How Alex Offered His Expertise to Support Students in Career Development | Swire Trust Go-Givers of 2021
Together with Time Auction, the Swire Trust Go-Givers Program encourages skilled volunteers for Swire Trust NGOs partners from 2020 to 2022. 10 outstanding volunteers will be selected annually as the “Swire Trust Go-Givers of the Year” with special rewards & recognition. Meet our 10 Go-Givers of 2021!
Alex is the Director and Senior Consultant of Gecko Strategic Solutions, offering corporate training in design thinking, data science and programming development. An accomplished and all-rounded consulting specialist, whose skills also extend to Education Management and Web Design! With his versatile background, Alex decided to begin his journey of skilled volunteering.
“It was my wife who introduced me to Time Auction because she thought it was a great way to put my skills to use!”
When Alex first learned about Time Auction, he was impressed by the versatility of the projects, ranging from mentoring, designing, to data analysis. This instantly clicked with him as he can contribute in so many aspects for the organizations, generating positive impact through volunteering.
Every hour spent volunteering and every dollar donated helps
Prior to learning about Time Auction, Alex has already been supporting the causes he cares about, regularly making charitable donations. Though, during the challenging times that the pandemic brought, he found that this was no longer maintainable. In light of the spare time amidst the pandemic also brought, Alex decided to devote himself to generating a positive impact by donating his time instead-“if I couldn’t donate money, I could donate time!”
Last year, Alex started volunteering with the Foodlink Foundation at food rescue and distribution. The volunteer opportunity with Zubin Foundation was Alex’s first ever skilled-volunteering project. Zubin Foundation is a charity with a mission to help ethnic minorities in HK, which really caught Alex’s attention because it is a cause that’s close to his heart.
“I’ve been in that position, being in a foreign place and feeling like a minority, and felt I could really empathize with them”
Alex proceeded to volunteer as a workshop trainer, offering advice on career plans and development for ethnic minority students. With his years of experience within recruitment and selection, he became the perfect mentor on career planning and preparing students for job interviews.
Enjoy the Flexibility of Volunteering Projects
“It was a rewarding experience for me because I got to work on projects that I normally wouldn’t work on.”
As a consultant, Alex usually works with corporate clients. Working with a small NGO is an entirely different experience, which is often much more flexible. For many of the skilled volunteer projects, volunteers often can work remotely, depending on their own schedule, which Alex finds convenient.
“People are also more open and receptive to new ideas.” Whilst volunteering as a Workshop Trainer, Alex often went the extra mile in helping the students. After covering the designated topics, he often spends extra time answering questions and giving advice to the students, helping with their career development.
Congratulations on Alex’s well-deserved recognition!
"Alex was very dedicated in covering all four topics with one student so that he can form a closer bond with the student and complete the 4 sessions together. His approach was to build a good relationship with student in order to see which area they lack the most, so he could assist in that area the most. He is a people-oriented person who values people and loves building connections with them. He was always very punctual to the sessions and very flexible as well if students wanted to reschedule."— Matthew Yu, The Zubin Foundation
Alex is grateful to be chosen as one of the Swire Trust Go-Givers of the Year. “This has come as a pleasant surprise, considering that I volunteered because I couldn't donate, I think I could definitely have done more!” He hopes that the spirit of the award can serve as a motivator for people to get involved in skilled volunteering, helping out the good causes in our society.
Lastly, Alex encourages people who are still deciding whether to volunteer to go for it - seeing the impact of your actions make a positive difference, is a strong motivator to continue doing so. It feels good to see the positive impact generated, with the time and effort you put in, to know that you’re contributing to a worthy cause.
"It doesn’t matter how big or small the project you are helping with- all are worthwhile- and you’ve contributed to making the world a better place!"
Thank you so much to Alex for contributing 25 volunteer hours at The Zubin Foundation and more to come!
To see details of the Swire Trust Go-Givers Program and support their NGOs partners, head over to Time Auction website.
Interviewed & written by Leo Chick | Edited by Emma Lascelles