We’ve often raved about one of our amazing charity partners, the Literacy Pirates, so we were delighted to find out that they had recruited an LSE alumni as one of the Volunteer Coordinators! Since completing her masters (MSc Gender, Media & Culture, 2016), Rosanna Hutchings has had a wealth of experience both in her career and her volunteering activities. Read on to find out how her diverse experiences helped land her a job in the voluntary sector!
While studying for my masters in Gender Media and Culture at LSE in 2015, I knew I wanted to work in a role that had social impact, but I had little idea what such a role would look like. My work experience to date had included working at my local MP’s office, and while this gave me a taste of what politics on the ground was like, I wasn’t sure it was the right fit for me.
As dissertation season approached, and classes came to an end, I found I had a few more hours to spare. Keen to get the ball rolling on my future career, I started hunting for part time jobs. I was fortunate enough to come across a paid internship at Girlguiding, which allowed me to get to grips with complex membership systems, and also left me enough time to study in the library. When a full-time role came up in my team, I applied and stayed at the organisation for another year.
It was a great experience working for a large charity, and I learned a lot. However, I still had slightly itchy feet. I was umm-ing and ahh-ing between doing a PhD or going to China to teach English. In the end I went for the latter, where I was exposed to a completely different culture. I was keen to make friends and so I threw myself into the biggest charities I could find in Beijing. I became a Volunteer Coordinator for a children’s charity, a Content Writer for a migrant children’s charity, and a Social Media Coordinator for a charity that sponsored the education of girls from rural areas. It was precisely because these roles were voluntary that I was able to develop my skills and build up my CV. I also built a network and was able to interact with people from China and all over the world.
Upon my return to the UK, I knew I wanted to continue volunteering, and I was particularly interested in education. I moved to Hackney, and that’s when I found out about The Hackney Pirates (now The Literacy Pirates), an educational charity that works to develop the literacy, confidence and perseverance of 9-12 year olds. I loved the look and feel of the charity, and the low commitment required from volunteers. I did my first session, and soon after the role of Volunteer Coordinator was advertised.
I’ve been the Volunteer Coordinator for The Literacy Pirates for 3 months, and one of my favourite things is engaging with students and hearing about how they’ve gained skills they weren’t expecting from volunteering. One LSE student, for example, told us that after volunteering he now plans to do a Teach First summer course. Another highlight was going back to LSE for the LSE Volunteer Service’s awards ceremony. It really is amazing students’ dedication to giving back, while also completing their studies.
Volunteering has played a key part in my career, as it has allowed me to dip into different roles and find out what motivates and interests me. I would recommend anyone that’s unsure of their career prospects to volunteer, particularly if they care about social impact and their local community.
We’ve got more than 200+ ongoing opportunities on CareerHub so make sure you search them for further volunteering information. You can also book a one-to-one with David Coles, the Volunteer Centre Manager, if you have more questions. And why not follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date with our events and opportunities and read our blog for more volunteering tips and stories.