Why Would a Busy Young Professional Volunteer on a Nonprofit Board?

If you follow business journalism of any kind, you will find that many articles today talk about Millennials in the workplace. The focus is usually on how this latest generation envisions their careers and their place in the world. Predominantly, these young professionals value a sense of purpose over wealth alone and they seek a strong work-life balance. Regardless of generation, I think there are scores of people today who can relate to these two desires. And I am no different.

My name is Rob Rehburg, and I am one of the board members for Inside the Orchestra. Though I am the Vice President of Operations for one of the premier manufacturers’ representative firms in Denver, I decided to volunteer for this incredible organization in August of 2016.

Why would a busy young professional decide to volunteer for a nonprofit like Inside the Orchestra?

Like the Millennials that I am begrudgingly lumped in with, I do in fact value a sense of purpose and a work-life balance. But I have come to find that my best route to achieving these ideals is by being well-rounded in my life. I don’t necessarily feel a deep sense of purpose in my job day-to-day, but by working hard to maintain my work-life balance, I can truly have a strong sense of purpose in the world around me.

Volunteering for Inside the Orchestra has already given me so much personal fulfillment and purpose. My efforts have real results that are helping to change the lives of the children that Inside the Orchestra serves. At over 20,000 children per year, that’s a whole lot of young lives that I directly participate in improving!

I am also very passionate about instrumental music and early childhood education in instrumental music. I am a Trumpeter and was first exposed to orchestral music by Inside the Orchestra when I was in the 5th grade. I began lessons in the same year, continued through middle school, became the Drum Major for the Overland High School Marching Scots in Aurora, and graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with a minor in Performance Music, emphasis in Trumpet. As someone who was profoundly influenced and shaped by a long history in music, this organization’s work is near and dear to my heart.

My final push to join came from the fantastic networking opportunity that it provides. From the other board members to the donors who generously support the work, there are so many successful professionals from a multitude of industries to connect with and learn from.

How do you make it all work with a full-time career and a hectic schedule?

Sure, my life is crazy and sometimes overwhelming, but it is also quite rewarding. I am a Colorado native whose entire family lives in-state and I have quite a number of life-long friends (some going as far back as preschool) that I make as much time for as possible. Above it all, I have been with my partner for nearly 10 years and we have one of the cutest Westies (West Highland White Terriers) you will ever meet, Cooper Smithburg. And as if all of that isn’t time-consuming enough, I have also enjoyed performing regularly in musical theatre all around the Denver Metro area since 2007. Whew!

Yet, I don’t know that I have some magical secret that makes it all possible, really. I would say that Google Calendar is my best friend and I certainly have to plan, plan, plan!

I also make a point to be honest with myself and the people whom I work and play with when it comes to my availability and my level of commitment to a project. I only begin new adventures with an intent to give my all and to bring the highest level of success. If I don’t believe that I will truly have the availability or the ability to commit to the fullest, then I won’t even insert myself. It is all too easy to fall into double-booking or over-committing, but I never want to fall short or otherwise let anyone down. Doing so is certainly not good or fair to the organization and it definitely reflects poorly on me.

Lastly, I strive to only take on projects that I am passionate about. When people add projects outside of their primary job, they have to be excited and enthusiastic about them first and foremost. If they are only mildly interested, then their interest will quickly fade and the project will become just another obligation that they dread.

Why do you continue to volunteer?

I would highly recommend that young professionals seeking a rewarding sense of purpose also join nonprofits like Inside the Orchestra. If you are looking for music volunteer opportunities and you want to make a profound difference in the world, Inside the Orchestra is a perfect fit!

I continue to volunteer because the work is so fulfilling and rewarding, and the results are incredibly tangible. It certainly isn’t easy to juggle a full-time job, family, friends, hobbies, and volunteering, but as they say, nothing worth doing is easy. That said, not only is it very doable, but if you are passionate about what you volunteer for, then you will garner great happiness from it. You can even expand your career network, your professional knowledge, and your circle of influence all at the same time.

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