Volunteering can help you to identify and chase after the career you truly want, helping to bridge the gap between studying and a professional career in the international development sector.

Hub Cymru Africa volunteer Charlotte Brind had graduated from Leeds University with a degree in International Development, and had returned to her hometown of Cardiff assuming that she would need to look further afield to find a job in her chosen sector. She was pointed in the direction of Hub Cymru Africa as a potential volunteer, and began volunteering for one or two days a week with plenty of opportunities to get stuck in.

This volunteering work included assisting at events and doing scoping and research. Through this experience she developed plenty of new skills and developed her confidence, but most importantly it gave her the opportunity to build her networks and learn exactly what was going on in the sector. It made her more determined to work in International Development. University had given her an abundance of theoretical knowledge, but volunteering at HCA gave her the opportunity for practical application.

While Charlotte was volunteering for us, the Phoenix Project at Cardiff University got in touch to find out if HCA knew anyone who would be able to work for them on a temporary basis. Charlotte went for the role and now works for the Phoenix Project full time, something she feels volunteering at HCA helped her to achieve. Volunteering for a well-known and respected organisation like Hub Cymru Africa definitely helped me get the position,” she explains. “Phoenix Project know the organisation and could see the breadth of skills I had gained.”

She currently works as an administrator, but it’s a small team which means she gets to be involved in lots of different things, much like her time at HCA. She is confident that this role will lead to much more experience and a long career in international development in Wales. She still gets to keep her connection with HCA as well. She attends our events and training in a work capacity to keep her skills up to date, although she feels like she should be helping out!

Her experience volunteering was a valuable one, so much so she recommends us to her friends who are still studying. One of the benefits of HCA is that we are very student-friendly and make it easy for people to fit opportunities around study. She would advise anyone to get involved and try and get as much diverse experience as possible.

We welcome volunteering applications from people from all backgrounds, and can help identify a placement to match your skills and experience. If you’d like to speak to our team about volunteering, email enquiries@hubcymru.org.uk to start the conversation.