Why would the new england aquarium require people to apply

From seals and sea turtles to porpoises and penguins, the nonprofit New England Aquarium in Boston houses an incredibly diverse array of the world's sea life. The aquarium's official mission statement is "to present, promote, and protect the world of water." It also wants to appeal to a broad audience and build a work force of paid and unpaid staff that reflects Boston's diversity. Volunteers are a major resource for the New England Aquarium Its staff of 1 ,000 volunteers contributes 100,000 hours of service yearly. M any high school and college student volunteers try out possible career choices. Adults with and without specialized college degrees (in fields such as marine biology and environmental affairs) volunteer their time as well. And the New England Aquariums internships offer college students and recent graduates hands-on experience in veterinary services, communications, and other key areas. The aquarium's director of volunteer program s is a champion for workplace diversity. Most organizations are good at putting diversity in their mission statements and talking about it, but not actually accomplishing it," she observes. She and her colleagues reach out to recruit volunteers, interns, and employees of different races, ethnicities, socioeconomic levels, physical abilities, and ages. In addition, they welcome people of di verse educational backgrounds, personalities, and viewpoints because of the new resources these differences can bring to meeting the organization's opportunities and challenges. One reason the New England Aquarium needs to constantly recruit and train new volunteers (and employees) is that it attracts more visitors every year as it expands its exhibit space and educational activities. Like most nonprofits, it also has a very limited budget and must manage its payroll carefully. Therefore, the organization is always looking for volunteers to assist paid staff in various departments, including education, administration, and animal rescue.        The New England Aquarium must plan for employees, volunteers, or interns to handle certain tasks whenever the facility is open. For example, it needs cashiers to collect admission fees during daytime, evening, and weekend hours. Volunteers are often available to work during weekend hours, but filling daytime positions can be difficult. This is another reason aquarium managers attend community meetings and find creative ways to encourage volunteerism. The Internet is an important and cost-effective recruiting tool for the aquarium. Prospective volunteers can browse its website to find open positions, read job descriptions and specifications, and download an application form to complete and submit. Aquarium managers read all the applications and ask those who seem most qualified to come in for a personal interview. Once the final selections are made, volunteers are notified about their assignments and working hours. They receive training in the organization's procedures and learn their specific duties before they start their jobs. Candidates for internships must send a letter expressing interest in working as an intern and include a résumé plus two academic or professional references. As an option, candidates can send a letter of reference and a college transcript to sup-port the application letter. The New England Aquarium's internship coordinators interview the most promising candidates and make the final selections. Interns, like volunteers, gain valuable experience and can list their positions on their résumés when looking for future employment. Paid employees receive a full package of valuable benefits, including paid holidays and sick days, insurance, and tuition reimbursement. Just as important, employees gain an opportunity to make a difference. When hired, they become part of an organization that protects the underwater environment, educates the public, and improves and saves the lives of whales and other marine life.

For more information about this organization, go towww.neaq.org.


1. Why would the New England Aquarium require people to apply in writing for unpaid volunteer and internship positions?

2. In addition to using the web and attending com m unity meetings, what other external recruiting techniques would you suggest the aquarium use to attract volunteers? Why?

3. Do you think that the New England Aquarium should evaluate the performance of its volunteers periodically?

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