Upon hearing this word, what is the first thing that comes to mind? You can say ‘CV boost’, I won’t judge…
Long before coming to university, I had already volunteered through a range of opportunities. My most significant volunteering experience was in my local library, where I spent several summers stacking shelves and supporting children’s activities. This was every bookworm’s dream, surrounding one’s self with battered hardbacks and cassette tapes. Alright, maybe there weren’t any cassette tapes… it was 2009, not 1989!
It was not only holidays I spent working selflessly to help others. At secondary school and sixth form in particular, I found myself regularly helping out with ‘open evening’/’options evening’/’review day’, usually with the promise that it would ‘look good on your CV’. No doubt about it, having voluntary experience can make or break your CV. Helping people without personal gain makes you sort of look like a superhero – without the cape or alien ancestry.
Since coming to university, my altruistic efforts have continued and I love any excuse to knock up a few more hours on the voluntary clock. Not even a week ago, I finished my summer job as a Team Leader, a role that was part-voluntary. I loved (almost) every single minute of it! The participants of the programme also had the chance to expand their volunteering experience, something which they all enjoyed. It is so gratifying helping others and encouraging people to help others too, especially in local communities.
At university, there are so many opportunities to volunteer, from writing for the university magazine to putting yourself forward for a committee position within a society. It’s another good way of throwing yourself in the deep end of university life because remember: university is not just about completing your course successfully. In just over a month, the campus will be awash with new faces and during Freshers’ Fair, there will be even more opportunities advertised.
Thinking (and over thinking) about it, doing voluntary work is so so so worthwhile and I would wholeheartedly recommend it. After all, what’s more rewarding than helping people and as a bi-product, helping yourself!
#YOVMT [You Only Volunteer Multiple Times]*
* Please don’t judge me on my (a) hashtagging not on a social media site and (b) adapting what I like to award: Acronym of the Year 2013