Student Volunteering Week is a national event, with Higher and Further Education Institutions across the country using the week to celebrate existing student volunteers and to encourage more students to start volunteering. Your Careers Service is using the week (8-14 February 2021) to celebrate your achievements in volunteering over the past year. However, we are also keen to remind you of the employability benefits to be gained!
Will volunteering really make me stand out to employers?
Absolutely! But don’t take our word for it – in this blog some of our Bristol PLUS Award endorsing employers explain exactly how they perceive volunteer work from their applicants, and just why volunteering is so beneficial for both you and the organisation you go on to work for.
As the new academic year starts, we are so excited to welcome you all back and *drumroll please* open the Bristol PLUS Award for registration! (more…)
My name is Maisie, I’m an ecology graduate. After months of writing up my thesis and being entirely screen-based during lockdown, I was feeling square-eyed, fatigued and longing to get out of the house. I especially wanted to be more involved in community and people-based projects happening around the city in response to COVID-19, so I happily took a COVID-19 SME Internship working for Bristol Food Union (BFU).
At the end of March, we posted a blog about the ways that you can continue to develop your skills and employability from home. As the lockdown has continued, we’ve seen more and more students taking up these remote activities and finding ways to adapt their plans or practices in response to COVID-19.
Read about the experiences of some of these students below.
Carlos Shanka Boissy Diaz – volunteering for the Green Impact Scheme from the Canary Islands
I am really passionate about sustainability so I applied to be an auditor with Green Impact in March. However, the lockdown came, and departments had to close their doors, which meant that I would not be able to audit in-person.
Luckily, The Green Impact staff team managed to transfer all our work online and it was extremely successful. I was able to interview the staff in the departments and review the work that they had done throughout the year virtually. It was really fun to have a chat with all of them.
I believe that now more than ever, other students should get involved in these sorts of opportunities. We are in a self-isolation bubble, where our minds are in more need of social interaction and our brains need different stimuli. Also, I feel it’ll be great for my employability, so, if possible, I advise others to stay active with volunteering from home!
Work experience is any opportunity which gives you experience of work, or the non-academic skills that will prepare you for work. It can be paid or unpaid experience and is not necessarily related to your degree or your future career plans. This can include internships, summer vacation jobs, volunteering, insight events and shadowing as well as self-driven projects.
Good quality work experience should:
- Teach you new skills including professional behaviours.
- Highlight which skills you need.
- Let you explore a career idea.
- Connect you to people you could use as contacts in the future.
- Improve your understanding of that sector.
- Demonstrate your interest in that sector.
- Provide you with a reference.
We know that many of you have had your summer internships and work experience cancelled or are struggling to find opportunities.
Here are some ways we’d suggest you look for new opportunities for this summer.
Are you a Student Leader, volunteer or coach in one of Bristol SU’s Sporting groups and societies?
According to Public Health England, students “with better health and wellbeing are likely to achieve better academically” So not only does being part of a sporting group or society increase those endorphins, connect you with people and develop valuable skills, it can help you succeed! This topic is brilliantly explored in the recent Wonkhe blog: “Demonstrating the link between sports and student success”
In recent weeks the situation in the UK has been changing almost daily with the most recent advice being that we stay at home. Many of you would have been due to start internships and work experience opportunities over the Easter and summer breaks, which now might have been cancelled as a result of COVID-19. While this is really disappointing for you, the good news is, there are loads of online opportunities to get involved with and develop your skills!
The Engagement Opportunities Team have pulled together some remote and online-based opportunities that you can still get involved with. (more…)
Student Volunteering Week is a national event, with Higher and Further Education Institutions across the country using the week to celebrate existing student volunteers and to encourage more students to start volunteering.
This is the 19th year that Student Volunteering Week is taking place, but student volunteering has a long and rich history dating back to university missions in the 19th century and support for the unemployed in the interwar period. If you’re interested in finding out more about the history of student volunteering, check out this video
Student Volunteering – a short history from adifferentdrumproductions on Vimeo.
There are so many reasons for volunteering and when you pair it with the Bristol PLUS Award the value gained can really pack a punch!
To help us prepare for Student Volunteering Week we caught up with Bristol PLUS Award completer, Joshua Ang, to hear more about how he paired his volunteering and the Bristol PLUS Award.
The Bristol PLUS Award offers you the perfect platform to challenge yourself to develop new skills. But did you know it gives you recognition for the activities that you are already doing too?
That’s right! As PLUS Award achiever Valeria Saddi explains, “at the beginning of my second year I decided I wanted to challenge myself more. I was already working part time, and I realised that by doing the PLUS Award I could get recognition for the hours of work I was putting in, as well as learning something new and boosting my employability skills.”