Gain Work Experience through Virtual Community Projects

Charlotte Wainwright, Operations Manager for Volunteering 

Though we know work experience might seem hard to come by at the moment, you can still develop your skills and enhance your CV through our recently launched Community Projects. These team based projects are currently running virtually, and are a fantastic way to build on your strengths and support your personal development, all whilst making a real impact in the York community. What’s more, they’re a great way to build social networks and connect with people whilst working remotely. 

But you don’t just need to take our word for it! Here’s what some of our student volunteers who took part in Autumn 2020 thought of the programme:

“I was a Community Sustainability Champion, working with a local Charity called York Cares to help them improve the sustainability of their work. We did a month of research and then presented our findings and suggestions. 

It was very rewarding to see how enthusiastic they were about our findings and that they were ready to take on board our suggestions to improve their sustainability. It is a brilliant opportunity that isn’t too time consuming, and enables you to make a difference in the local community.” – Phoebe

“Our project was to interview business representatives from a certain sector about skills they are looking for in employees, skills they are expecting to look for in the future, how York City Council can help them with this and additionally what current challenges they are facing due to COVID-19. We then had to present this information back to representatives from York City Council. 

I enjoyed presenting. It was great to know that the City of York Council was actively listening to what we had to say and that they would make decisions based on what we said. It was also good for my personal development as it allowed me to practice my presentation skills. Absolutely go for it. It’s a great chance to gain new skills and further develop new ones. It’s also a good way to meet other students who you might not otherwise talk to”. – Callum 

“I was a member of the Future of Work community research project which aimed to investigate the impact of Covid-19 on various sectors in the city of York. I would say that my highlight was speaking to major companies such as Nestle. It was really interesting to hear about the company in general and learn about how important they are to York. The representatives we spoke to gave our team a really good insight into the huge variety of roles in these companies and we also learnt some interesting facts along the way. 

I also really enjoyed presenting back to the Council as it was great to spend time speaking to them and learning about the City as a whole (particularly as it’s my first year here in York).  I would really encourage anyone thinking of joining a project to go for it! 

I’ve developed lots of really useful soft skills (including public speaking, interviewing and researching) but I’ve also really enjoyed working with my team and making a difference to York. There is lots of support and regular training from the Careers and Placements Team throughout the project so there is always lots of help available if you need a hand at any point in the project. It’s also an opportunity to meet other people on the project.” – Bethan

Undergraduate students can apply from Week 7 of Term via Handshake. Postgraduate students are able to support these projects as facilitators and can also apply from Week 7 of Term via Handshake.