Volunteer spotlight: Jessie from the IT team

Blogs, Volunteers article written on the 25 Aug 2016

Volunteering at Oxfam is a great way to meet people , like Oxfam's FUSE team, pictured here.

Huong Pham (Jessi) is one of Oxfam’s many volunteers who are using their professional skills to help people living in poverty around the world.

Jessi chose to take six months unpaid leave from her job as a Project Manager in Germany to come to Australia and spend time with family in Melbourne. Jessi wanted to ensure her time here would be beneficial and was keen to volunteer full-time using her professional skills and experience to add value to a non-profit organisation.

Jessi tells us a little about her experience with Oxfam:

I have been volunteering in Oxfam’s IT FUSE team (Fuelling Unbeatable Supporter Engagement) since May this year. When I arrived in Melbourne, I initially applied for volunteer roles at other non-profit organisations, however, Oxfam were the most friendly, enthusiastic and appealing in their response to me. They even created a volunteer role that suits my skill-set. Currently I am supporting the roll-out and testing of the new Oxfam Shop website.

Back in Germany, I volunteered at an Oxfam Shop in Munich so it’s really nice to be working on Oxfam Shop Australia’s website and see the differences between how the shops are run in our two countries. In Germany, all the stock in the shops are secondhand, but in Australia, all the products are new and unique, made by thousands of artisans and farmers around the world.

The best thing about volunteering at Oxfam is working with such nice, friendly people. I received a really warm welcome from my team and have made some lasting friendships.

To see the motivation and spirit of all the people working at Oxfam is truly inspirational. It’s so clear that everyone in the office believes in the vision of a just world without poverty and I can feel the humanity and connection to the work that Oxfam does. Everyone is so supportive of each other’s work. There is no competition here, only collaboration.

I have learnt so much during my time at Oxfam. I’ve been able to gain experience working in an international office environment. My team members are all so friendly and supportive and there is great diversity and backgrounds of every single person. I’ve been exposed to new software, tools and processes which is great after being in same organisation for many years. I love the opportunity to think outside of the box and have a different view on ways of working.

If you are thinking about volunteering at Oxfam, just do it! Especially anyone who is right in the middle of their career. Take a break and volunteer. Share your skills as they can make a real difference to people living in poverty.

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