Student volunteering builds employability skills such as leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, resourcefulness, and self-awareness. Volunteering can give self-direction and focus to road test your career. It also has priceless benefits for adding value to your degree through experience and knowledge exchange and giving you first-hand experience, that employers really rate. Volunteers often benefit from free training opportunities to enhance your CV as well as show potential employers that you are keen and committed and that you are worth employing!
Here at Marjon we want to help you build up a portfolio of experiences before you leave, to make you focused and be 'work ready'. Volunteering is an invaluable experience on a job application and will make you stand out from the crowd.
We understand how important it is putting your own time and effort into volunteering therefore Marjon have created a V50 and V150 Volunteer Award. This enables you to log and reflect on your experience helping you understand your strengths and achievements whilst recognising and celebrating your commitment.
Where to start?
Think about the type of experience that would complement your degree to enable you to build on your skills. What organisations would you like to work with and what are your future career aspirations?
Make an appointment to meet with one of the Marjon Futures Careers and Employability Coaches to discuss your options and to help you connect to organisations seeking volunteers.
Don’t be put off by the geographical location of organisations; often travel expenses are reimbursed or opportunities are online.
Don’t over promise, make sure you are aware of the time requirements needed to commit, as often volunteers will be enrolled on free training at the organisations expense.
Try something new, volunteering is the perfect way for you to road test roles that could lead you to your perfect job. Volunteering gives you the perfect opportunity to find out what makes you tick.
Keep up to date with current volunteering opportunities through the Marjon Student Volunteering Facebook page and our very own Futures online Job Tracker which promotes volunteering, placement, and employment vacancies. We also recommend using these online volunteering resources to search for suitable opportunities: www.ourplymouth.co.uk; www.livewellsouthwest.co.uk www.ncvo.org.uk.
Placements, work experience and internships
Research shows that student who engage with placements, work experience and internships are more likely to secure graduate level jobs and build professional networks. Engaging in experiences provide valuable examples of skills and attributes demanded by today’s employment market, bringing CVs, application forms and interviews to life with real world experiences. These experiences show future employers that you can take on professional responsibilities and that you are serious about your future career. The Futures team is committed to supporting students and academic colleagues integrate these opportunities into the curriculum.
Volunteering opportunities abroad
Gaining international volunteering experience abroad is a fun way to experience diverse cultures, meet new people, gain valuable experience, and of course get the opportunity to travel abroad. Whist these experiences are rewarding please be mindful of the organisations you use. Here is a list of things you should consider.
Finally, if you are a current student at Marjon, why not put your idea to the Futures Team, this is a perfect opportunity to apply for a Going Places Bursary!