The benefits of volunteering from a personal aspect are plentiful: you can be active in your community, you get to help your neighbors, and you can find personal satisfaction in knowing that you did your part in making the community a better place. For many, volunteering has helped their professional career.
Volunteer events give people the chance to help others while networking with other professionals, and developing or expanding new skills that can be applied to their careers. For Reid Schmidling, being a part of and volunteering through our United Young Leaders (UYL) program not only gave him a way to give back to the community, but it has also expanded his network of contacts and friends in the St. Louis area.
How long have you been a member of United Young Leaders?
I became a member of United Young Leaders in January of 2021.
What do you do for a living?
I work as a Relationship Manager for Centene Corporation, in their technology division. I particularly work on a technology initiative team called Every Minute Matters where we help Centene employees have the best experience with their workplace technology.
How did you find out about United Young Leaders and what made you want to join?
I originally heard about United Young Leaders from a former co-worker several years ago. Fast forward a few years, I noticed he was still involved so I decided to look into the group further. After some initial research of the group, I knew I wanted to get involved. Initially, I joined UYL to give back to my new community through volunteering, but then discovered a likeminded network of people that I knew I wanted to surround myself with.
What volunteer event have you participated in with UYL that has been the most impactful on your professional career?
Of all the events I’ve participated in, I have to say volunteering with Boys Hope Girls Hope as a career panelist has been the most impactful. Getting to share my career story and listen to the participants’ passions was fulfilling to say the least.
Has volunteering created networking opportunities for you?
Volunteering with United Young Leaders has definitely created networking opportunities. UYL volunteers come from all industries and have such diverse backgrounds that it creates great networking opportunities for everyone involved.
Has volunteering helped you improve or perhaps develop new skills that have helped you in your professional career?
I can confidently say that many of my skills have been sharpened and refined by participating in volunteer events. My communication skills have definitely improved as there have been a few events where I’ve spoken to residents in a senior care facility, and I’ve also had a chance to speak to young students. Both of those volunteer opportunities gave me the chance to sharpen my communication skills by speaking to different and diverse audiences.
Do you plan on putting your volunteer experience on your resume and using it to benefit you when seeking opportunities such as board memberships, new career opportunities, etc.?
I added my volunteer experience with United Young Leaders to my resume as soon as I joined and participated in my first event back in January 2021. I think adding community engagement to your resume definitely helps you stand out and shows what kind of person you are. As someone who has high aspirations for community involvement, I see building your volunteer resume very similar to, and just as important as, building your professional resume. I personally hope that I can continue to build my volunteer resume so I can continue to give back to this beautiful city I now call home.
United Way’s Volunteer Center features a host of opportunities and ways for people to get involved in our region through causes close to them. Visit STLVolunteer.org to learn more about the groups you can join for volunteering and networking.
Take action now:
- Learn more about how volunteering gives your career a boost.
- Explore ways to improve your professional network.
- Share this story with friends and family.
Rodney Humphries is the communications specialist for United Way of Greater St. Louis and a proud graduate of Webster University where he developed his passion for writing. In college, he combined his love for writing and sports, serving as the primary sports writer for his school newspaper while also developing his own sports blog. After graduating, he continued his love for writing as he served as a freelance writer for various publications. Rodney continues to be a fan of Webster athletics, you will often see him sitting courtside at a lot of their basketball games.