What is Volunteering?
Volunteering is elective, free, work - so why would you do that? There are lots of reasons why you should consider volunteering whilst you are at UEA:
For your own benefit:
Volunteering is great for your future employability. It allows you to try out potential career choices and see if they're for you. You can get practical experience, learn skills, build professional networks and discover your workplace strengths. It can also help you get references and provide evidence of your skills in the workplace for applications and CVs.
Work/Life balance reasons
Having a voluntary role alongside studying can help you show that you have learnt to manage a work/life balance, and volunteering is also great for your social life. It can introduce you to new friends, give you ‘down time' from high pressure courses and contribute to your wellbeing as a person. It's a chance to be part of a community, and develop your personal support network.
In your subject area
If you are passionate about something, be it society, science, culture, the natural world or anything else, volunteering is one of the ways you can really make a difference. If you want a future in a sector you are passionate about, volunteering can raise your awareness of the issues involved, introduce you to the key players and make you into an informed specialist with the power to contribute. You can help promote your passions to others
In Society at large
Volunteering provides a resource that some organisations cannot get any other way, and on a very basic level you can give something back to those who help us all. We only support volunteering with organisations which are not-for-profit; charities, community organisations and social enterprises. That means that the work you do will support good causes and help these organisations achieve their mission. Often the time you can volunteer is much more valuable than any donation you might be able to make!
Once you have decided to volunteer...
Make a good application
Volunteering is work, and the same rules apply for preparing an application as for applying for a job. Be professional, follow the instructions and present yourself in the best possible light! For advice on applying for a specific role take a look at our application advice or drop in to talk to us at CareerCentral.
Record, and value, the volunteering you have done.
Future employers won't value the volunteering you've done unless you do. You need to keep a record of all the work you've done, and reflect on the experiences, skills and learning that you've gained. You can do this via MyCareerCentral, or in your own log, diary or CV. Remember to keep a record of your references.
Are you looking for volunteers?
Non-profit organisations, visit the employer portal on MyCareerCentral to register and to advertise your opportunities, or call 01603 592103 for more information.
Local and national opportunities suitable for students are advertised on MyCareerCentral.
Get advice about volunteering internationally.
You can volunteer with the Union of UEA Students via clubs, societies and student democracy.