Please could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about how you came to hear about Studenteer?
Hi, my name is Daniel. I am due to start a course in Computer Science in September, hopefully at Manchester University.
What made you want to want to sign up as a Studenteer?
The main reason I wanted to join Studenteer was to help broaden my skills in web design as I wasn’t that good at it before I started. I was very excited to learn and hone these skills to gain experience that I otherwise wouldn’t have got. I was working part-time in a Café prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and was grateful for something to occupy my time.
Could you tell us a little about the project you’ve been matched with and your role in helping them?
I’m currently working on designing a website for a charity called NAFS. They are a small, local charity based in Leeds, who focus on running physical and mental health sessions and organising activities such as Yoga or Netball to improve wellbeing. I’m helping them to set up and launch a website to further improve their reach within the community.
What new skills has this experience given you?
I was partnered with Ian, a Furlonteer who has experience in web development. He’s been guiding me in learning to design and code websites and it has been great for developing my technical skills on coding in PHP, HTML and CSS. I’ve been able to improve my time management by keeping to deadlines and I’ve found it really beneficial to understand what a working environment is like. Until now, all the website development projects I’ve done have been solo, so working closely with Ian and also the founder of the charity to keep track of tasks and ensure we are working well as a team has been really valuable. We have made good progress and are now at Phase 1 of the website launch.
What impact do you feel it’s had on your experience of being a student or graduate during COVID-19, and are you likely to continue volunteering after it ends?
I feel that volunteering has helped greatly with keeping to a schedule and maintaining a routine throughout this pandemic. It’s allowed me to stay focused and keep track of time instead of just watching the days pass by. I would like to continue with volunteering during university as much as my schedule allows. The skills I have gained in website development will be also very useful for my upcoming Computer Science course and the chance to learn a new coding language and become a more rounded software developer has been great.
Could you give any advice or tips to other people considering signing up to Studenteer?
For anyone signing up to volunteer, I would suggest not taking on too much. You don’t need to work 9-5 every day of the week. Try to keep to a weekly routine that best suits you and Studenteer will make sure the work is tailored towards your interests.
Would you recommend Studenteer to a friend who is a Student or Graduate?
I would 100% recommend Studenteer to my friends! I’ve been actively talking to them about volunteering in general so this is a great way to start getting involved.