To highlight the value of volunteering – how it is great for your CV AND your social life, as well as being rewarding, we got one of our student journalists to tell us about his experiences…
“With the employment market in a pretty dire state, I knew I needed “that something extra” which would make me stand out in the saturated graduate pool. Volunteering was the perfect way to do this.
The skills that employers look for can be gained through volunteering. Whether it is building on your team working skills through cleaning out the Regent’s Canal with a group of other volunteers, or improving your time management by working volunteering around your learning schedule, volunteering is a great way to prepare you for the world of work. AND it looks great on CVs and applications. In my role at Team Provide, which is a group of students that lead QM’s volunteering service Provide, I have gained invaluable leadership and communication skills. This was mainly through leading groups on various volunteering events, and even recruiting volunteers on campus.
Networking is another highly important factor to consider when preparing for your life as a graduate. Volunteering may be seen as an unlikely way of networking, unless you want to work in the Charity sector. This couldn’t be further from the case. I have volunteered on events where I have met employees from the Bank of England, PwC, Standard Chartered, Shell, Balfour Beatty, and various public sector organisations. They were full of praise for student volunteers, and have reiterated how volunteering makes a candidate more desirable.
Throughout my time as a volunteer, I met so many different students that I would not have otherwise met. Today, some of my best friends I met through volunteering. The various volunteering activities that I participated in were also extremely fun; dashing through the Kensington Olympia with a trolley collecting as many toys as possible was a personal highlight. These toys were then donated to the children’s charity, Barnardos. To sum it up, I was having a laugh with my mates, and all for a good cause. What else can I say!
If you do anything this year, show that you can use your initiative and undertake some form of voluntary work. Provide is the best hub for you to begin exploring different volunteering opportunities in London. Check out the website at http://www.qmsu.org/volunteering/ and sign up today. Go on, your CV needs you!”
3rd year Business Management