Presentation on theme: "Empowering bioscience students to develop employability skills through volunteering – narrative voices of partnership Dr Sheila Cunningham Ms. Orkide Tunch."— Presentation transcript:
Empowering bioscience students to develop employability skills through volunteering – narrative voices of partnership Dr Sheila Cunningham Ms. Orkide Tunch Dr Deeba Gallacher Annual HEA Conference 3-4 July 2013
Desire for students to have greater opportunities to develop employability skills. Acknowledgment of limited placement opportunities and therefore alternatives needed. To help student to have some real life experience within the health related area, developing skills ‘in practice’. Drivers Exploratory research questions what the term ‘employability’ means for biomedical students. the benefits of undertaking volunteering activities.
Volunteering – as what? Search/ Investigate volunteering opportunities In house limitations – other opportunities ‘Marrow’ enthused and motivated students Experiences followed
Beyond getting a job but how you get a job. What you have to offer to employers. Beyond academic (what you can do and how can do it). Meeting employers expectations (language, appearance, appropriate behaviour). Having the evidence for this. What does employability mean?
Values function - to express or act on important values, such as humanitarianism and helping the less fortunate. Enhancement function - seeking to grow and develop psychologically through involvement in volunteering. Career function - the goal of gaining career-related experience through volunteering. Social function - allows the person to strengthen one’s social relationships. Protective function - uses volunteering to reduce negative feelings, such as guilt, or to address personal problems. Understanding function - seeking to learn more about the world and/or exercise skills that are often unused. Clary and Synder (1999), Hustinx et al (2010) Motivations for volunteering (extra curricular)
a chance to develop existing skills or to gain new ones the experience of a working environment the opportunity to learn more about yourself and your capabilities, and gain more self-confidence the chance to develop personal networks and contacts the opportunity to enhance your employability skills an insight into your chosen career area intrinsic satisfaction of contributing to something worthwhile material for your CV and future job applications – articulating concrete examples for employers Students view: Benefits of volunteering
Recognising achievements Overcoming obstacles Personal gains and growth Feeling of worth Persuading and motivating others Benefits of volunteering
‘Volunteering is an innovative, self-fulfilling and simple way of improving and developing skills necessary for a professional career as well as day to day life. The knowledge gained as a volunteer is beyond that of a classroom. Skills such as communication, presentation and teamwork are some of the main requirements I have come across throughout my years as a volunteer’ (Student TJ) ‘Marrow has allowed us to talk to people who we wouldn’t normally talk to. Our course is quite segmented and everyone has their own friendship groups and they do their own things, we don’t do things together. Marrow is one place where we have been able to come together which has worked out well.’ (student CA) ‘…it is a self-satisfying experience that anyone would enjoy! (Student J)
Students accept responsibility for developing employability skills but do not know how to evidence these. Students engage with volunteering activities for a variety of reasons. One project (Marrow) was embraced as utilizing their knowledge, skills and imagined futures. Conclusions so far