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New volunteering programme for SMF students

Aspiring Professionals 8-12-14 (39)

Volunteers at recent student-led event

“Network to get work”,”It’s who you know, not what you know”…we’ve heard it all before, and when it comes to job hunting these sentiments begin to ring very true. Talking to people, mingling and making connections are a sure way to find out more about, and secure, opportunities. This is usually the way we talk about the benefits of networking. However, one of the other and equally significant ways networking helps us is through allowing us to meet like-minded individuals who can advise, encourage and inspire us.

It is this aspect that we wish to develop within our programmes, and are doing so through our newly launched volunteering programme. We are bringing together SMF participants from different cohorts and having them assist at our events and even run their own sessions with other students on the programme. The idea is that the older, more experienced students can have the opportunity to pass on their knowledge and expertise to younger students who they can identify and empathise with.

This gives the older students, who have been through various parts of the programme already, a chance to give back whilst simultaneously giving them the chance to gain valuable skills for life and the workplace. Volunteers get the opportunity to assist SMF staff  in hosting  events, conducting university tours, blog writing, running tutorials, as well as organising their very own workshops.

According to independent research carried out by Dr Louise Ashley, SMF participants would appreciate the development of a strong alumni network, which is what we ultimately hope to achieve. In this regard the volunteering programme is a very important step in making this happen. However, the success of this initiative largely relies on the commitment of our volunteers such as Khobaib Abulmeaza who has shared his thoughts below:

“Having grown and benefited due to the SMF throughout sixth form and so far in my first year at university, I felt that volunteering was a natural way for me to give back to the SMF while ensuring that the new cohorts benefited from my experiences. I wanted to ensure that new students were aware of the brilliant possibilities offered by the SMF and that they seized them. I know that with this volunteering programme I will be able to help SMF students like myself whilst simultaneously gaining new experiences, contacts and skillsets, which will undoubtedly be of benefit to me in the future.”

I think we can all agree if the passion of all our volunteers continue to match Khobaib’s we’ll be reaching our goals in no time at all.

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