Student Stories: Volunteering at the Welcome Desk!

Student Stories: Volunteering at the Welcome Desk!

UNLEASH YOUR POTENTIAL BY BENEFITTING OTHERS

I joined as a crew member at the International Student Welcome Desk in February 2018. It is a service managed by StudyNSW through a formal work integrated learning program under the Department of Industry of NSW. Situated at the arrival terminal at Sydney international airport, the desk is staffed by volunteers who are local and international students. As volunteer crew members, we are there to greet and provide assistance such as offering orientation advice and distribute guides to international students who have just arrived at the airport.

To join as a crew member, I submitted an online application. Once the application processed, I was invited to attend a compulsory training led by TAFE. The training was conducted at the airport which consisted of information about the role and responsibility of a crew desk, explanation about code of conduct and safety protocols. In addition, we also did role plays to practice how to deliver good customer services and a tour around to get all the participants familiar with the location. After completing the training, then I was ready to work on my shifts at the desk. As a volunteer, I had the flexibility to sign up for shifts according to my availability and it was done through online portal so that was very convenient. I was required to do at least 20 hours of service to complete this program and receive a certificate of acknowledgement.

Working as a volunteer in this program has been a valuable experience for me. From the process of applying for the program, attending the training, to doing the shifts I have gained many benefits. I had the opportunity of making friends and expanding my networking with like-minded students from many different backgrounds and universities and other educational institutions across NSW; and developing skills such as communication, team work, problem solving.

After completing the program as a crew member, StudyNSW offered me another opportunity to apply for a Team Leader position. I suppose all crews will get the same opportunity after completing the crew shift hours. The process was a little bit more complex than applying as a crew member. I was required to submit two letters of recommendation and respond to some scenarios regarding team management. Once accepted in this position, I was then asked to assist at the training program for the new crew members. Besides working at the desk with other crew members, as a Team Leader I have more responsibility in terms of making sure the program running smoothly and submitting reports to StudyNSW.

In a nutshell, this program is a great opportunity for any international students in NSW to join. It provides us with the opportunity to unleash our potential by working to provide assistance and welcome international students who have just arrived in Sydney.

More adventures soon,

Sos.

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