ALIVE Certificate

ALIVE Certificate

ALIVE Certificate

What can Volunteering offer you?

Volunteering can offer you invaluable experience, networking opportunities and can really enhance your job prospects! The information offered here is designed to help you gain the most from your volunteering, whether that be through interview preparation, improving your CV or opening up new career possibilities that you might never have considered.

ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering

Get Certified! The NUI Galway Presidential Award for Volunteering is the ALIVE Certificate.

The ALIVE Certificate has two aims.

First and foremost, we want to reward all the time and effort students put into societies, sports clubs, campaigns, committees, volunteering, community engagement, Mentoring, Class Reps, student radio, and everything else that isn't degree-related, all your extra-curricular activities.

Secondly, employers note that students have a lot of fantastic experience but don't know how to talk about it in interviews and application forms. So, NUI Galway has developed the ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering. This is your chance to tell us what you have been doing, and get the recognition you deserve!

Application

To apply students must complete the application form which is a series of questions about your volunteering. Its easy! Log in at our dedicated Award website, complete the application form and click submit. You can save your application, return and edit it and manage your volunteering portfolio.

Login to YourSpace using your Campus Account Student ID and Password to login to your application: www.yourspace.nuigalway.ie

To Qualify

You need to be an active volunteer for at least one semester to qualify for your Certificate. All kinds of volunteering are recognised by the Certificate. You may have volunteered in Galway, in your hometown or internationally. You may have volunteered on campus through clubs, class reps, student radio or newspaper, societies, or mentoring a first year student or off campus with a school, charity or hospital. All volunteering is recognised!

Also, see our FAQ's on how to apply for the ALIVE Certificate.

The ALIVE Award Ceremony

Transferable Skills from Volunteering

There is a range of transferable skills you can gain from volunteering. Here are some skills that volunteering can help you build and develop for employment and further study.

Teamwork

Participation in most ALIVE Volunteering opportunities involves working with others. As a result of volunteering you can easily identify examples of where you have motivated others in your team using encouragement and motivation skills.

Communication

Communication is often one of the most important skills an employer is seeking. ALIVE volunteering opportunities will help you develop this skill - particularly projects such as mentoring in schools and tutoring. You will be able to identify examples of how you see communication as being an important skill, and how you have been able to prioritise and recognise what information needs to be passed to others.

Customer Skills

If you are considering a career in a customer-focused profession, such as advertising, marketing or sales, then experience working in a charity shop or community centres would be invaluable in developing your ability to interact with customers.

Motivation and Enthusiasm

Simply by taking part in one of ALIVE's volunteering opportunities you are demonstrating a level of motivation! Employers are looking for people who show evidence of enthusiasm, an ability to make their own decisions and, more importantly, to have confidence in themselves. Involvement in a volunteering project will give you some valuable evidence of all these areas.

Resourcefulness

Employers like people who can "bring them solutions, not problems". If you have been involved in a voluntary project that has required you to make decisions and think for yourself, then you could well have more valuable evidence of your ability to apply your past experience, solve problems and deal with difficult situations.

Planning

It is also important that you develop the skills of prioritising and managing the time you have available to devote to projects. Through involvement in ALIVE Volunteering opportunities you will be able to strengthen these skills. You will also have to learn to balance your time and energy between course work and voluntary work. Time management skills and the ability to deal effectively with multiple tasks can be developed considerably through participation in both the training and projects we offer.

Take your skills development to the next level

Visit the NUI Galway's Career Development Centre website.

Careers in the NGO sector

Ever thought about a career in the charitable, voluntary or non-governmental sector? Working in this dynamic sector is hugely rewarding and diverse roles means you can travel the world, make an impact and be creative.

Here are a few websites with career information and job advertisements across the sector:

In Ireland: www.activelink.ie

In the US: www.idealist.org

In the UK: http://jobs.thirdsector.co.uk/

Why not build your own charity or social enterprise?

Social Enterprise Network in Ireland

Ashoka Ireland

Social Entrepreneurship Ireland

Volunteering & Your CV

It is vital to list your volunteering on your CV. You can also gain a referee for your CV through your volunteering.

Including your volunteering on your CV is easy! You can list your volunteering in a "Skills Profile", with your "Work & Voluntary Experience" or as an "Achievement". List not only the activity itself but also the evidence. For example:

  • ACTIVITY - I helped out in a youth club.
  • SKILL - Through being a voluntary youth club project leader, I dealt with difficult situations.
  • EVIDENCE - As voluntary team leader at a youth club, I was entrusted with the safety of the children when the parents left. I learnt how to resolve conflicts through mediation. I also needed to adopt a professional approach to troubleshooting by liaising frequently with and actively listening to the other team members.

Check out these resources on the importance of volunteering and achieving the ALIVE Certificate for your CV and how to articulate your volunteer skills on your CV.

Get your Digital Badge!

NUI Galway has developed the Digital Badge for your ALIVE Presidential award!

It is a tool that you can post on your online resumé or CV at Linkedin. Here are some great links to learn more.

About Digital Badages and even more about Digital Badges.

A guide to using Digital Badges.

What is the Diploma Supplement?

The Diploma Supplement is awarded to you at Graduation

The Presidential Award, the ALIVE Certificate is now on your Diploma Supplement. Special thanks to the Student Projects Fund for funding this initiave.

More information on the supplement is available here.

Awards & programmes to gain experience

Why not apply for local, national and international volunteer awards or programmes! ALIVE nominates student volunteers annually, or you can nominate a friend.

Across Europe, people can apply for the Europass Certificate to recognise their volunteering. It's easy to fill in the form online and add it to your CV today!

Galway City Mayor Awards for Volunteers

Volunteer Ireland - Ireland Involved Awards

Gaisce - The President's Award Gaisce is the challenge presented to all young people by the President of Ireland

USI - Union of Students of Ireland Student Achievement Awards

NUI Galway Awards

On campus activities are celebrated at annual events. Apply for Societies and Clubs Awards.

Societies Awards

Clubs Awards

Interview questions & your volunteering

The following questions are taken directly from real life job interviews. Practice answering these questions with examples from your volunteering.

  • Have you worked as part of a team? What have you learnt about teamwork?
  • Have you had to improve your time management? In what ways have you had to organise yourself as a volunteer?
  • Which different people have you had to communicate with - both verbally and in writing? Why were you communicating with them?
  • Have you had to negotiate with anyone - and if so, what have you learnt about your own abilities as a negotiator?
  • Have you had to be adaptable as a volunteer? In what ways? In what ways have you had to use your own initiative?
  • What problems have you had to deal with in the course of your volunteering? How did you overcome them?
  • Are there any additional skills you have acquired?
  • Did you have to show leadership skills as a volunteer? Did you have any special areas of responsibility?
  • What qualities and attitudes have you needed in order to make a success of your volunteering?
  • What have you most enjoyed about volunteering? What are you proudest of?

In summary

In this section we covered:

  • The NUI Galway Presidential Award for Volunteering, the ALIVE Certificate: Application and Ceremony
  • Transferable skills gained from volunteering
  • Digital Badges
  • Putting volunteer work on your CV
  • Careers in the non-profit sector
  • Awards and programmes to build experiences
  • Talking about volunteering in an interview

Join Us!

StudentVolunteer.ie enables students to have the opportunity to: enrich your personal development and employability skills, have a fun experience, meet new people, and give back to your community. Sign up now.

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