8 November 2017
Meet Rowena, the College’s full time coordinator of clubs, societies, volunteering and other enrichment activities. Rowena’s always available to speak to throughout the College day about arranging work experience, joining a club or volunteering in your spare time, and those things might just be what makes the difference on your CV or university application.
What’s your job?
I arrange all the activities that students have the opportunity to take part in outside of lessons. Obviously, lessons are extremely important and so are good grades, but in order to become more well-rounded people, and stand the best chance of getting good jobs and good university places, it’s also important to get involved in things outside of the classroom.
We run clubs and societies during lunchtimes and after College, so hopefully people can make friends easily and learn skills that can be written about on university or job applications.
I also encourage students to get regular work experience with the many, many voluntary organisations that we at the College have ties with, and I invite all of those organisation in for two major volunteering fairs that we run at the beginning of September and the start of January.
Students can either come direct to me (my door’s always open!) to talk about any of these things or speak to their tutor about the options first.
Why should students get involved in volunteering, clubs and societies?
A lot of students take up these opportunities to enhance their CV or personal statement for university applications but it also serves to enrich students’ lives in general. Helping people without thought of reward can really develop a type of character than can be successful in any walk of life.
Some professions also demand that you’ve participated in some kind of voluntary work in the associated field. All the medical professions, all teaching work, social workers, police – careers that are very people-related all require you to have some experience of working with people.
Clubs and societies are an ideal way to make friends, first and foremost, but the skills on offer can be invaluable too. British Sign Language is extremely popular and such a well-respected skill to have, as is speaking Arabic or Mandarin Chinese, or First Aid. The guitar workshop is also a big hit with a lot of students, so are the sports teams which are available for all students and not just those studying on the sports courses. We’ve got the multi-gym, Taekwon-Do, board games, chess club, and of course, the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. The list goes on.
A lot of the clubs now go on in our Study Hall, which may appeal to students who find the main social areas a little busy at lunchtimes.
What if students have their own suggestions for a club or society?
That’s brilliant if people have ideas or expertise that they want to share with others. Running a club is also great experience! Every year, we have new clubs and societies that students have come up with. This year, we’ve got a Photoshop club, LGBT+ and friends, an art club and one of the students teaches Arabic. We’ve had Anime clubs, web design, knitting and more. We support clubs in any way we can too, with equipment and rooms to hold them in.
How many organisations is the College linked with?
More than 20 volunteering organisations came into College for the year’s first Volunteers Fair in September and even more are due in January. We’ve got operations like the RNLI, Police Specials and Territorial Army, charities such as Mind and the Wirral Society for the Blind and Partially Sighted, and lots of other types of work experience available.
Some of the organisations come into College on other occasions to talk to students about what they offer, such as Wirral Hospice St John's. HQ Coaching Centre recruits volunteers from the College each year to go to South Africa for ten days in the holidays to help in Cape Town classrooms or to coach football to schoolchildren.
What activities do you do yourself outside of College?
I love walking and Pilates keeps me supple! I’m a passionate hillwalker and live in the Clwydian hills in North Wales. My biggest challenge so far has been the 14 Peaks, which are all 3000ft peaks in Snowdonia. I did that in three days. I also enjoy travelling and have trekked in the USA, Morocco and Nepal. I also volunteer at a centre that collects, sorts and distributes clothes for the homeless and refugees.
Posted by The BSFC Blogger on 8 November 2017
Category: The Expert's Voice