Volunteering is a great way to build up the skills you need when you graduate, it gives something extra to your CV and you get to give something back at the same time. Elizabeth is one of our Student Volunteer Team (SVT) members and recently won Student Volunteer Team member of the Year so we decided to find out what she’s got out of volunteering and being part of the Student Volunteer Team. Her response was amazing! Check out her interview below and don’t forget to get involved. You can find out more about volunteering here.
When did you first get involved with SVT?
I joined the SVT November 2017
Why did you want to get involved with Volunteering?
I’d done a lot of volunteering while growing up and I just wanted something to do at uni that would help me expand my horizons and talk to new people and things like that as I didn’t really talk to anyone on my course.
So it’s helped build a friendship group?
It’s helped build my confidence and build a friendship group.
How did you find the process of applying to be a SVT member?
Found it really easy. I just emailed Sophie, gave her a little bit about why I wanted to join the SVT and that was it.
What did you enjoy about being a SVT member?
I’ve enjoyed getting to do things I wouldn’t normally do. I wouldn’t normally go to socials, but it’s been fun planning them and fun doing the events on campus. You would have never seen me dressed up before and then I was dressed up for Children in Need. So it was a lot of fun getting to do things I wouldn’t normally do.
So getting you stepping outside of your comfort zone which then just became normal to you?
Yeah doing wacky things with SVT became normal!
What did it feel like being part of SVT?
It felt like being part of a family. No one really cares what you can and can’t do, it’s all about just doing what you want to do and helping you run with it.
So everyone is really supportive?
Yeah everyone is always really supportive . Definitely a lot different to what I got in class
What skills did you develop from being part of SVT and how will these skills benefit you in the future?
I developed team working, interpersonal skills, which I didn’t have any of before, dedication and time management, they’re the main four, and I’d use those in day-to-day life. No matter what I do in life I’m going to have to work with people, I’ll need to be organised and that sort of thing. It was nice to apply them to almost more of a working setting rather than in a class where you’re getting graded on it. It felt more like doing it in a work place and more because you want to do it rather than because you have to.
What has the experience meant for you?
The experience has helped me develop, almost like growing up. Before I started SVT I went to a SVT meeting I went to the Christmas social and I wouldn’t talk to anyone, I would literally just talk to the Student Volunteer Coordinator and one other SVT member because he brought me a drink to save me having to go get one. I wouldn’t talk to anyone else, I remember doing human bingo and just standing in a corner, I refused to go round and talk to anyone. It’s definitely made me come out of my shell a bit more. It’s meant a lot to me and third year has been SVT, so a lot of things I’ve done in third year I wouldn’t have done if I wasn’t in SVT because I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do them. It’s helped me develop, I had no clue about going into the work place and things like that, so being part of SVT has helped me focus more on growing as a person and growing those transferable skills I’ll need when I leave.
What would you say to other students interested in volunteering
Give it a go, it doesn’t matter if you’re scared because if you don’t like it, you don’t like it you’ve not lost anything. I just saw the email about applying for SVT but never expected to get I’m so glad I did because without the SVT I wouldn’t be where I am right now. Thanks to the SVT I’m ready to leave uni and I think without SVT I wouldn’t be. So yeah, give it a go, you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose.
If this doesn’t inspire you to have a go at Volunteering and get involved, then we don’t know what will! Check out Volunteering’s section on the website for more information or visit the Volunteering office in the Hub, ask at reception for more information.
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