Angela Champ, BA’90
Angela Champ, BA’90 currently works as a Chief Human Resources Officer in Surrey, B.C. and has worked in financial services for several years. Angela shares her experience volunteering at an early age and discusses how volunteering has strengthened her feelings of community and purpose.
Tell us about your role
In my most recent role, my main responsibility was to work with an amazing group of people in Human Resources, on the Executive team, in the management ranks and with individual contributors to help create a positive workplace where employees felt proud to work. A dream job!
How did you learn about your volunteering opportunity?
I have volunteered with many organizations throughout my life, starting in high school when I organized a student blood drive all the way through to recent days when I get to serve on the Board of Directors for non-profits and charitable organizations. For all of these opportunities, I either heard about them through friends and colleagues in my network or I searched them out based on my interests.
What would you say are the benefits to volunteering?
Volunteering is about creating community. It helps to strengthen communities. It allows you to develop your skills and add to your experience. It allows you to meet new people and make friends. It provides meaning as you are focused on something bigger than yourself.
How is volunteering separate from your career?
My career is people-focused and so in that way, volunteering is not that separate. However, volunteering allows me to work in areas that my work traditionally does not (ex. building houses for Habitat for Humanity or delivering meals for Meals on Wheels) and allows me to interact with people I wouldn't normally work with in my workplace.
How has volunteering impacted or complemented your career?
Volunteering has strengthened my feelings of community and purpose, both of which I apply to my workplace.
In a more direct way, I've sometimes been able to integrate volunteering and career: I used my connections volunteering with Women Building Futures to create a workplace training program for my then-company, Lafarge, to train and hire female drivers. Win win - the women of the program benefited as did my employer.
What did you learn about yourself while volunteering?
Learning doesn't just occur in school or during on-the-job training. Learning also happens in the community when you volunteer. What I have learned about myself is that helping people or communities prosper and thrive, whether volunteering or in my work, is deeply satisfying to me.
What's the best piece of career advice you've received?
Be open to opportunities even if you think you're not up to it. Say yes and then figure out how to do it!