If only you could gain multi-purpose skills and experience in a short space of time and for a good cause. If only it was flexibly arranged to suit your timetable, from one day per week; and what if your travel costs were covered too?
Well, the fabulous QProjects has been making these ifs realities since 2012, providing a variety of opportunities within local charities. It is bouncing from success to success and has won The Guardian Employability Award in 2014 for its tremendous endeavors in giving over 400 students a leg-up on the career ladder in more than 100 organisations, like the East London NHS Foundation, Stratford Circus and Barts & The London School of Medicine. With current positions including an After-school-club Coordinator, a Science Club Leader and a Communications Officer, there is bound to be a chance for you to bolster your CV experience with something new with unique support.
For anyone intimidated by the prospect of juggling volunteer work with the responsibilities that studying throws at you, heed the tale of Natasha Dillon. A former French & Linguistics student, Natasha decided to try one of the three-month placements in June, with The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, a charity that promotes Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January). She is now a full-time, paid Team Assistant. Kitted with communication skills from her degree, she has improved her organisation and confidence as she’s worked with survivors and spread awareness to combat hatred and discrimination today. Volunteering also improves problem-solving skills, an asset in any career – Natasha gave the example of trying to assess how to provide resources to prisoners, who may lack internet access and the capacities to read and write; easy-read books and CDs have been effective in overcoming these difficulties.
Speaking about QProjects, Natasha emphasised their incredible support in engineering opportunities to help others whilst helping yourself and recommended it for first and second year students, especially. Her words of wisdom, to all those who doubt the power of the placements, are a warning: “Take every opportunity you can when people offer you career help – there’s so much competition.”
If you want to develop a marketing campaign, analyse data, optimise search engines; if you want to run healthcare workshops, social media and government lobbying campaigns, build websites, or participate in pro-bono legal case work and other exciting operations, QProjects is your answer. Book an appointment with the Careers & Enterprise team (www.careers.qmul.ac.uk), who can help you polish your CV and practice your interview skills before you apply.
This year’s theme for The Holocaust Memorial Day is Don’t Stand By, which urges us to consider our individual responsibility to not be bystanders to hate crime. For more information visit https://hmd.org.uk/ or the Twitter handle @hmd_uk