Friends, who have been looking into the Peace Corps, have asked me what was on my resume that made the Peace Corps interested in me as a candidate. Well to be honest there are all kinds of things on there, job wise and volunteer wise, so I end up rambling on and on about my resume. So this post will be dedicated to the jobs and volunteer work that I believe helped secure my nomination and invitation.
Internships: The thing all college students love to hate, the dreaded internship. I’ve only ever participated in two internships.
- Department of Defense (DoD): This I did for multiple summers and one winter from my senior year of High School to my sophomore year of College. I jumped around the different departments and worked on everything from the Army budget, to advertising and media, public relations, and normal clerical work. I was never given a security clearance so I can’t say I dealt with anything extremely secretive or exciting as a DoD intern but people (especially employers and even the PC) tend to find it rather fascinating that I actually worked in the Pentagon.
- The Civil War Trust (CWT): My current internship before I leave for Burkina. Though this was not on my resume when I originally applied to the PC it was impressed upon me that it is very important to continue to gain experience to put on your resume after you have been given a nomination. It keeps you competitive and shows that you are still willing to work hard in order to be given an invitation.
*I believe it is important to note that both my internships have been paid. This is not important in PC terms but I mean come on, who wants to work for free? Money is very important in our society and if you volunteer for free then you should have a job that pays in my opinion. Unpaid internships are the bane of our generation.
Education Related: These things helped steer me toward working in the education field for the PC
- English Tutor (volunteer): For about a year I tutored an exchange student from China in English. We met once a week and I helped her understand U.S. cultural norms, worked on her accent, colloquialisms and pronunciation, and looked over the occasional paper. It was a good one-on-one experience for if a future student ever needs extra attention.
- Teaching assistant: My last semester of college I was one of the two teaching assistants for an advanced Demography course in school. I took the professor’s intro and advanced class and loved the subject. It was a good way to dip my toes in the education pool – if you will – as it required more attention/responsibility than just being a tutor. I helped with presentations, graded papers, conducted a review session before an exam, and handled other administrative tasks. This professor was kind enough to be one of my PC recommendations.
- English and Public Speaking Tutor (Job): This job also did not come along until after I was nominated so I believe it simply showed I was very motivated about being an English teacher for the PC. It is very similar to the volunteer tutoring I did in college.
Other Volunteer Work: The PC loves loves loves volunteer work and I find it’s pretty easy to get when in college. It is also a great way to see what you are interested in. For example, volunteer tutor if you think you want to be in education or volunteer with kids if you think you want to do youth development.
- Global Brigades – Local Farming Committee: There was a farm not far from campus that donated what it grew to the local food bank. I volunteered on the farm and helped plant, weed, fertilize, and harvest crops. It was actually a lot of fun and the farmer was also kind enough to be my second PC recommendation.
- Boy Scouts of America: I assisted with my younger brothers Eagle Scout Project (yes it still counts).
- The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON): I helped to raise money for Pediatric Cancer research.
- Make a Wish Foundation: The PSU Equestrian Team would have children apart of the Make a Wish Foundation come to the barn and ride the horses.
Clubs and Things: I’ll list them because they do not fall under the work or volunteer category
- The Penn State Equestrian Team, Minorities in Agriculture, Global Brigades
My final notes on resume stuff: This is not my entire resume; there are other odd jobs on there that I didn’t include here because the post is long enough already. However, there were still on the resume I submitted to the PC because it shows that I have worked steadily when not in school and that I have diverse work experience. So I encourage you to put down that waiter or retail job. It’s still important.
Also I have been told by former volunteers that the PC does not care about the length of your resume. Some employers do not want to see more than one or two pages but with the PC you can make it as long as you want so I say fill it up with volunteer stuff!