Madison Lorenz is an HR Representative with Connect Logistics Services Inc. She is a University of Alberta grad and interned with interVivos as part of the Community Service Learning (CSL) program before joining the board officially in May 2020. Madison became a part of the executive in fall 2020 when she was elected secretary by her fellow volunteer board members.

We had a virtual chat with Madison to find out why she volunteers her time with us and why post-secondary students and recent grads should get more involved with interVivos.

What does interVivos mean to you?

interVivos is a place where you can put yourself out there and gain knowledge from those around you. interVivos has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I am continually growing and helping my community come together, even during this time of distancing. 

How does your involvement with interVivos help you build your confidence?

interVivos is the first non-profit board that I have been a part of. When I started with the organization, I had limited awareness of how a board operates or what is needed from board members. However, I was eager to gain experience and increase my knowledge. Being on the interVivos board has allowed me to gain the confidence to bring my ideas forward and participate in meaningful dialogue. I am now more confident collaborating with others on the board to execute our programs and events successfully. I have also picked up so many skills that I had little exposure to before joining the board. It is refreshing to do different professional things outside of work. I am now more assertive with sticking my hand up to volunteer to do new tasks at my 9-5 job and as a board member.

How does being a part of interVivos help you build your professional network?

Being on the interVivos board has allowed me to meet diverse people through our events and programs, such as our volunteer mentors. One of my roles for a few of our mentorship programs was the mentor and protégé liaison. I was responsible for communicating with all the program participants, so I networked with diverse community leaders. I have grown my LinkedIn contacts as a result. I have also met many amazing people who sit on our board and feel fortunate to work with a group of hard-working professionals who impact our community even during the pandemic.

How does volunteering with interVivos support your career goals?

As a recent graduate, I am trying to discover as much as I can through hands-on experience, which is why I enjoy being on the interVivos board. interVivos has allowed me to work on different tasks from my paid job, such as social media. There have also been times when I can apply what I have gained from volunteering to my paid work. Being on the board has enhanced my confidence to share my thoughts and ideas, as I mentioned above. This confidence has flowed into my work. I am now leading projects at work, and I look forward to contributing my ideas to any team I am a part of, whereas I was more reserved in the past. 

What is the best advice you have received during your time with interVivos?

To try new things. When I first started at the University of Alberta, I never thought that I would do certain things because they seemed uncomfortable. I never thought that I would join a board, complete a certificate with Community Service Learning or work on campus, but all of those achievements have helped me become who I am today. As a student, you have so many opportunities to get involved with the broader community or campus. Even though it may seem scary or you do not know what you are doing at the start, you will come out the other side with some fantastic memories.

Why should post-secondary students and recent grads get involved with interVivos?

There are many ways students and recent grads can get involved with interVivos, and each way has different benefits. You will receive a lot of great advice and support from our volunteer mentors if you participate in our mentorship programs. The mentors I have had a chance to meet are great! I have not participated as a protégé yet, but I will do it when it is suitable for my career.  If you want to know the perspective of a post-secondary student who participated as a protégé, then check out Nicole Rodriguez’s interview with interVivos. Through our community engagement events, students can become more involved in the Edmonton community and meet others with similar interests. If you join the interVivos board as an intern or board member, you can gain many unique skills and expand your professional circle, as I have. No matter how you choose to get involved with interVivos, you will better yourself.

What is your advice for post-secondary students in Edmonton?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Many of my best opportunities and learning moments came from putting myself out there and being vulnerable. Also, don’t be scared to speak up. When you are the most junior person in the room, you may think that your opinion doesn’t matter, but in my experience, students and new grads bring a fresh viewpoint to the conversation. You’ll be surprised to learn that many people want to hear what we’ve to say.

Are you a post-secondary student or new graduate who’d like to be more involved with interVivos?  Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) or join our mailing list, so you don’t miss out on your chance to get connected. You can also email us anytime with your questions.