1. Build your confidence!
Volunteering is a great way to develop your interpersonal skills. The charities we work with have amazing staff who are there to support you and ease you into your volunteering role. Use the opportunity to develop your sense of pride, self-accomplishment and confidence in a way that works best for you.
2. Gain Work Experience
Volunteering is a great way to make you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs. Research by Student Volunteering England found that 73% of employers stated that they “would rather employ someone with voluntary work experience than without.” Volunteering provides a way for you to develop skills and knowledge that many employers are looking for, and increase your chances of getting your dream job when you leave University.
3. Meet new people
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people who share a common interest from outside of your course, and possibly find some great new places to hang out from your new local friends. Whether you are volunteering as a “one off” or making a more long term commitment you will always encounter something new with each opportunity.
4. Explore new career pathways
If you haven’t figured out what you would like to be doing after graduating, volunteering is a chance to explore the potential roles and test them out! You may even find that you’re interested in jobs you never knew existed!
5. It’s Fun!
With so many different ways to volunteer there is no reason why you can’t find an opportunity that you really enjoy. Volunteering is a great way to add some variety to your week, and when you are snowed under with work, it gives you something to really look forward to. Volunteering is a great way to maintain your hobbies outside of your studies.
6. Develop your skills
Employers are looking for evidence of skills, and most job interviews will include questions that ask you to evidence your skills. Volunteering provides a wide range of skills that employers are looking for, including communication, problem solving and teamwork. Your Skills Transcript is the perfect place to retain this information for developing your CV and for job interviews.
7. Give back to causes that you feel passionately about
Many organisations and charities rely heavily on the time that volunteers put in. This is your chance to put in time to do the things that you love and enjoy. Love animals? Feel passionately about helping homeless people? Got a sporting talent you’d like to inspire children with? Whatever your passion, there is a volunteering opportunity where you can get involved.
8. Making connections
Volunteering can help you meet people who are already working in the field you may be looking to work in. They will have in-depth industry knowledge including first-hand knowledge of how to enter the field, as well as additional contacts to help your progress. Most charities will be more than happy to provide a reference for you, and with your Skills Transcript you can verify that you have the skills and experience that employers are looking for.
9. Be part of a team
Getting involved in volunteer opportunities put you in a great position to be supported by the people that you work and volunteer with. When you volunteer you enter into a group of people working towards the same causes as you and you become part of the volunteering family.
10. Health and Wellbeing
The opportunities you have now will shape the way you progress during your time spent at ARU. Volunteering provides meaningful opportunities that make a difference and has been linked to research showing that it can improve both physical and emotional health and wellbeing.