Blessing Rami is a second year Graphic Design student. She volunteers as a Course Rep, Campaign Rep and Society Committee Member. She tells us why she loves volunteering.
I've volunteered at the ARU Students' Union and with external organisations, currently I'm a Course Rep, a Society Committee Member and a Campaign Rep to name a few! I first got involved in volunteering at the Union through becoming a Course Representative, which was a great opportunity for me to represent students and help changes take place to improve our course.
Through being my Course Representative, I've been able to help create positive change on my course and for my coursemates. We’ve been able to provide recycling bins in the computer rooms where we hold our sessions, which helps encourage sustainability. We were able to get our submission of essays changed from a physical hand in at the iCentre, to Turnitin which saves printing costs! This also gives international students more time to hand in their essays, as they have to hand in all physical and practical work early. This shows a great example of teamwork, leadership and problem solving and is something that I was able to help with!
Forming the Graphic Design Society has helped us to provide creative students with the opportunity to network and also brought about collaborations based on design. This has helped Graphic Design students with developing our portfolios immensely, providing opportunites such as designing logos and posters for other societies. We were able to boost the confidence of students through livestreaming tutorials, whilst raising money for a charitable cause.
Through all volunteering opportunities I’ve participated in, I’ve become a lot more familiar with different departments at the university, the Students' Union and the people who support us as students. This has been really helpful for myself and for other students I communicate with, as I know who would be best to assist them in certain situations, e.g. directing students to the student union advice team, as I cannot help students deal with personal issues as their Course Rep.
What I love the most about volunteering is that even things you're doing that you consider small, can have a great and positive impact on other people. I have also been able to connect with people I wouldn't have been in contact with had I not taken up certain volunteering roles, such as new students on my course who I mentor as an ALSS Buddy. It's a great feeling knowing you're improving someone else's university experience and helping them to settle in, encouraging and reassuring them, as I remember being in their shoes and I know how daunting it was for me when I started my first year.
If you want to make a difference, there are a variety of opportunities available through:
Volunteering is a great opportunity to do something you love and make new friends whilst also helping other people. It also gives you the chance to apply for the Student Leadership Award and can get you nominated for volunteering awards, which boosts your CV as well as your confidence.