This week is Student Volunteering Week, an annual event that celebrates the impact of student volunteers and encourages more students to consider giving their time.
We spoke to our marketing assistant, Claire Talbot who volunteered at nmcn eight years ago while studying at college, leading her to carve an unexpected career for herself.
Claire said: “I’ve volunteered since being a teenager, I used to run in an athletics club where I helped in the café and volunteered as a teacher at a disabled swimming class before going on to gain my swimming teacher qualification.”
Due to her love of sport, Claire then went to college to study the subject but realised it wasn’t something she wanted to pursue as a career.
She added: “During my studies, I decided that I didn’t want to go down the sports route. I signed up to an admin course, but wanted to get first-hand experience of what it would be like to work in an office. As volunteering had been a big part of my life, it felt natural for me to do a work experience role.
“My uncle worked at nmcn as an integrated management systems manager, so I spoke to him about getting a placement.”
Claire volunteered at nmcn for five months around her college course and part-time job in retail.
She added: “I helped with admin tasks which included filing and scanning training records. Five months into my placement, I was told about an upcoming opportunity to become an admin assistant, which I applied for and got. To support with this new role, I was put on an apprenticeship and studied for an NVQ alongside my job.”
Claire had the opportunity to work on different projects, but it was being asked to be part of the firm’s rebrand from North Midland Construction to nmcn in 2018 that took her career in a new direction.
Claire said: “I was delighted to be asked to be part of the rebrand team. Marketing was something that I had an interest in and I knew that I could add value to the team. Since working on the rebrand, I’ve secured a full-time role in marketing and I now manage the company’s website, social channels and external media. I’ve been involved in lots of interesting projects, including the launch of our children’s book When I Grow Up, which I loved.
“My favourite part of the job is finding out more about all of the different people who work in the business and sharing their stories and I like to watch the progress of projects I have been working on. I’ve had a big focus on developing our LinkedIn channel and since I’ve started working on it, we have doubled our followers and have a really strong level of interaction with our posts.
“The book has been incredibly popular too and we’ve had over 18,000 views of the animated video, it’s been recognised by famous faces and been sent to schools as far as Australia which is really exciting.”
Claire would recommend work experience to anyone looking for their next steps, saying: “Back when I was studying sport, I never thought I would have a career in marketing, but volunteering through work experience has opened so many doors for me and allowed me to try different roles before finding my dream career. I would definitely recommend it to other people as it can lead to great opportunities.”
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