News Article

Chelmsford Community Volunteer of the Month October- Kseniia Timoshenko

Name: Kseniia Timoshenko                                                                                       

Course: MSc Project management, 2020/2021

Campus: Chelmsford

Volunteer Awards: Community Volunteer of the Month


What are your main duties and how do they benefit others?

As a Student Consult in the "Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange" (SHoKE) program I was involved in creating two reports with recommendations on solving community issues for the Cambridgeshire County Council. During the first one, my team and I mapped local strategies in Health & Wellbeing, transport, and climate change areas, while during the second one we identified the reasons for fear of crime among residents and developed solutions to change this perception. After the presentation of our research, representatives of the Cambridgeshire County Council highlighted that our ideas will be considered for further implementation in order to provide better services for residents.

As a member of a group of academics and students in the "Open Innovations Workshop" (SHoKE program) I was engaged in developing a potential research solution for the “real world” challenge dedicated to attracting and upskilling women in growth areas in Essex.

Also, as a mentor of a pupil in the IntoUniversity mentoring program, I deliver training sessions on public speaking, debating, and time management. I aspire to help my mentee to build confidence and make the steps towards self-developing and better life outcomes.


What have you enjoyed most about volunteering?

For me, being a part of a passionate team is one of the most valuable elements in any activity. I fully emerged in my volunteering roles with reassurance that I can receive a piece of advice whenever I need it. It is especially valuable that encouragement of the SHoKE team, Volunteering coordinators at the Students’ Union, IntoUniversity members spreads beyond volunteering projects to any aspect of life.


What skills have you learnt and used during your volunteering?

Problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, time management, and public speaking are my top-5! Even more, as an international student, I dived into a real-world project in a non-native language thanks to the SHoKE program for the very first time. In the beginning, I had some doubts about how I can navigate myself but at the end of the day, I boosted my confidence and realised that I am capable to be a part of a diverse team and handle challenges even in the second language.


What are your future career aspirations?

I want to make a social difference via my career so volunteering is a vital step towards building my professional experience.


What inspires you to volunteer?

I am inspired by social impact when I can feel that my actions can lead to some changes. I am encouraged by the fact that Student Consult’s role gave me a chance to communicate with local government representatives, ask them questions, demonstrate team findings, and get feedback about the possible future of our report. In terms of my activity in the IntoUniversity program, I am driven by achieving goals together with my mentee and hearing “After our sessions, I feel more confident” from my mentee.


What is your favourite volunteering memory?

The presentation of Student Consult’s final reports to the representatives of the Cambridgeshire County Council and the SHoKE team was absolutely incredible! It was a moment when my teams and I demonstrated the results of intense 3 weeks of project work. The feedback was positive and the Cambridgeshire County Council said that they would like to apply a few of our recommendations.

I am really proud of the feedback from my mentee in the IntoUniversity mentoring scheme. My mentee emphasised that the goal of becoming more confident in expressing opinions was achieved. That is why we crossed out this goal and set a new one.


Why do you love volunteering?

I love volunteering because it is a 100% win-win situation. Whenever I am conducting a report for the Council or delivering a training session for the mentee, I know that my time and efforts can make difference. I am keen to make my small steps towards building a better world. At the same time, I am building my confidence, upskilling myself, and making valuable additions to my CV.