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1 1 Beyond Employability The benefits of volunteering for psychology students Dr Ava Horowitz University of Lincoln Dr Rachel Bromnick.

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Presentation on theme: "1 1 Beyond Employability The benefits of volunteering for psychology students Dr Ava Horowitz University of Lincoln Dr Rachel Bromnick."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 1 Beyond Employability The benefits of volunteering for psychology students Dr Ava Horowitz University of Lincoln Dr Rachel Bromnick University of Lincoln Daniel Shepherd University of Lincoln

2 2 Background assumptions Employability is key strategic concern We know what employability is Academics can and should be involved 2

3 3 The LearnHigher Award: Psychology Three year pilot of a departmental run employability programme 15 credit point additional, optional, short course offered to all second year Psych students , 61 enrolled (approx 30%) , 112 enrolled (approx 50%) enrolled (approx 40%)

4 4 The LearnHigher Award: Psychology Series of core and optional workshops run over the calendar year Students work on independent & group tasks within Learning Circles A requirement of 40 hours volunteering embedded within the programme Assessed by portfolio and simulated job interview

5 5 Focus on the volunteering component 5

6 6 Types of volunteering Supporting local and national organisations e.g. The Samaritans Supporting the work of the university e.g. Student crew at open days Supporting overseas projects e.g. Indian village SU project

7 7 Lincoln Psychology volunteers

8 8 8 Empirical analysis Reflections on volunteering

9 9 Method 86 students (76.7%) completed both assessments As a component of the portfolio students asked to respond to the prompt why I do voluntary work 9

10 10 Elicitation of Data Set Given 6 different options for responding 1.Reflective writing 2.Case study analysis 3.Employer presentation 4.Telephone interview 5.Alternative presentation media 6.Do something else instead 10

11 11 Data set Written narrative responses from 39 students

12 12 Findings 12

13 13 Superordinate Themes Thematic content analysis Following Braun & Clarke (2006) Self-focused Other-focused 13

14 14 Self-focused Personal Rewards Employability Skills Personal Growth 14

15 15 Other-focused Belonging Helping Generativity Valued 15

16 16 Overlapping/Fused Themes Within superordinate theme Self-focused Skills, Employability & Personal Growth 16

17 17 Overlapping/Fused Themes Within superordinate theme volunteering allows you to identify which skills you may not be good at in relation to a particular working environment and so this self-reflection helps you to flourish in a working environment and as a person (Participant 35) Self-focused Skills, Employability & Personal Growth 17

18 18 Overlapping/Fused Themes Within superordinate theme volunteering allows you to identify which skills you may not be good at in relation to a particular working environment and so this self-reflection helps you to flourish in a working environment and as a person (Participant 35) Self-focused Skills, Employability & Personal Growth 18

19 19 Overlapping/Fused Themes Within superordinate theme volunteering allows you to identify which skills you may not be good at in relation to a particular working environment and so this self-reflection helps you to flourish in a working environment and as a person (Participant 35) Self-focused Skills, Employability & Personal Growth 19

20 20 Overlapping/Fused Themes Within superordinate theme volunteering allows you to identify which skills you may not be good at in relation to a particular working environment and so this self-reflection helps you to flourish in a working environment and as a person (Participant 35) Self-focused Skills, Employability & Personal Growth 20

21 21 Overlapping/Fused Themes Across superordinate themes Generativity & Personal Rewards 21

22 22 Overlapping/Fused Themes Across superordinate themes There is a sense of passing the torch", giving information to the next generation of students and being there for them when the majority of things they experience will be new to them. This kind of satisfaction is what will keep me volunteering (Participant 22) Generativity & Personal Rewards 22

23 23 Overlapping/Fused Themes Across superordinate themes There is a sense of passing the torch", giving information to the next generation of students and being there for them when the majority of things they experience will be new to them. This kind of satisfaction is what will keep me volunteering (Participant 22) Generativity & Personal Rewards 23

24 24 Overlapping/Fused Themes Across superordinate themes There is a sense of passing the torch", giving information to the next generation of students and being there for them when the majority of things they experience will be new to them. This kind of satisfaction is what will keep me volunteering (Participant 22) Generativity & Personal Rewards 24

25 25 Tensions between motivations Tension between Self-focused - Employability Other-focused - Helping 25

26 26 Tensions between motivations When I admit that I volunteer for my future career development I feel selsh and egotistic. It's not that I don't have a desire to help people; in fact I hope that my job in the future involves helping people (Participant 5) Tension between Self-focused - Employability Other-focused - Helping 26

27 27 Tensions between motivations When I admit that I volunteer for my future career development I feel selsh and egotistic. It's not that I don't have a desire to help people; in fact I hope that my job in the future involves helping people (Participant 5) Tension between Self-focused - Employability Other-focused - Helping 27

28 28 Tensions between motivations When I admit that I volunteer for my future career development I feel selsh and egotistic. It's not that I don't have a desire to help people; in fact I hope that my job in the future involves helping people (Participant 5) Tension between Self-focused - Employability Other-focused - Helping 28

29 29 Temporal Journey Employability personal satisfaction 29

30 30 Temporal Journey Employability personal satisfaction The reason I personally started volunteering was because I wanted to increase my employability by boosting my CV, as I had not had much previous experience. But as I carried out my volunteer work, I found that there were other benefits to volunteering (Participant 24) 30

31 31 Temporal Journey Employability personal satisfaction The reason I personally started volunteering was because I wanted to increase my employability by boosting my CV, as I had not had much previous experience. But as I carried out my volunteer work, I found that there were other benefits to volunteering (Participant 24) 31

32 32 Applying Psychology Theory From a psychological perspective, Maslow (1970) would say that this positive feedback motivates me to volunteer because it helps me to fulfill my esteem needs which help me in my pursuance of self actualisation (Participant 20) 32

33 33 Discussion

34 34 Replicates some previous research Themes Self-focused & Other-focused (Clary et al, 1998) Motivations intrinsically interrelated Luping (2011), Cnaan & Goldberg-Glen (1991) 34

35 35 Demonstrates salience of tensions between motivations Volunteers aware of competing moral implications of their motivations Implications for self For self (including personal & skills development) For others (including employers) 35

36 36 Demonstrates temporal shifts Some participants expressed development of motivations Not captured in simple categorical analysis 36

37 37 Implications for promoting volunteering Help reduce tensions Appreciate/encourage concurrent goals Enhance permissibility Self-focusednot selfish Other-focusednot bleeding-heart 37

38 38 Wider implications

39 39 Implications for recommendations Trapp et al (2011) Boost psychological literacy Connect psychology theory to experience Opportunity to work in career-relevant contexts 39

40 40 Beyond Employability Beyond proximal goal of first graduate position Puts the personal into personal development planning Demonstrates potential for Psychology departments facilitation of truly transformative learning experiences 40

41 41 Final comments My favourite part of the programme was the volunteering- especially the opportunity to go to Africa. However, even though I loved the experience of going there, and it was one of the best experiences of my life, I dont think that I truly appreciated what I did and what happened until I wrote about it in my reflective piece (Participant 18)

42 42 Questions?

43 43 Key References Clary E.G., Snyder M., Ridge R.D., Copeland J., Stukas A.A., Haugen J., & Miene. P, (1998), Understanding and assessing the motivations of volunteers: A functional approach, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, pp 1516–1530. Cnaan, R. A., & Goldberg-Glen, R. S, (1991), Measuring motivation to volunteer in human services, Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences, 27 (3), pp Luping, W, (2011), Motivations for Youth Volunteer Participation: Types and Structure An Analysis of Interviews with Twenty- Four Young Volunteers, Chinese Education and Society, 44, pp. 176–192. Trapp, A., Banister P, Ellis E, Latto R, Miell, D & Upton, D, (2011), The Future of Undergraduate Psychology in the United Kingdom, Higher Education Academy, York.


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