Skip to the main content

Isabel Scavetta is a Final Year European Social and Political Societies student who participated in last July’s Social Hackathons and she has written back to us about her experience - read on for some advice to make the most of your digital hackathons experience. 


 

What made you decide to sign up for the Hackathon? 

Prior to coming to UCL, I had several years of voluntary work experience, from working for Age UK in their retail stores, to being a translator on a UK Department for International Development-funded programme in Central America. Having built my skill set during my time at uni, interning at management consultancy Oliver Wyman and working on various social action projects, I thought the Hackathon was a great opportunity to get involved with remote skills-based volunteering. 

How did you find the Social Hackathon Experience?  

I worked in a team on the day-long Social Hackathon to help overcome the Covid-induced digital marginalisation of the elderly in a not-for-profit housing association. My team were fantastic and it was a pleasure to work collaboratively with them to achieve the goals set for us by our charity partner.

Did you get to put any of your skills and knowledge into practice and/or did you feel like you developed skills or knowledge from the Social Hackathon? 

I run an advisory careers platform called Her Business Now (HBN, herbusinessnow.com), which shares advice for female undergraduates on maximising personal potential. I was able to use this writing and editing experience to help draft letters for the organisation to use in their future projects. I also used my research and Excel abilities in our efforts to compile a database of potential industry partners for the organisation.

Do you have a deeper understanding of the issues your assigned charity faces?

Absolutely. COVID-19 has affected us all in diverse ways, and this project really brought the concept of digital marginalisation to the forefront of my attention. As someone interested in entering the tech industry, it’s something that I will continue to be conscious of in my future career, and endeavour to improve.

How did you find the virtual aspect of the Hackathon?

The Hackathon worked excellently online! We had a central Teams group call for the overall project, then a separate group for my breakout team. We collaborated via Google Docs / Sheets to create our final resources for the charity.

Would you recommend other students to take part in a virtual Social Hackathon? Do you have any tips?

This is a great opportunity to use your skills to volunteer in a meaningful, goal-orientated way in a collaborative environment. I would advise getting to know your cohort on your Hackathon, as I found that the programme attracts a wide range of brilliant and interesting UCL students who are united by their shared sense of social action.


Inspired to join our next Social Hackathons? Don’t miss our announcements and subscribe to our newsletter to find out when the next one will be held. You can also support charities anytime from home - check out our virtual volunteering roles here