It might seem countintuitive for new or pending IT graduates to read that by giving of their time, skills, and knowledge they may very get something substantial in return. Although it’s unlikely that recent grads will luck into a job with the very group or organization they might choose to support with their time and effort, it’s important to remember that all of these outfits are staffed primarily by volunteers. Working in a volunteer group is a great way to meet people and make contacts you might never otherwise be able to make on your own.
Just for grins, I surfed over to my local public radio station (KUT Austin) and checked out their “Get Involved” section, where numerous volunteer organizations get the word out that they’re looking for volunteer help of all kinds — this morning, in fact, there were 61 such organizations listed, all of whom can probably use some help with computer-related tasks and activities, and some of whom focus directly on such matters (Goodwill Green Works, Austin Partners in Education, Military Children Education Coalition, Community Tax Centers, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, and more).
By reaching out to others, and giving of yourself, you not only do some good for those you seek out by volunteering. You may also do yourself some good by gaining additional experience and by making contacts that may in fact lead to a real job someday–hopefully, sooner rather than later. If your local area has a public radio station, you can use it to find volunteer opportunities easily; if not, use your favorite search engine to see what kinds of volunteer organizations are looking for help where you live.