Vivid Sydney Festival 2016 – My Volunteering Experience

Author // e: enquiries@ineedhelpers.com
Posted in // INH Blog

Vivid Sydney Volunteer Story

“I had very little volunteering experience when I applied for Vivid Sydney through I Need Helpers, so I was ecstatic when my application got accepted, I thought to myself that this was going to be a great opportunity.

At my first shift I walked over to The Rocks, excited and a little bit nervous, who was I going to meet, what would the I Need Helpers team be like, what would my team leader be like and my fellow volunteers.”

“To my relief I walked into the meeting point surrounded by others who had the same nervous looks on their faces and that set me at ease, I was not the only one, there is something comforting in the sharing of the same experience. A bit of eye contact, an awkward smile, starting a casual conversation, this helped me in finding my confidence in an unfamiliar situation. The INH team where friendly, fairly young professional individuals. We where placed into teams and our team leaders set about explaining what our duties where, our responsibilities and general safety instructions that we had to abide by. We checked in and then we where off on a tour of our designated installations.

My team leader the first night was Georgia and she did a great job in rotating me and others to different installations, so as to keep a fun and exciting environment going, as did all my team leaders so far, Kathleen, Peter and especially Fashi, who took a very personal and caring nature towards his role as a leader and a genuine concern for the volunteers in his charge. I Need Helpers trained and informed their team leaders well and it was a nice realisation that these individuals where volunteers as well, it made them more relatable, easy to get along with and in understanding that they where here just like me volunteering their time to help in making a great event.

I would say that I am a bit of a shy person but the great thing about volunteering is that you are thrown into a situation where you have to interact with people and my fellow volunteers where some interesting individuals. Some of us shared common backgrounds, are currently at university, just starting on their career paths but some where older and wiser, had led intriguing lives and some where completely new to volunteering. I enjoyed chatting to all of them or even playing little games to help the time pass, as we went about helping and informing patrons, through the festival.

Volunteering is one of the best ways to meet people and make connections, but it is important to remember that your attitude will determine how much you get out of it. There are some dull times, difficult situations or moments when you would rather be doing something else but it is exactly in these hard times that you bring a smile and positive attitude. I got hands on experience in problem solving, working in a team environment, working by myself, following instructions quickly and correctly, great communication skills and even a small leadership role. For this I am so very grateful to both Alex and Jonas, the volunteer and event organisers, who gave me an opportunity.

In the end Vivid and I Need Helpers was a wonderful experience for me, not just because I learned so much, but due to me challenging myself to be actively involved.”

Nadine Wu
Student at University of Technology Sydney – Bachelors of Business

e: enquiries@ineedhelpers.com

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