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Rachel's volunteer story

I studied marine science and I struggled to find work like many other graduates after university so I started to volunteer for various charities and get some career help from Women in Business. Last year I was working two part time jobs at the time in a supermarket and helped run a coffee station.

I volunteered for a very well known local festival in the area for a couple of years. I was at a fresher's fair helping the festival organiser get more students to attend and met the festival's official charity partner national conservation charity. I spoke to the fundraising manager and switched contact details. I then emailed him a few weeks later and he was very helpful.

Over the next few months I got involved with them mainly to boost my hands on conservation experience so helped the marine team with road shows, reading over policy documents for marine spatial planning. I also helped out with the fundraising team as well at different events across NI. I left my supermarket job and started a 3 month internship with UU. One of the guys I helped out at these events told me there was a fundraising post coming up and I should apply. So I did and because I had been pretty much doing the job for 6 months volunteering I got the job!

I have left this post now, but I did enjoy it as during the summer there was a lots on and I got to go to lots of events while helping out with a good cause. I'm now working for a private consultancy company related to what I studied so volunteering and getting involved as much as possible really did open doors for me.