Unpaid Roles

Time to take on the weekly topic. I can talk about my childhood with a stay-at-home dad and a working mother, or, I can tell my experience as an NGO volunteer.

Let's consider with the latter in this post.

I joined the Board of European Students of Technology in October 2015 while I was still studying at INSA Lyon as an aspiring telecom engineer.

BEST is a European non-profit student NGO whose aim is to empower diversity through education.

I started as a regular member in Lyon. I then took on some IT tasks (build event websites, manage the web hosting, create an official website etc.) and became the IT coordinator. I helped organize the Spring Course of 2016 (25 European students gathering in Lyon to attend a one-week course while learning about the city), the local round of the European BEST Engineering Competition 2016, a Start-Up Camp, and the Regional Meeting of Autumn 2015.

I then went abroad as an exchange student in Stockholm and joined the local group over there as well. It led me to travel to Aalborg (Danemark), Bucharest (Romania) and Wroclaw (Poland) to represent the local BEST group of Stockholm.

All in all, I had the honor to be an active member of BEST for two years. The unpaid roles I took on at BEST allowed me to make many friends and experience many cultures. It was also a valuable professional experience that played a key role in obtaining internships throughout my studies. More importantly, it taught me a lot about myself. When I entered BEST I was quite shy and introverted. As a member, I was confronted with new exciting perspectives that pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone: I opened myself up and found new virtues of traveling.

If I had one advice to give to all students, it would be to join an organization. It broadens the mind. It gives you access to incredible opportunities. It allows you to meet amazing people.