Novelita W. Mondamina (Veli) is finally finishing up her volunteering journey as Indonesia Mengglobal (IM)’s Columnist for UK & Europe this year. In this last article, she is sharing her experience with IM, starting from when she heard of the organization for the first time up until she finally got a chance to join as a columnist.
This month is the last in which I get to perform my duty to publish an article as IM’s UK/Europe Columnist. Every year, IM opens recruitment to join the organization in multiple divisions. As January has come, it means that some existing members will be replaced with new ones while the rest remain to continue their voluntary work for another year.
My journey with IM did not only begin when I decided to apply as UK/Europe Columnist last year. It started way before that, circa 2013. I was a fresh graduate who was looking for a scholarship to support my master’s study abroad. When I had no idea how to start preparing for university applications, my friend who was also in a similar situation found a chance to apply as a Mentee in IM. She said that IM could help us apply to universities. We both managed to apply together.
My first attempt to be part of IM as Mentee was unfortunately rejected, while my friend got accepted and continued the process (happy for her!).
Sad? Disappointed? Woops, keep those questions in your mind. I was somehow prompted to prove that I was able to find a scholarship in my own way. It wasn’t easy though; two years after my failed Mentee application, I eventually got a scholarship to pursue my master’s in Southampton, UK.
After I had graduated, gone home for good, and found a job, I started to think about doing voluntary works to help people find scholarships and study abroad. I looked again into IM and at that time, it opened applications for Mentees and Mentors. I thought that since I already had an experience as an international student, applying as Mentor would be perfect for me. Unfortunately, the result of my second attempt to be part of IM as Mentor: (still) rejected.
That said, I believe that if a door closes, others will open 😉 It happened that I received an invitation from IM to interview mentee candidates. Without hesitation, I grasped that chance. It was an amazing experience to e-meet the candidates from one Skype to another, listening to their dreams and preparations to continue their education.
Several months after that, the annual recruitment for management board was open. There was an opportunity to join as Columnist for UK & Europe 2020-2021.
Having learned from my previous application experiences, I set a particular time to read the requirements, take notes, and draft answers to the questions in the application form. I read them twice and thrice to make sure every question was answered properly.
There were two stages of the recruitment process; administration and interview. After passing the first stage, I did my best to prepare for the interview. I tried to put myself in the shoes of a columnist, who are required to write an article per month. I dedicated some time to think up and draft 4-5 potential article topics to write. I also wrote some bullets of supporitng ideas to ensure that I could share my ideas for each topic during interview.
The final result? Third attempt to be part of IM as UK/Europe Columnist: (finally) a greenlight! Yes! I was officially a member of IM’s Editorial Team.
Looking back, what I can share about applying for a volunteering role are as follows: 1) your application should be prepared properly, and 2) make it from your heart. Being a volunteer is not just about gaining or enriching personal skills (both soft and hard), but more importanly, it is also about giving to others.
And here I am, finally writing my last article for IM. It doesn’t mean that I can’t write for IM anymore, only that I will write my personal experience as a contributor, not columnist. 2021 will be my second year with IM. As an explorer, and knowing that every division in an organization is unique, I would like to experience working in another role. So, I decided to join the mentorship division.
Lessons learned very well from previous experience. Now I can proudly say: “Fourth attempt to be part of IM, as member of the Mentorship division: another greenlight! Yeay!”
I would personally like to say the biggest thank you to my work partner: UK/Europe Content Director, who was very kind and never gave me a hard pressure to write an article. Even when I asked to change an agreed-upon topic for a publication date due to unexpected reasons, the answer was always a yes.
For those who are joining IM’s 2021/2022 team, welcome on board! I wish you a pleasant and rewarding journey ahead!
Photos provided by author.