Every year we love to catch up with our student volunteers to hear about their experiences and listen to their reflections. In the summer, Trinayani Das (BSc in Accounting and Finance, 2021)spoke about her experience volunteering with Reachout and asked her questions to help her reflect.
What volunteering were you involved in?
I was part of the volunteer mentors who provided one to one one hour sessions every week to year 4 student from a school, located in a socially and economically backward region of London. The volunteer had a project leader who would plan the session for us, and we would help the students develop English and Maths skills along with positive character traits.
What skills did you develop through volunteering?
During my time at the volunteering, I developed my effective communication skills greatly, along with leadership and team work.
How has volunteering help your personal development and/or your career?
The volunteering has helped in various ways. To start with, it made me feel happy about the fact that I was giving back to the society in whatever way I could and bringing about a positive change in the citizens of tomorrow. Secondly, the nature of the volunteering helped me develop my communication and public speaking skills, which helped me get through interviews while applying for internships. The experience also added value to my CV, as employers often positively reflected on it, and would ask me follow up questions.
How did you manage volunteering and other commitments such as your studies?
I have always believed if one wants to do something, they will simply have to organise their schedule in such a way that facilitates the goals. Following that principle, I would organise my classes and daily academics commitments so that I could take up the volunteering. It was just one hour every week, so it did not create too much of an pressure on me. Moreover, the project leaders at ReachOut and other mentors were all university students, so they would understand if I could not make it one week due to exams. The volunteering also ended at a convenient time, that is before my spring break so it did not create a pressure on my summer exams.
How did volunteering change your LSE experience?
I had never done volunteering before, so the whole possibility of volunteering was new to me. I really liked ReachOut in the volunteering fair, and immediately got in contact. Often at LSE, students are pressurised to perform at par with a certain standard or have certain internships, so we forget there is more to life that. The volunteering experience made me realise how important social change is, a thing LSE has always been keen on. It made me understand how important giving back is specially if one is in a position of privilege.
What would you tell other LSE students to encourage them to volunteer?
I would say, LSE is once in a lifetime opportunity and it’s important to make the most of it. Volunteering is one such experience that is part of LSE. Moreover, it gives one a sense of purpose if you are constantly interacting with children who look up to you. If not anything else, volunteering adds value to your CV, so there shouldn’t be any reason why you shouldn’t pursue it.