Networking at any age…

Volunteering can open many doors, as current student Jade Smith explains

Jade Smith is a second-year Digital Media student and University Digital Leaders Award winner. She recently volunteered to take part in a panel discussion at an Alumni Professional Network event in London, before joining alumni and guests to network herself.

Combining her professional and career interests with a volunteering opportunity is just one way to get ahead she tells us.

“When I was first asked to be on the panel, I was incredibly nervous. I had previously participated in public speaking events on a much smaller scale, but nothing of this magnitude. It was a fantastic opportunity to challenge myself to come up with responses to things I had previously never considered, giving me a new wealth of skills and confidence in the process. The discussion itself was thought-provoking, and being given the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the conversation was wonderful because, although not all of us agreed on some of the points made, the responses were respectful and constructive and gave me a greater understanding of different perspectives on current issues.

Having the opportunity to be a panellist in a subject that’s constantly evolving has been an incredible experience.”

“This was also my first opportunity to formally network with other professionals in an industry I am eager to join. I found the discussions I had previously engaged in provided a great jumping off point for making new contacts and starting new conversations. As a student currently looking for a work placement in design, the event gave me a great chance to network with individuals and widen my search for positions to undertake next year. Several alumni commented on how useful the event was for them too, both as a way of finding new career opportunities for themselves, but also as a means of sourcing new talent for their organisations.

“Having the opportunity to be a panellist in a subject that’s constantly evolving has been an incredible experience. I hope to have a chance to do it again and would certainly recommend it to others considering anything similar.”