Jerome Boyd (MSc Global Governance & Ethics) volunteered on our Social Hackathons and with the UCL Charity Consultancy Challenge. We caught up with him recently to find out more about his volunteering adventures.

Tell us a little about your volunteering

I have volunteered through UCL twice this year. Firstly, the Social Hackathon (1 day) with St John’s Hospice. Secondly, the Charity Consultancy Challenge (1 week) with Starfish Greathearts.

How did you find out about the roles?

In both cases, emails came through at a time where I was looking for extracurricular activities.

Jerome Boyd

What difference do you feel you’ve made by volunteering?

Both St John’s and Starfish have informed our teams that they are using our policy recommendations to inform their strategies. As short-term ‘consultants’, we weren’t always able to implement policies, but providing inspiration might help towards positive change.

What impact has volunteering had on you?

Volunteering has helped bridge the gap between my module studies and my career ambitions (having studied the Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Management & Policy in the Political Science department). Furthermore, it taught me time-management and work-life balance, especially when volunteering co-existed with other deadlines and/or paid employment.

What’s the best thing about volunteering?

The feeling of pride when the hard work is ‘released’ into the world: in that moment, it is satisfying how it goes from a personal effort to a public good.

And the most challenging? How did you overcome the challenges?

Working as part of a team. Academic study provides a lot of independence – coursework is often completely determined by individual motivation, so readjusting to group work needs cooperation and communication.

Tell us about something memorable that’s happened to you whilst volunteering

I was among the team members nominated to present our groups’ findings at the Charity Consultancy Challenge. Despite being generally comfortable during public speaking, I felt some nerves since I wanted to do justice to the hard work of the team. That said, the presentation went well and I was thrilled that the judges saw the merits of our work.

Would you recommend volunteering? If so, why?

Yes. Beyond supporting great causes, it builds confidence, experience, and networks. If volunteering is balanced with life’s other commitments, it’s well worth doing.