Our Director of Volunteers, Alain Robillard-Bastien sat down with UXPA International volunteer extraordinaire, Veronika to discuss what its like to take on such an important role for the organization and learn more about what she does day to day.
So: what motivated you to become a volunteer with us initially?
When I was a student, I had an opportunity to meet with Seattle’s UXPA chapter and volunteer at events. There I met fantastic people, passionate about UX and UX community. I wanted to be part of that community and help more. Later, I learned about a volunteering opportunity with the UXPA conference and applied. Volunteering at my first UX conference was rewarding as you can actually see how big of a difference volunteers make at the conference. That’s why I kept coming back.
What challenges would you have encountered in your role as a volunteer?
I don’t think I had any. At first, you may feel intimidated and feel that you don’t have all the answers, but you don’t have to know everything. We have the whole team that will support you and find answers to attendees’ questions.
What motivates you to invest yourself in this role?
I came to realize that time is our biggest asset, and I want to use smartly and purposefully. I want to be making a difference instead of watching things pass by.
What is rewarding or enjoyable when you are a volunteer?
For me, knowing that you’ve helped someone is always rewarding. Doing this together with a team of awesome, fun and smart people makes it even more enjoyable.
And what are your activities as a volunteer at UXPA?
When I first started volunteering at UXPA, I took on different roles. I was helping at the registration desk, handing out badges and packets, guiding people and answering questions that attendees had, assisted during talks and looked for whatever help was needed.
Now, in my current role as a co-chair for the UXPA volunteer committee, my responsibilities go beyond that and involves two components. First, it’s getting ready for the conference: communicating with people who are interested in volunteering, planning and distributing shifts, preparing and holding a volunteer orientation together with Matt Karakilic, who is the chair for the volunteer committee. And second, making sure our volunteers have a positive experience and have time to enjoy the conference.
What is your greatest memory of being a UXPA volunteer?
I don’t think I have a specific memory, but to me, two moments always stand out: the volunteer orientation, when we get to first meet with other people who came from all over the world to volunteer their time, and the last day of the conference, when we can say, “We did it!”.
What would you say to someone who would like to become a volunteer?
If you genuinely enjoy helping others I would encourage you to look for volunteering opportunities that fall under your interests, passions, and goals. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, learn from others, engage with the community, and give back. Just remember to be humble and have fun.