Why I Volunteer for PMI Mile Hi’s Symposium

Volunteering for PMI Mile Hi’s Symposium is one of those things I do for this amazing profession — project management — and for this community of colleagues who have given me so much.

In the words of a great leader…

"We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give”. ~ Winston Churchill.

Here’s what you get as a volunteer:

1. Meet people; build your professional circle

As a volunteer, you get to meet the nicest people, who in the case of PMI Mile Hi Symposium, also are some of the top project leaders in our region of the country.  They are an inspiration who welcome other volunteers to their teams and who are so generous in sharing their expertise. You also will enjoy your volunteer reward from Symposium, which is a significant discount off your registration.

2. Enjoy the excitement — and the $$$ reward

PMI Mile Hi’s Symposium maintains an impressive reputation among project managers worldwide as one of the largest PMI professional development events in the US.  2018 marks the 20th Annual Symposium, so you know this is going to be BIG!

As a volunteer, you will enjoy the fun and challenge of planning a truly exceptional event. And let’s not forget: You also will enjoy the volunteer reward from Symposium, which is a hefty discount off your registration.

3. Give back — and make a difference

People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. You may be looking for the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around you.

Or you may be looking to volunteer because it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.

Either way, believe me, you will get back more than you give.

4. Use your PM skills for the Symposium — and in other areas

Volunteering opens you up to the causes closest to your heart where you can see the awesome difference your project management skills can make wherever you use them. In addition to Symposium, I started volunteering many years ago at my son’s elementary school in Larkspur, CO for the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). I started out just helping where I could and eventually became the PTO President and School Accountability Chairperson.

It was such a great way to get to know other families, our teachers, community and what it takes to keep a public school funded. I could use my PM skills to help organize events as well as Board of Education initiatives. I learned so much over those six years and the bonus was that I was able to interact on many occasions within the classroom and be with my son while showing him the value of volunteering and that “doing good” is important.

5. Gain greater perspective about yourself

I believe that volunteering for PMI Mile Hi’s Symposium has given me greater perspective about myself and about the causes I serve.

For the past 10 years, I have participated in and volunteered for the Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer, a 5K snowshoe walk to help raise awareness and funds to help those women and men get the screenings and treatments they need.

I love this event because the majority of the funds raised stay right here in Colorado to help our sisters, moms, aunts, friends, grandmothers. I have had the opportunity to see where these funds work and to meet so many wonderful people who just want to STOMP out cancer!

It’s a very humbling experience and makes me very aware of how fortunate I am.

6. Develop a sense of belonging

As a volunteer, I’m amazed at the sense of comradery and belonging to a group of people who are like-minded and have some of the same beliefs and outlooks.

It helps me, and I bet it will help you, to know that we are not alone and that we have valuable skills to share, even if it’s simply stuffing goodie bags for Symposium or holding a senior’s hand at the local assisted living home or collecting recyclables as a fundraiser.

Or, in the case of a longer-term commitment, such as serving a full blown year of planning and executing a big event like Symposium, your sense of team and friendship will stay with you for years to come. 

People who donate that full-year commitment as a Symposium Core Team member develop strong bonds with their teammates.  “Friends for life,” is how we caption our Core Team photo!

7. Reward yourself

For me, the best part is giving something back. I am not rich or famous, but I can make a good living and provide for my family. I am fortunate and I believe strongly in helping others in any way I can.

It makes me feel grateful for my good fortune, friends and most importantly my family.

Therefore, I volunteer.

Editor’s note: Susan Kober, PMP, has served as a volunteer for PMI Mile Hi’s Symposium since 2008. Among her numerous volunteer efforts, Sue has served as Core Team Volunteer Lead, Symposium Mentor, and “Roving Reporter” to assess attendee response on event day. 

Symposium volunteer opportunities are open for 2018!  Sign up quickly, as volunteer positions fill quickly. Contact: Visit us at

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