolation and into a positive team environment. Playing football provides a girl the means to express herself, and develop her personality, providing the girl the opportunity to realize her self-worth and her power to break the cycle of poverty.

How can you get involved?

Yuwa currently offers internships to Indian graduates, to assist and implement grassroots initiatives for young girls in rural India. These internships will be in the fields of education, health, sports for development, and fundraising. The interns need to be creative and innovative and possess the ability to “think outside the box”. The interns must be honest, enthusiastic, compassionate, and patient, since they are role models for the young girls

Apply only if you are passionate about: Sports

 

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