Top Reasons To Do A Voluntary Summer Placement

Posted on: 3 August 2017

When I was faced with the daunting prospect of over 3 months to fill this summer, I figured I should do something useful with that time. I heard about Bristol Hub’s Voluntary Placement Scheme – known as the Social Impact Internship Scheme at some other Hubs – and knew I was sorted. The Scheme offers at least three placement options tailored to you, a placement location of your choice and an entirely flexible timescale. This means you can fit the work around all your other summer plans. What’s not to love?

Here are the top reasons I’m so glad I seized the chance to do a placement through Student Hubs this summer:

1. You can see whether you like the sector

There’s no better way to figure out whether charity organisations are where you want to be long-term than by throwing yourself in at the deep end. You can read for hours about different work roles, organisations and other people’s experiences, but you’ll learn the most by giving it a go.

2. You can make an impact

Even if it turns out that you don’t want to plan a future in the social sector, you can know that you’ve done some good. Whichever charity or initiative you end up supporting, the additional capacity you’ll provide in the weeks you’re there will be invaluable to the cause.

3. It tests you

You’re not just making coffee! A summer placement not spent creating and consuming caffeinated beverages may sound like the unattainable dream, but during a voluntary placement you are genuinely placed at the centre of the work. Social sector organisations are eager for all the help they can get, which means you won’t be sitting around twiddling your thumbs. You’re expected to be passionate, to work hard and to develop your skills and experience as a result.

4. You’re supported

All that being said, if you ever feel out of your depth, you’ll always have support. You’ve got your Hub training in preparation, your Hub manager checking in on you every few weeks and the whole Hub team there to help you out – whether you’re dealing with a challenging task or time management. Your Hub gives you the grounding you need to really see what you can do.

5. It’s fun!

Working at My Cause UK this summer has been more fun than I had hoped. In my role as Student and Charity Outreach Officer I’ve been challenged and encouraged to think and act creatively. I’ve taken on roles and tasks that I enjoy and want to be a part of.

If you’d like to bulk up your CV, figure out your future career prospects and help out some amazing causes, I recommend the Scheme. Sign up to your local Hub’s newsletter to receive updates about 2017/18’s application cycle.

Student Hubs works to ensure that all voluntary placements and internships are fair for students. Read more about our approach.

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My Cause UK Festival Volunteering

My Cause UK volunteering in action.

Sinead Gavin

Sinead is a third year History undergraduate at the University of Bristol and part of Bristol Hub's Engagement team. This summer she is supporting a festival volunteering organisation through the Hub's Voluntary Placement Scheme.

Tags: Social Action, Social Impact Careers, Student Voice, Third Sector

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