Over the past few days SCA exec members have been recruiting freshers at both the Durham and Queen’s freshers fair. Whilst hundreds were more than willing to add their names to the sign up list, some took a little more persuasion leading to us throwing out various phrases like: “it’s great to give something back to the community”, “it looks brilliant on your CV” and “you can meet hundreds of like-minded people”.
But the truth is everyone has their own reasons for volunteering and all of them are equally valid. Many of us get involved to burst the Durham bubble and get out into the real world, others do it for work experience; but whatever your reasons for getting involved there is something for you at Durham, with not only Student Community Action but many societies now offering volunteering opportunities.
For whatever reason, volunteering often has an image of being a bit naff but that could not be further from the truth. As many finalists start to fill out job applications, it becomes more and more obvious that employers want to see students making good use of their spare time – and volunteering is pretty high up on the list. A former SCA project leader pointed out that volunteering had given him all the experiences needed to answer the standard interview questions: Give an example of when you have led a team, give an example of when you have worked in a team, describe a situation where you have dealt with an unexpected incident, etc.
In recent years, former SCA volunteers have gone on to work for many of the top graduate employers such as Deloitte, NHS, Teach First and IBM, using their experience here in Durham to get through the interview process. And there is something to be said for the experiences you go through as an SCA volunteer. Getting out of Durham and seeing some of the real world, meeting real people, can really help make you a well-rounded person. It’s fair to say some of the experiences are certainly character building, but the training you will receive will prepare you for the unexpected and you will learn how to deal with all kinds of situations.
So if you are interested in getting involved, or even if you still need a little more convincing, we invite you to come and see what we, at Student Community Action, do in and around Durham.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or pop into the Durham office Monday–Friday, 10–4.30pm (Level A DSU) or the Queen’s office Monday–Wednesday, 10–4.30pm (Room D215 Ebsworth Building).