Our grantees| Eva Strnadová| Volunteering: CV and Good Feeling
9. November 2017 Eva Strnadová

Volunteering: CV and Good Feeling

The first five weeks of the academic year have passed. We are familiar with our time tables and we know how the personal preparation is time consuming. After the evaluation, the majority of us have realised that we do not suffer from abundance of time. However, volunteering should be a part of, not only student, life. If you are not altruists, what about the improvement of your CV?

University College London has a separate volunteering service, which offers and coordinates voluntary activities. Last year, 2100 students volunteered with the projects, giving over 60,000 hours of their time. What are the possibilities?

The first type is a one-off volunteering. You help to organise or promote an event. Personally, I have experienced two completely different projects. On one hand, I spent one afternoon last year supporting runners in Hyde Park. Our task was to encourage the runners. Therefore, we whistled, cheered and chanted. The organisations seemed to be surprised that some volunteers came and I did not know who to support, due to the bad organisation. On the other hand, translating for the Museum of Methodism was a rewarding work because the Czech, Italian and German tourists now understand the leaflets.

You can also take part in long-term projects, which are led either by organisation independent of the university, or they are created by students themselves. This year, I take part in a student-lead programme which promotes the education of the democratic system. From January, we are going to schools where we instruct pupils to play a role of MPs. They will try how to argue, negotiate and participate in a following referendum. It is of course just a game, but an important one. It serves to understand the role of an individual and their influence on the future of their country.

I would like to finish by sharing a couple of tips: evaluate your possibilities and the purpose of your volunteering. By the term possibilities, I mean both time and mental capacity. Translating for an organisation which provides help to suicidal people does not have to be everyone’s cup of tea. If you choose a relevant work to your discipline, you can gain beneficial experience for future employment, improve your CV and make professional contacts. By volunteering, we promote our school and improve the reputation and image of our country in foreign lands. It is impossible to avoid contact with local people because of the location of my school in the city centre. I personally think, that the majority of them does not particularly like us. Every five minutes to an hour, uncountable amount of students come out of the university building and they make, sometimes harshly, their way through the crowd to another lesson. Help local communities! Even if only for a good feeling.

PS: I recommend you to read a couple of inspirational stories of our students on the web page: http://studentsunionucl.org/volunteers-stories

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