Furlough provides learning opportunity for International Marketing student

Tue, 12 Oct 2021 16:19:00 BST
Rebecca recognised the importance of getting experience while studying
Rebecca recognised the importance of getting experience while studying

A GCU student has made use of free time during lockdown to help benefit her future career prospects. 

Final year International Marketing student Rebecca Graham has been volunteering with The Marie Trust in her role as a marketing assistant since May – benefitting both herself and the frontline homeless charity. 

Rebecca explained why she got involved and gave an insight into the sort of work she’s been focusing on. 

She said: “Over the second lockdown I was on furlough from my job in the cinema. I was obviously doing University work, however I was a bit bored and started looking for internships.  

I soon realised that most of these opportunities were aimed at graduates and started getting a bit worried because I really needed to get experience for finishing up at GCU 

I then decided to look at Glasgow-based charities and got in touch with a few different places. The Marie Trust were the first to get back to me and offer me this amazing opportunity. 

Rebecca added: “was aware of the homeless crisis in Glasgow and had actually noticed the work of Shelter Scotland on social media. I wanted to do something similar with The Marie Trust, who were keen to expand their presence. 

I’ve really put my focus into FacebookTwitter and, more recently, LinkedIn. We’re also looking at starting vlogs on YouTube, which also ties into my previous experience of studying journalism at college. I’ve been trying to encourage people to donate and trying to expand the charity’s followers. I also do a lot of volunteer stories and show the progression within the organisation. 

It’s exciting times for The Marie Trust, as they make the move into a brand new headquarters in the Merchant City. Despite mostly volunteering from home, Rebecca’s had the chance to visit and even met some of the dedicated staff, who do so much for some of Glasgow’s most vulnerable citizens. 

She explained: “I’ve really loved the whole experience. It’s been great to get in for a few meetings and everyone is absolutely lovely. I also went on a volunteers walk with them as well and it’s nice to see that everyone is really good friends. 

They provide immediate care for people who are sleeping on the streets and at the new location where homeless people will have access to showers, food and sleeping bags. There’s also intervention service and pharmacy services available for those requiring it. 

After her positive experience over the last five months, Rebecca hopes to encourage other students to get out and put their spare time to good use – something she’ll continue doing, despite the demands of fourth year. 

She said: “I usually volunteer two days per week, but I’ve dropped it down to one for University going back – I’m still keen to stay involved! 

When you leave University and you’re looking for a job, most places are looking for a year or two of working in the industry. I did a two-year journalism course at college before this, so I’ve got a little bit of experience with newspapers and magazines, but I knew even that wouldn’t be enough.  

Volunteering with The Marie Trust is really playing a part in my future and I’d highly recommend other students do something similar. 


By Ross Clark           
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