I think it looks good on your CV to show employers you have some life experience and are willing to give up time to help other people. "Katie Brawley, discussing how volunteering will help you when applying for jobs.
Katie is a GCU History and Psychology graduate (2008), current Physiotherapy student. She is also a part time admin assistant at the Carers Information and Support Line
Katie is a graduate from GCU who started volunteering with the Carers Information and Support Line when she was in her third year of studies. She was quickly taken on as a paid, part time member of staff and went on to work with them full time when she graduated. Now having returned to GCU to study Physiotherapy, Katie has continued a paid, part time admin role with the organisation.
Tell us in your own words about the volunteering roles you’ve been involved in.I began volunteering through the University with the Carers Information and Support Line (CISL). I did not know anything about carers when I started and had no previous experience in this field. Everyone in the office was very friendly and the project manager was very supportive. The clients at the CISL ranged from carers who needed support and had no idea where to start or carers who had been caring for a long time and just wanted a chat to de-stress.
I ended up staying longer than I had planned and kept volunteering when I was back at University. They were very flexible with my hours and I could be covering the phone and, on quiet days, getting essays done at the same time (multi-tasking!). I was then employed by the CISL and am currently still there part time which helps to pay for my tuition fees for my current course.
Why did you start volunteering when you were a student?
I was interested in volunteering as I wanted to help people and I wanted to get involved with things happing in the University. I thought it would be a good way of gaining experience as I had none at the time. I also thought it would look good on my CV to have some volunteering activities as something different. I am currently a student (again!) but am much more confident and am now aware of how offices are run.
What skills and attributes do you think you have developed through volunteering?
I have gained confidence; I was quite shy when I first joined the CISL. I am able to calmly deal with people who may be very stressed or upset and am more aware of how to listen to people and provide emotional support. As well as learning office skills, my telephone skills and general research skills have been improved.
Would you recommend volunteering to current GCU students?
Yes definitely! I have gained so much from volunteering at the CISL and I will volunteer again for my Physiotherapy course.