I wouldn't recommend underestimating the value of volunteer and humanitarian aid experience. Not only can humanitarian aid experience be grounding but it also empowers networking, skill development, and a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves through community.
A few years ago, I took part in an initiative by my high school that focused on poverty alleviation in a small city in Malaysia. For a year, we worked through various fundraising projects to collect enough money to help kids in Sabah, Malaysia build a school for their community. There was an option at the end of the school year to go to Malaysia and actively help in building the school. Truthfully, the cost of the trip, as well as the fact that it would take up most of the summer, almost deterred me from going. However, I really wanted to be able to see the village and people for whom our team was collecting funds. Luckily, I did go and the highlight was meeting the kids, teachers, and the community in-person. Connecting with people, learning how to lay cement, carrying barrels of rocks and construction equipment...everyday was tiring and incredibly rewarding. My friends and I learned so much during the trip that we implemented the practical and theoretical lessons into our lives when we returned home.
I share this with you because as a third-year student of York University, I found myself hesitant to even apply for many of the internships I was interested in because I didn't have work experience but decided to take a chance on myself and apply anyway. Much to my delight, I did secure an internship with Orbis and Outcome Campus Connect, and have recently landed a summer internship for Public Policy. Both times, my volunteer experience, genuine interest for their companies, and willingness to learn gave me a competitive edge.
In short? There are so many reasons humanitarian work should be on your resume, these are just some of mine and how I was empowered to where I am now by empowering others.