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My Volunteer Story: Vishal Shrivastava
Volunteerism - the best platform for personal and professional development

"Volunteerism - the best platform for personal and professional development.”

This was something that I have grown to wholly believe in, even with limited exposure to it while working in the corporate world.

With more than 17 years in Information Technology, I have worked for different multinational companies in the United States and India. Volunteering was always a matter of participation in corporate initiatives to give back to communities while raising the profiles of businesses locally and beyond. My job descriptions entailed putting in a certain number of volunteer hours which indeed was different from regular work, yet it taught me how to work with others, enhanced my ability to take direction and lead others, plus the importance of time management and personal dedication. And most of all, making connections and building relationships.

When I most recently emigrated from the USA to Canada, settling in Brampton, to my surprise, I found myself being introduced from the moment I cleared Canada Immigration and Customs to a culture that is so inclined towards helping newcomers through a combination of government and not-for-profit programs, many in fact partnerships. It was immediately obvious that a great number of volunteers are involved, people who openly welcomed my family to Canada and were sincerely concerned about how we would get on.

Such goodwill led to my inquiry about volunteering opportunities at Volunteer MBC’s office in Brampton. From the first meeting onward, I felt very welcome, and both staff and volunteers introduced me to opportunities for connecting with communities and their residents in Peel region.

My volunteer role in Volunteer MBC as the ‘Technology Solutions Advisor’ and the ‘Chair of the IT System Task Force’, enables me to lead the ongoing CRM transformation, which includes developing the CRM strategy, enhancing the product roadmap, and providing software related solutions to the Volunteer MBC Staff and the Board. 

Volunteer MBC is a one stop organization that connects volunteers with suitable community service organizations and the volunteer positions that they offer. To accomplish that, I generate product requirements, determine specifications, production timetables, pricing, and time-integrated plans for product introduction to establish a robust and scalable CRM system. 

For me, volunteering has become a deeply personal experience which gives me a wonderful feeling, that is, by helping others and giving back to the community so effectively through Volunteer MBC. I also have gained immensely in terms of learning how to communicate better with people of different ethnicities and backgrounds. I am grateful for the opportunities that Volunteer MBC continues to give me.

Vishal Shrivastava
Vishal Shrivastava is a recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award in 2018.