Institution spotlight: V-Team - University of Essex Students' Union
Posted on 24 Feb 2017
Speaking both from a student’s prospective and an employer’s prospective, I must say that the value of volunteering is very high when applying for jobs or when you are recruiting someone, as in this way, you can exemplify the skills you gained through volunteering. I have started volunteering since I was in my first year, because I wanted to gain some extracurricular experience, as an international student, I was aware of the fact that by volunteering, I can develop my communication skills and I can network and meet new people. By being an active volunteer all these years, I have managed to actually run the volunteering scheme at our University, when I only started as a volunteer.
With more than 50 partners, including Primary and Secondary schools, nurseries, charities and non-profit organizations, our aim is not only to establish a project but to also value the partnership with our community and long term collaboration. We are assisting our community in providing full support as well as contributing to our students’ personal and professional development, over the years.
Having set up the objective to benefit the wider community, we have expanded our partnerships not only locally (Colchester) but we also have active placements, or projects in Brightlingsea, Braintree, Clacton on Sea, and Ipswich. Last year we had 11 active placements while this year we have already tripled this number and we have already had some plans for the summer meaning this number will grow!
We fully support our community while offering relevant experience for our students during the university years clearly increases our students’ employment rate after graduation. Collaboration makes us visible and special which benefits everyone – community, organizations, students, and university.
Some of the feedback from our student volunteers – ‘vTeam dedication provides us so necessary practical experience boosting up our CV.’,’I have never thought that my work can benefit local community – I am happy in being able to contribute and help’, ‘I wanted to have a placement related to sociology. I was surprised when after a couple of days placement was offered’, ‘Relevant experience, helping community, boosting CV and having fun – thanks to vTeam’.