Why Volunteer with SRUC?
Why volunteer with SRUC? by Jillian Gordon
As part of the SRUC team you have the unique opportunity to get both a fantastic education as well as practical experience.
We all known how valued work experience is, especially in the more practical disciplines and a fantastic way to get this experience is through volunteering.
There are many reasons why employers value this form of work experience so highly such as:
- A practical understanding of how the industry works
- Showing your enthusiasm for the industry
- Development of required skills
- Demonstration of ability to work in a team
More than this, if you are looking to impress a potential employer, learn more about what particular roles are or even to develop your contacts, volunteering is a fantastic way to-do this. Importantly, you don’t have to know what you want to-do for volunteering to be valuable!
While completing my undergraduate at SRUC I volunteered on a variety of farm systems and the CT Scanning unit. During my short time volunteering I learned a lot more that I thought was possible. As an Animal science student, I was able to develop a stronger understanding of the practical implications of the research I was learning about in my classes. By learning more about the practical side of the industry my understanding of my courses was enhanced, this also improved my enthusiasm for the subjects.
In my fourth year, I struggled to decide what I could do for my dissertation project. While volunteering on the pig unit at Easter Bush, I took the opportunity to talk this through with the researchers and through these conversations the ideas for my thesis were developed. This opportunity opened the area of livestock welfare to me, a topic I continued to study for the next 5 years!
One of the most useful aspects of volunteering is not what you are doing but who you meet. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to extends your contacts, this allows you to meet more like-minded people as well develop connections that may help you in your future endeavours, you can never have too many good references!
If you are unsure of what you want to consider as a career or if you are just looking to learn some practical industry knowledge, then I cannot recommend volunteering more! You never know where it will take you.