By Maz di Felice, Fundraising & Events Assistant
I’ve reached the month of February, past the half way mark of my 1 year placement at Hope for Children. Already in 6 months I have learned so much and had the opportunity to organise and take part in a whole variety of brilliant and sometimes challenging events and situations. For all of you thinking about taking a placement or internship, whether that’s with this charity (just do it, I promise I’m not biased), whether it’s with another charity, or just any career opportunity I would strongly recommend.
And for those of you who wonder where my journey started, just keep on reading and you’ll soon find out.
I am a student at Loughborough University, currently on my placement year (a year of employment between 2nd year and 3rd year of my degree). Studying Sociology is insightful and I love it, however as some of you may already know it doesn’t exactly lead into a specific career. Luckily during my time at University, I was able to get involved in Rag, a group of individuals who come together all in the name of charity, doing things like street collections, fundraising events, trekking challenges and so many more. This led me to think about the charity sector, and here I am today.
I first stumbled across Vicky (our fundraising manager) at a careers fair that Loughborough University hold a couple of times a year. We had a chat and she told me all about the role and how to apply. A simple application and that was it, then it was interview time, which to my surprise was incredibly relaxed and fun. With no time to lose I got a call the next day offering me the job, I was completely speechless and knew I had a lot to think about.
WE'RE RECRUITING FOR A NEW PLACEMENT STUDENT (at time of print)
The commute was a big factor for me, being roughly 40 miles drive all on the M25 which you all know is a terrible journey no matter what time of day you tackle it. However, a handful of people in the office already commute from London and myself from Surrey, it’s not as bad as I thought! Taking what I thought at the time was a risk, I quickly found out it was one of the best decisions I have made.
As soon as I started I felt welcomed into the office environment immediately, settling in to the friendly atmosphere. Every month is different which I have really enjoyed, keeping me on my toes and meaning the job role isn’t repetitive and I’m always learning something new. But not to worry, you don’t get thrown into the deep end, the first few months are nice and relaxed, enabling you to learn the job role before the big rush of recruitment season.
Recruitment season was a hectic and exhilarating month. Travelling and exploring different universities and parts of the UK, talking to so many different people and spreading awareness of our small but invaluable charity. Once that was over it’s all about helping people to fundraise, making sure they have everything they need including the support from the charity.
But it doesn’t end there, community work is a big aspect just as student fundraising. The Hope Ball last year was a huge success and I am honoured to say I helped raise £81,623 with the amazing team, smashing the record! My brilliant manager Ed even gave me the delicate task of holding Andy Murray’s racket on the stage whilst it was being auctioned off, that was definitely a nerve-racking 2 minutes attempting not to drop it! But I mean when will anyone get that opportunity again? Other events have included helping to plan and run our Christmas megaraid which raised over £4K with students from all over the UK! And so many more…
This year has enabled me to develop so many skills and learn so many things. This job has helped me grow my confidence and it wouldn’t have been possible without such a brilliant, patient, welcoming bunch of people that work in the Hope Office, and all the students and Rag members we work with. If you get the chance to work for Hope, you will have the time of your life, and an opportunity you may not receive again. So go on, give yourself the amazing opportunity to do things you never thought you would and help make a difference to other people’s lives as well as your own.