|English and Related Literature|
|Oxford Brookes University|
|Large business (250+ employees)|
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A day in the life of a Volunteer Coordinator in the United Kingdom
What I do
I manage and develop a volunteer centre for students at Oxford Brookes University. This involves working closely with charities and third sector organisations across Oxfordshire, advising and training students and generally promoting a culture of volunteering and social action across the University.
Skills I use and how I developed them
The ability to build relationships with a diverse audience is an absolutely key part of my job - and also my favourite! I work with a wide range of stakeholders on a daily basis, from chatting to students, liaising with charities and building rapport with academic staff.
My English degree has proven invaluable in terms of expressing myself clearly and communicating well. At uni, I found getting involved with societies and volunteering a really useful way to build confidence and experience in this area. Since graduating, I've found attending networking events and conferences help with developing this skill.
What surprised me most
How invested my employer is in my personal and professional development!
I'm encouraged to undertake training courses and attend external conferences to ensure I am always learning and can do my job to the best of my ability. The aspiration to continually develop skills and improve is really valued.
My career goals when I graduated
I had no idea what I wanted to do for work, but I knew I wanted to make a difference.
I progressed onto a MA course, with plans to move on to a PhD, and accepted a pastoral College Tutor position. I realised that I wanted a break from studying and that I actually really enjoyed supporting students and working with young people, which is how I ended up working in Higher Education - but not in academia!
My advice to students considering work
It sounds super cliché, but say yes and get stuck in! Get involved in clubs, societies and volunteering activities. This will help you develop transferable skills and really stand out to employers.
Also, remember that a career isn't always a linear path; it's a collection of different experiences and skills.