Whilst studying at the University of Reading I have had the opportunity to work for Henley Business School as part of the student digital engagement team. Within this blog I hope to share my experiences of volunteering at Reading University whilst also being a student…
As a fourth year student, I wanted to make the most of my final year at University. Therefore, I volunteered with The Spark Newspaper, and I am now Head of Photography. The Spark Newspaper is run by students for students, providing relevant and important information related to the University. The paper is distributed monthly around campus, so it is accessible to everyone. We cover everything from developments being made on campus e.g. the refurbishment of the Library, to things happening locally in Reading. The newspaper is split into three key sections; News, Lifestyle, and Sport. Here, we receive articles by students who want to write about something they find passionate, or relevant to the University, or maybe a review of an event on campus that they have been too. So, if you want to volunteer and write an article or publish a photo, you do not have to be in the committee, anyone can get involved! We also include sections for photography, pets of the month and horoscopes, so there really is something for everyone.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my position with the newspaper, and have learnt a lot from this role. I have developed my own photography skills, creating monthly themes for my double spread in the paper. In the past, I have publicised different societies which students are able to join on campus, displayed holiday photos which have been sent in from students, and captured beautiful scenic images around campus. It is great to get involved and have the freedom of what we, as a committee, can put in the newspaper. I have also learnt a lot on InDesign and Photoshop. I have become more confident in my own work, seeing my photographs published, and receiving positive feedback from the team. I am also always in contact with the editors, in case they need photos to go alongside their articles. It is important to communicate with fellow committee members, as well as other University students who get involved in the monthly paper. Working as a team, helping one another for the final design is vital to producing the best paper we can, each month. Although the final week before we print can be stressful at times, it makes it even more worthwhile when everything comes together, and seeing the hard work in the physical form of the newspaper.
I would thoroughly recommend volunteering on campus, whether that is as part of a society within RUSU, being a STaR Mentor, or even getting involved with local schools! The University of Reading has plenty to offer students, and this is open to all students, including Henley. It is great to put yourself out there, learn new skills and meet new people to further develop yourself at University, before you leave for the big wide world.
It is never too late to sign up and be a volunteer!