Over the last six years, we have had over a thousand volunteers adding value and contributing to the Conjunct journey. Many of our volunteers, students or professionals work with us to support our work with the non-profits and the consulting projects. There are also so many who take on key leadership roles within Conjunct and help steer the organisation forward. However, there are some who bring in just the right skill set to help implement a specific project. While such projects themselves may only last a few months, the impact that is created and the long term value it adds to Conjunct is immense. Nothing like a great mind and hands-on deck, when you need them the most.
This month we are celebrating one such volunteer that helped us embark on a beneficial journey of technology implementation at Conjunct – Arlene Thompson. Arlene worked with us last year to implement our CRM system. We have since moved leaps and bounds that technology-enabled path! Read a short interview with Arlene here.
Please give us a bit of a background about yourself.
I’m Arlene, and I came to live in Singapore in August 2015 with my husband and 2 boys. We relocated here for my husband’s job, and I guess I became what is referred to as a ‘trailing spouse’ as I decided to put my career on hold whilst we lived in Singapore. Before my career break, I worked as a Quality Manager back in the UK.
How did you hear about Conjunct and what prompted you to volunteer with us?
I heard about conjunct from a lovely friend that had started working for them, and I was intrigued. Given that both my kids were now in school I was looking for something more to do than ‘lunches and lattes!’ so mentioned to my friend that I was available if she knew if any work that I could help with.
How has volunteering impacted you personally?
Volunteering for me has been great as it’s allowed me to give back but at the same time dust off a lot of my old skills that have become a bit rusty from being on a career break. Within Conjunct I helped set up the CRM, and from inputting a lot of the data I was fascinated to learn how amazing non-profits and social enterprises there are in Singapore, it was really inspiring to know how much good work is going on in this country.
Do you volunteer or plan to volunteer elsewhere? Tell us a bit about it.
I loved the flexibility that volunteering offers, and after completing my project at Conjunct, I am now volunteering with Aidha. Currently, I’m doing some administration tasks, but I hope to be able to help them out on a CRM project as well.
Give a gist of the project you worked as a volunteer on and how you think it utilised your skills? Also, what did you end up learning?
Within Conjunct Consulting, I worked on the setting up of a new CRM, i.e. taking the numerous sources of information and putting them into one place. I’m a pretty meticulous person, so this task was designed for me as I love order! It was pretty time consuming but seeing the end result and hearing how well its been functioning made it all worthwhile. From it, I learnt that my dusty brain still works just fine and I’ve not become a workplace dinosaur just yet!
Tell us a bit more about yourself – some interests, hobbies, things that matter to you.
I have always loved to travel so living in Singapore has given us an amazing opportunity to travel around Asia and beyond as a family. Travelling with kids at times isn’t the best idea, but I love the fact that we have got to have these experiences together, and they’ve definitely had a positive impact on us. Stand out favourite locations for us have got to be Beijing, Australia and Cambodia.
Your message to other volunteers.
If an opportunity comes along to volunteer don’t pass it up as it can be such a rewarding experience for yourself and the organisation that you volunteer for, you’ll also most likely get to meet many fantastic and interesting people.
Thank you, Arlene, for your wonderful support in implementing the project. You were perfect for helping us with this!
To find out more how you can join Conjunct Consulting in an internal role, please visit https://conjunctconsulting.org/volunteer.