2nd year undergraduate student Yllka Krasniqi tells us about her experience as an LSE Student Volunteering Ambassador and encourages other students at LSE to get involved in volunteering.
What motivated you to sign up as an LSE Student Volunteering Ambassador?
I was motivated to sign up to be an LSE Student Volunteering Ambassador as I believe that everyone can play a role, however small, in helping others. I think that this encouraged me to apply as I wanted to promote this message to other students. I thought that becoming an ambassador would be a great platform to effectively spread the message of volunteering to a wider group of students. As well as this, I think that volunteering can be a fun way to meet people. I considered becoming an LSE Student Volunteering Ambassador a great way to meet likeminded people who also shared my view of helping others.
What volunteering projects and events have you been involved in so far at the LSE?
I have primarily been involved in one-off opportunities as they are the easiest way to volunteer with a busy schedule. I have transcribed World War I diaries for a couple of hours, which was a fascinating experience, especially as I am a History student. It was exciting to read primary sources and decipher the diaries of soldiers and gain an insight into their lives during the war. I have also volunteered for FareShare for an afternoon in the Tesco in Covent Garden. The objective was to ask members of the public to donate food to homeless and women’s shelters. By the end of the day we had persuaded the public to donate over 3 trolleys worth of goods. It was a brilliant feeling to have made such a positive impact. I also met some lovely people at LSE at the same time which was a good experience as we were all able to communicate whilst we volunteered and learn more about each other.
What have you learnt from volunteering and how have these skills contributed to your experiences at the LSE?
I have learnt that volunteering will undoubtedly have a positive impact. It will not only impact society by raising money for important causes, but volunteering also has an impact on oneself. Every time I volunteer I always feel more positive, and I believe that in whatever small way I have made an impact on society. Therefore, I have learnt that volunteering can be an effective way of de-stressing and encouraging students to believe that they have the power to make a change. This has contributed to my experiences at LSE as it has made me more passionate about spreading the message of volunteering through my role as a Volunteering Ambassador. I have also greatly developed my communication skills. Speaking to members of the public during the one-off volunteering experience with FareShare at Tesco, Covent Garden was strange at first, especially as many members of the public were unwilling or uncommunicative. However, it pushed me to develop a strategy to summarise and pitch FareShare as an organisation and our aim in under 30 seconds to the public. This has been a crucial skill at university as I have campaigned and promoted causes that required me to address students with only a couple of seconds to explain myself. As well as this, I have met many students through volunteering which I would have otherwise been unlikely to meet. Therefore, volunteering is an opportunity to connect with students that are on different degree courses and yet share many similar interests and views.
Has volunteering inspired any future plans for after you graduate?
Volunteering has certainly inspired future plans for me after I graduate as I have become more committed to following a career path that helps others. I hope to pursue a career in either an international organisation or the British civil service. My pursuit of these careers has been propelled by the values and principles that are at the heart of volunteering, which is to create a positive impact on society.
What advice and encouragement would you give others considering getting involved in volunteering at LSE?
The advice and encouragement I would give to other students considering volunteering is simple. I can guarantee you that volunteering, albeit even for a few hours, will not leave you disappointed. You can always gain a new friend or develop a new skill, such as communication and teamwork, from volunteering. I have also not addressed the fact that volunteering also looks great on your CV. Even if you do not wish to directly pursue a career in volunteering, many employers are looking for students that are well-rounded and can offer them a range of skills. Ultimately, volunteering can assist you in both an academic and personal way.
Got inspired by Yllka? Check out the Volunteer Centre blog for more stories and tips on volunteering and search CareerHub for all volunteering opportunities that we offer. The LSE Volunteer Centre also offers one-to-one appointments if you’d like help choosing the right role.
Note: this article gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Department of Government, nor of the London School of Economics.