Spending time each week volunteering can enhance your uni experience and boost your career prospects.
Boosting your CV
Volunteering is a great way to make your CV stand out. If you can get experience in your chosen field, it’s a great way to start building your skills. For example, if you want to go into broadcasting or media production, you could see if there’s a university radio station you can volunteer with.
Volunteering in any capacity demonstrates good teamwork skills, work ethic, and organisation. These opportunities often give you scope to take on extra responsibilities such as being a team leader, which can provide even more useful experience.
Making new friends
At uni making new friends can be overwhelming. When you’re constantly meeting new people, and having new experiences, it can sometimes feel like you’re not actually getting to know anyone. Volunteering is a great way to slow things down and connect with others over a shared activity. For example, volunteering with a gardening group can be a great way to socialise in a healthy environment without the pressure of alcohol or academic work.
It’s easy to get isolated in your university bubble. Juggling a big workload with life in an unfamiliar city can be draining. Volunteering is a good opportunity to take yourself out of that bubble and experience your surroundings in a different way. It can help you to feel more at home in the area and gain a more general perspective on life.
For example, a volunteering opportunity at a local food bank is a chance to connect with people outside of the university system and integrate yourself into the community. This can help us to feel more grounded in ourselves and our environment.
There are loads of volunteering opportunities that’ll take you out of the country and can be a great way to have exciting new experiences. For example, WWOOF (World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a site where you can find volunteering opportunities on organic farms across the globe. For a few hours of work a day, you can have the chance to experience new landscapes, with lots of downtime, to explore the local area and travel around.
Learning new skills
As well as demonstrating skills you have, volunteering is also an opportunity to learn new things. Some may come with free training, which could even be certified or accredited, giving you extra qualifications. If studying gets monotonous, use your spare time to volunteer and develop some hands-on skills.
Helping others and the planet
Lots of volunteering opportunities exist because of social inequalities that groups are trying to tackle. Volunteering can be a really important way of giving something back to your community and sharing some love and kindness in the world. You may be surprised at the difference that giving up just a few hours a week to help others can make.
So, what are you waiting for? Go out there and volunteer. Check out your university careers service, go online, or visit a local community centre to find the right opportunity for you.
Are you keen to start volunteering? Join our panel and let us know. You’ll get 1000 reward points for signing up.