Since I was at school, I’ve always enjoyed volunteering and planning events. I continued with this at the University, where it was a much more rewarding experience because of the variety of opportunities and the high level of responsibility you get. What I did not know was that my volunteering would lead to my greatest achievement in life so far - receiving the Chancellor’s Prize!
With volunteering, there are no expectations as whatever you do is good and has a positive impact on the world. It is fun, and you get to meet people who share the same interests.
What do you gain?
The best thing about volunteering, in my opinion, is the feeling that you are doing something good for the world. However, it is not the only benefit. I gained many soft skills and was faced with different scenarios that made fantastic answers to competency-based questions in job interviews. From planning events to being part of outreach activities, there is always something new to learn and an extra skill to add to your CV.
How to find volunteering opportunities?
There are different types of volunteering activities that require different levels of commitment. You can be a committee member if your schedule allows for regular meetings and weekly commitments. On the other hand, you can choose to take part in specific events such as schools and colleges outreach or fundraising events. In my second year, I completed 90 hours of volunteering in Freshers’ Week only! I did that by being a Freshers' Week captain, international students welcome volunteer and Peer Mentor. I wouldn't say it was easy, but there is always a way to make time for volunteering.
My top tips!
- Keep an eye on your emails. Don’t just ignore emails because you’re busy. Skimming those emails might be the reason you find the opportunities you have been waiting for.
- Find an opportunity that combines things you love doing and a cause you are passionate about. This will make finding time to volunteer much easier.
- Record your volunteering hours on the SU website.