Volunteering offers professional benefits - Kaye de Pardo
Kaye De Pardo, an electrical engineer with Woodside Energy in Perth, says volunteering with Engineers Australia not only gives her great motivation, but provides personal development that she has limited exposure to in the workplace.
"Volunteering has really sharpened my management and leadership skills," said Kaye. "As chair of Young Engineers in WA (2005) I had to coordinate event teams, and this responsibility gave me great management experience that, at my age, I get little exposure to in the workplace.
"Volunteering also gives me great networking opportunities across the engineering industry. I meet engineers from different departments and fields which gives me a broader perspective that is invaluable."
Involved as a volunteer since her early days at the University of Western Australia, Kaye is involved in the state's Engineering Ambassador Program. This sees her visit highschools to talk about engineering as a career and the variety it offers.
"I really enjoy talking to the students and exposing them to engineering as a profession ... telling them what's on offer."
Kaye said the questions she receives from students after her presentation are often quite revealing. "The girls tend to ask me about working in a male dominated industry and about the pros and cons of wearing a hard hat and boots when I'm in the field! I assure them I get to wear nice clothes and makeup when I'm in the office. Meanwhile the boys like to know about the pay."
For Kaye, volunteering has been a very positive experience both personally and professionally. "I really believe you get twofold what you put in. You get recognition, personal development and networking opportunities that are worth their weight in gold."