The upside of the downturn

I’ve been thinking a lot about the recession and how it is inevitably going to affect most final year students. I was given the opportunity to volunteer at Refugee Action because they were in strong need of people within a department that was heavily cut in staff, following Home Office funding cuts. In the same way there was inter-departmental competition for jobs, there is equally stronger competition for graduate jobs within certain sectors. So whilst I’m stepping into a career in international development at a time when many are becoming redundant following Home Office cuts, it comes as no surprise why people are grasping as many opportunities as they can.

Many of the volunteers I’ve had the pleasure to work with have actually been those who have been made redundant within the charity sector. What I find so impressive is that they continue to put extra enthusiasm into what they do, and are equally the most eager to learn. Whilst entering the field will be challenging, I realise that competition is actually very healthy. It made me look for new opportunities to gain more transferable skills. Even better, this part time volunteer job has ended up being one of the most rewarding parts of my final year. It’s great to have practical hands-on experience in the field as well as the opportunity to learn more about a topic I am passionate about.

At a time when finding a job after graduating seems even more difficult, I guess we can take solace in the fact that every extra opportunity we take up has the prospect to motivate us even further through competition as well as insight.

If you would like the full story, here’s a helpful BBC article from August about how the cuts this year have affected the charity sector: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14366522

Priya Changela, Student Blogger
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