Ada Tsang the Co-founder and VP HR of Endeavour Volunteer Consulting for Non-Profits

Have you ever considered working in the nonprofit sector but hesitate to make the transition because you’re unsure of what to expect in a sector driven by purpose? Take some of the uncertainty out of the process by volunteering and getting a firsthand look at what it’s like to work in a nonprofit. Consider joining Endeavour Consulting, where Ada Tsang tells us what it’s like to hold down a full-time job while also offering pro-bono consulting work to nonprofits on the side.

What does your job entail including what a typical day might be like?

As VP HR, I lead a team of executives in the recruitment, training, development and retention of volunteers across Endeavour. As this is a completely volunteer role and I have a full-time job in the healthcare sector, the typical day would involve going to work during the weekdays, and working on Endeavour activities during the evenings and weekends. I not only act in a leadership role to motivate and support my team, but also get very hands-on with activities such as screening and interviewing potential volunteers.

Can you briefly describe your career path and how you got your current job?

While still in university completing my Engineering degree, I was part of a volunteer team providing consulting to a national charity and very much enjoyed the work. A couple of us wanted to continue doing pro-bono work after graduation but couldn’t find anything similar in the community so we decided to get together and start our own. We thought that we would be running the organization for 6 months to one year, but after seeing the demand for the program, we couldn’t stop and have now been growing the organization for the last 8+ years!

What’s the coolest part about your job and what’s the biggest challenge?

The coolest part is meeting so many interesting people with different backgrounds, who are all keen to contribute meaningfully to their community. As this is a volunteer role, it always amazes me how much dedication everyone has towards the organization, their non-profit client, and the beneficiaries of the clients that we help.

The biggest challenge is managing priorities and choosing which opportunities to pursue strategically as we are an organization with limited financial and human resources. Developing an organizational strategic plan has been helpful with steering us towards a common goal.

What advice would you give to a job seeker looking for meaningful work?

Volunteer! It is the best way to explore different sectors, try out the role first-hand, and network with other like-minded individuals.

What can you identify as the biggest opportunity in your sector right now?

Over the past several years, I’ve seen increasing interest in skills-based volunteerism. More and more for-profit corporations are actively developing or supporting skills-based volunteering for their employees, and our own volunteer application numbers have also increased. This trend is also gathering strength around the world. The 2014 Pro Bono Week involved pro bono intermediaries hosting events over 14 countries, including US, France, Canada, Japan, Poland, Singapore, Spain, China, the Netherlands, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany, South Korea and India.

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