By 2013 Loyalist College Public Relations Graduate Justin Reis
Volunteer work can be the most rewarding thing that we do in life. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians volunteered nearly 2.1 billion hours in 2010.
People do not volunteer because they have to; they do it because they want to. The work that we want to do, and the work that we volunteer for, are often the work experiences that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
Enactus Loyalist College, formerly known as SIFE Loyalist, recently rebranded and is one of the most prolific volunteer organizations at Loyalist College. Enactus is an international not-for-profit organization that brings together student, academic, and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.
Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. The experience not only transforms lives, but also helps students develop the kind of talent and perspective that are essential to leadership in an ever-more complicated and challenging world.
Enactus members are passionate about their work, and sometimes even stay involved long past graduation.
Courtesy of Enactus Canada
Kim Harrison, a 2012 Business Administration and Business Accounting graduate, was involved with Enactus Loyalist from the start of the organization in September 2009. She served as the VP of Finance from September 2009 to January 2012, and as President from November 2011 to September 2012. She helped to shape Enactus, and Enactus helped to shape her.
“As a close-knit community, Loyalist was able to support the Enactus team as it started and grew,” explained Kim. “For that, I am so grateful. Being a part of Enactus was like getting two educations. One was academic, and the other was more hands-on, applying the skills I learned in class. Enactus allowed me to keep my skills intact. When I was done, I had three years of experience in project management and working with non-profit organizations and financial policies and accountability.”
Working with Enactus taught Kim many valuable skills. She got hands-on experience with financial needs analysis, fundraising, grant applications, and bursaries. The greatest skill she gained during her time at Loyalist was budgeting for an organization.
“Budgeting is a huge component when you get out into the work force,” said Kim. “Everything operates on budgets. I was able to learn how to structure and review budgets, comparing what we actually spent and what we budgeted for, and how to allocate funds based on need.”
Kim is currently working as the Logistics Coordinator at local manufacturing company Stegg Ltd., and still values the lasting connections she made through her Enactus experience.
“My experience at Loyalist was incredible,” explained Kim. “I got to know everyone so well that they became my true alumni. Most of the relationships that I have maintained since graduation have all been from Enactus. Although we may have been in different programs, we have remained close friends.”