What is it?
Volunteering is when you give your time, skills and effort to a good cause, such as a society, organisations, for people or places. You can commit as much or as little as you wish and it is flexible to fit around your studies.
Why should I get involved?
Why indeed, it is a good question! It is well known that volunteering has many benefits, both personally and academically.
1. Learn New Skills
Volunteering allows you to gain and practice common workplace skills such as communication, teamwork and organisation.
The skills have long-term benefits too; I am now volunteering outside of RGU, helping a local charity to create video and photography marketing materials. The skills I learned from the Photography Society has enabled me to develop key practical skills which are relevant to my degree.
2. Meet new people
One of the best benefits of volunteering is being able to meet students from different courses and backgrounds. By sharing a common interest, I realised many of my initial and current friendships began from volunteering at RGU.
3. Become recognised for your volunteering efforts
RGU and RGU Union encourages volunteering and celebrates student’s achievements. All students can log their hours each year and that gets recorded onto your graduate student record. Also, students are eligible to enter The Saltire Awards, a Scottish Government scheme designed to create awareness of young people volunteering.
So overall volunteering is a pretty good way to enhance your student experience. But you don’t need me to tell you again - RGU Union’s Student Development and Coordinator, Stevie can sum it up better:
“Volunteering is a great way for students to impress employers, network and get referees for job applications, develop skills, increase confidence, meet new people, get involved in the local community and get away from the safety of the university bubble. I’d say it’s vital for all students in the current job market.”
“Our students logged over 17,000 hours of volunteering last year, which gives a huge amount back to the local community. This year we are launching our new volunteering website, which will be a huge step forward and students can search for roles and apply through the website, as well as logging their volunteering hours to make sure they get recognition for their efforts.”