A network and experience that cannot be bought
To me, the work as a volunteer has been a direct trigger for my current job, says Cassie Wu. Cassie, 29, has travelled from her hometown of Los Angeles to settle with her Danish boyfriend in Copenhagen. She masters the Danish language flawlessly, only the American “r’s” gives her away. Cassie Wu has a Cand. Mag. In contemporary art history. Her story as a volunteer started when she received a message from CPH:DOX through frivilligjob.dk/Volunteering.dk.
'It seemed to be a place where I could both utilise my skills from before and at the same time get a unique insight into how a festival comes to be. The post on frivilligjob.dk resulted in an application, which lead to an interview, which resulted five weeks where Cassie worked fulltime as a volunteer for CPH:DOX. It went really easy! I contacted them through frivilligjob.dk, and they called me, and thus the contact was established and before I knew it, I was a part of the big and exciting project!'
Volunteering let to a paying job
The job post from CPH:DOX was broad in nature, and Cassie Wu was also allowed to try a lot of different things. My work consisted of being in touch with various recruits, learning to use advanced HD film equipment and coordinating the transport of the many film rolls between dozens of showcase spots. – I was an octopus, she explains. In addition to the many tasks, Cassie Wu also gained an insight into how a large company works and, above all, she gained experience working in a Danish workplace and a network that cannot be bought for money.
Her time as a volunteer at CPH:DOX has largely proved to be an asset she has been able to benefit from. Today, Cassie Wu work for ARCHITECTMADE, where she is a coordinator for sales and has daily contact with major clients: My volunteer work at CPH:DOX showed my new employer that I could function in a Danish workplace and that I am capable of finding my place and working in an active environment – I am quite sure that my voluntary work functioned as a catalyst for me getting the job.
Feeling part of something bigger
When questioned on the best part of being a volunteer she quickly answered:
‘The best part was definitely feeling like a part of a puzzle. Getting to participate and feel useful and being useful was important, I felt like the help I was providing was greatly appreciated. I believe one aspect in particular of voluntary work is important – that being social or practical. It is all about feeling wanted and useful. I also believe that it is great that voluntary work without strong social appeal is available. I think that there are many who would like to make an effort, but does not want to be a part of a homework-café and food-club. For those people there are many other kinds of voluntary work out there, maybe even with ties to their educations or future jobs.'