June 14, 2019, by Jackie Thompson
Boost Your Skills Through Alumni Volunteering
By Rachael Green, Head of Volunteering, Campaign and Alumni Relations Office
Have you considered how volunteering could help you develop your skills to boost your professional development and confidence, as well as make you feel good?
Lots of students volunteer whilst at university to try something new and develop new skills, helping them decipher what they may be more suited to doing when they graduate. This continues into life after university with many recent graduates in paid work continuing to volunteer to help them secure their dream job!
Cast your mind back to your final year at Nottingham. Did you have advice from anyone when figuring out what you’d like to do when you graduated? Who did you chat to? And did you realise that some of the alumni you may have met were volunteering to help you…
Volunteering can provide a fantastic opportunity to help you build the skills you need to develop in your career.
How about Career Mentoring? Mentoring is now part of many professional jobs, whether that be formally or informally, and for most people you learn how to mentor by mentoring. The University of Nottingham Career Mentoring programme matches students looking to develop their journey into graduate employment, with amazing alumni mentors from different backgrounds and levels of experience.
We often look for mentors who have just entered into their graduate role and who would like to develop mentoring skills, communication skills and emotional intelligence. Importantly, Career Mentoring can also help mentors develop experience of coaching others, providing fantastic skills to help with supervisory/line management responsibilities. All mentees need something different, so a range of mentors is incredibly important. Every mentor can really help boost the confidence of their mentee, empowering mentees to think differently and develop themselves, as well as helping themselves by learning new skills!
Or have you ever wanted to improve your presentation skills? Could speaking to current students be a fantastic way to build your public speaking skills and confidence? Alongside building skills and speaking about your journey, experience or a topic you have expertise on – you may also have the opportunity to network with other ‘expert’ alumni and professionals. You will also have the chance to meet our wonderful current students, who are talented future employees.
Is it networking which is out of your comfort zone? Could you improve your skills through speed networking with students? Alongside speaking events and panel activities, we also run speed networking events for our students, allowing a much more intimate conversation with an alumnus. For students this is a fantastic opportunity for a 1-1 conversation and is a great way to allow all students regardless of their confidence levels to hear from alumni. The benefits for the volunteer are that they get a chance to have a really good conversation with students, whilst building confidence in networking and conversation starters.
These roles are examples of the many different volunteering opportunities you might be able to get involved in. If you are interested in building your skills through volunteering and exploring the opportunities available, please register your interest here. We will be looking to recruit new volunteers for roles coming up in the autumn term over the summer, so would love to hear from interested alumni.