Taking the Leap as an AVC Volunteer

When joining AVC, one of my greatest concerns had been that the job site placements are assigned only after arriving in Armenia. As an avid traveler, I would consider myself to be a pretty flexible person; however, when it comes to my career goals and finances? Less wiggle room. So, given that a mismatched placement may negatively impact both of these areas, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have concerns walking into this experience:

What if I fly all the way to Armenia only to find that there are no applicable placements for me?

What if nothing is available within my field when I arrive and I am unable to make an impact?

What if it takes me a long time to find a placement that fits my skills and goals, minimizing the time I have to put towards a given project?

 

Overcoming fears

I had plenty of questions when arriving in Yerevan and am grateful that I took that leap of faith. In fact, after meeting with the AVC team during my first week, all of these fears suddenly felt very silly. With over 1,000 partner organizations across Armenia and a highly dedicated and responsive team walking you through every step of the process, AVC was more than equipped to ensure that each participant had a tailor-made experience while providing a range of potential placement options matching my interests.

Building career skills

Not only did I end up working with two incredible organizations within my field throughout my three months in Armenia, but I also had to turn down three other equally exciting placement offers due to my limited remaining time. I knew plenty of other volunteers who had chosen a different path — taking up placements outside of their usual respective areas of expertise in order to either pursue a passion project, or just for the sake of trying something new, and loved every minute!

Whatever your reason for coming to Armenia, my advice would be to not allow the uncertainty to dissuade you.

Take the leap!

 

 

Written by Megan Swoger, AVC volunteer

Megan Swoger joined AVC’s Junior Corps on January 5, 2023, right in time for Armenian Christmas. While she initially committed to six weeks of service, she extended her stay through the end of March. During her time in Yerevan, Megan volunteered with Democracy Today and the Women’s Support Center.

May 5, 2023