Volunteer Leadership Training Program (VoLT)

In support of Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) to modernize the volunteer experience, MGA piloted a volunteer leadership training program in 2013 with volunteers from across the IEEE regions.  Given the great response to the pilot, the MGA Board approved its implementation and in 2014 the program known as Volunteer Leadership Training (VoLT) was launched.  

The popularity of the VoLT program resonates by the continued support and feedback received from its 100+ graduates, 25+ mentors and volunteers across all IEEE regions. Many of its graduates have moved on to leadership positions within their units and/or their regions.

View the IEEE VoLT training track in the IEEE Center for Leadership Excellence

Program Goals

The key goals of the program are: 1. accelerate volunteers’ knowledge of IEEE’s organization, products, services and resources available to them; 2. help volunteers understand their role within their local units and within the larger IEEE; 3. create a succession tool that develops and prepares future IEEE volunteer leaders. 
VoLT is targeted to volunteers who have a true desire to learn about the broader IEEE, have not been a Section Chair within their units, have at least 2 years of experience as IEEE volunteers and are considering taking leadership positions within their local units and future IEEE committee roles.

Program Mentors

An integral part of the VoLT program since its inception has been Mentorship. Mentors are senior volunteers, versed in IEEE, who have been exposed to more than one board. Mentors are paired with mentees from other Regions to encourage diversity. They need to be available to the mentees to answer questions, discuss topics covered throughout the program, and help the mentees navigate through the IEEE complex structure.  The time required of a mentor depends on the relationship that is formed with the mentee but in past experience it is no more than 2 hours a month.  

Program Structure and Eligibility

The VoLT program runs two tracks during the year:

Track 1 – It consists of eight courses covering the key organizational units of the IEEE. This track is made available to all IEEE volunteers through the IEEE Center for Leadership Excellence (CLE) sometime between April and June each year.   These courses are the pre-requisite to apply for Track 2. 

Track 2 - Volunteers who complete Track 1 by the pre-determined deadline can apply for consideration for Track 2 of the program. This track usually starts in September and lasts three months. It consists of weekly live webinars focused mainly on leadership related topics. Presenters include senior volunteers and external speakers. 

Participation in Track 2 will be determined by the MGA Training Committee based on predefined criteria. In addition to completing an application, each participant should provide a note of endorsement from a senior volunteer as part of his/her application. An endorsement is a short note by a volunteer leader who knows the applicant and believes the program will be beneficial to him/her. It can be an email signed by either his/her Region Director, Section Chair, Chapter Chair, or MGA Young Professionals (YP) Committee Chair. Other endorsements from IEEE volunteers (e.g., IEEE Committee Chairs) will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Project Assignment

During Track 2 participants are grouped into teams to work on a project. Each participant will be asked to reach out to their section leaders to look for a project idea that can be implemented in a short time and that is meaningful and useful at the local level (e.g., a webinar, a new process, a program, workshop, or meeting).  Participants discuss their ideas within their assigned project team and select the best one as the project. Each team will translate their project into a business plan and present it to a panel of program Mentors who will select the top best projects. The top teams may present to MGA Leadership later in the year. At the end of the VoLT program all projects are shared with the participants’ respective Section and Region leadership. 

Program Communications

Program announcements and deadlines are published via these mediums: MGA News (Scoop), IEEE eNotice, IEEE HKN Newsletter, The Sentinel, and this website. 

For questions about the VoLT program, contact the VoLT program administrator  

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