Please could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about how you came to hear about Studenteer?
Hi! My name is Louise Andrews and I am studying Marketing and Management at Newcastle University. I have just completed my first year of study.
I heard about Studenteer through LinkedIn. One of my connections had shared a post about Furlonteer. I went online and was delighted to find that there was a student version.
What made you want to want to sign up as a Studenteer?
I wanted to do something productive and help others but I was also looking to gain some work experience, specifically in digital marketing and strategy to develop my skills. Volunteering has given structure and normality to my days during lockdown which I was really missing as I like to be busy and keep my mind active.
Could you tell us a little about the project you’ve been matched with and your role in helping them?
On the Studenteer website, it was quick and easy to complete the sign-up form, highlighting what skills I wanted to develop. Studenteer matched me with a project and a mentor based on my interests and time commitments. I’ve been working with Birthlight as a Marketing Strategist Volunteer, alongside my mentor Sarah. Birthlight, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to increasing the health and wellbeing of women and their families during and after pregnancy.
Together, we created new campaigns and marketing strategies to relaunch both the Birthlight and Lullaby Quilt websites and social media channels.
What was a typical day like?
My day actually starts at 3am, I’ve been working shifts at Iceland since the start of lockdown, picking online orders before the store opens to the public. I have found that volunteering has been easy to fit in alongside my job.
At the beginning of each week, Sarah will email me outlining tasks we could work on together and also tasks for me to work on independently.
Some of the things I have been involved with include:
-Copywriting for the website
-Creating social media content for the relaunch.
-Creating and proposing a social media strategy
– Offering suggestions on how Birthlight can increase engagement and have a more effective online presence.
What new skills has this experience given you?
This experience has put theory from my degree into practice. I have created and proposed a social media strategy and social media content for launching the Lullaby Quilt project. I have also developed my copywriting skills when working on updating the Birthlight website.
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?
Covid-19 has definitely affected me as a student. Since the closure of my university, I have had to adapt to studying virtually, as well as taking exams online, although I am very proud to be completing the year with a 2:1. This summer, I had plans to go to a school in Europe and after that go travelling but unfortunately, they were both cancelled.
Volunteering with Studenteer has been a perfect opportunity to gain some valuable work experience during lockdown. This academic year, I will be applying for industry placements as part of my degree. Having this experience on my CV shows employers I have been using my initiative and that I am passionate about a career in marketing. In September, I will be starting a new role at university as an Activities Assistant, volunteering has increased my confidence in digital marketing and strategy which will help me with the marketing side of my new role.
I would love to continue volunteering but decrease my hours in September to fit in with my degree and my new job.
Could you give any advice or tips to other people considering signing up to Studenteer?
I highly recommend remote volunteering, using your skills and learning new ones can make a huge difference to a charity. My tips are:
- Make the placement work for you: Think about the skills that you want to learn and develop, so you can get as much out of the experience as you can.
- Consider time commitments: Think about how much time you can commit to the project. You can volunteer a minimum of 3 hours per week. If you are working let your mentor know so they can help to work around your schedule.
- Utilise your mentor: Your mentor is there to support you so be honest if you need help or you need something explaining.
Would you recommend Studenteer to a friend who is a Student or Graduate?
Yes, I couldn’t recommend Studenteer more! Studenteer is the perfect opportunity to gain some valuable work experience and help a great cause in the process.