ALIVE Certificate - A Celebration of Volunteering
The annual ALIVE Certificate Ceremony is a great opportunity for us to come together as a community and celebrate the power of volunteering. You can be part of this years ceremony in two easy steps!
University of Galway President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh pictured with students achieving their award for volunteering and sharing his experiences of community engagement at the annual Award Ceremony!
You can make an impact for yourself and your community through volunteering on and off campus. 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.
First and foremost, we want to reward all the time and effort students put into their extra-curricular activities: societies, sports clubs, campaigns, committees, volunteering, community engagement, mentoring, class representatives, student radio, and everything else that isn't degree-related!
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, University of 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!
To apply, students must complete the application form, which is a series of reflection questions about their volunteering. It’s easy! Log in at our dedicated Award website, complete the application form and click submit. You can save your application, return to edit it and manage your volunteering portfolio at any time.
Login to YourSpace using your Campus Account Student ID and Password to start and update your application: yourspace.nuigalway.ie
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!
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.
Participation in most ALIVE Volunteering opportunities involves working with others. As a result of volunteering you can easily identify examples of where you have cooperated with others in your team to achieve a communal goal..
Communication is often one of the most important skills which an employer is looking for. 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 on to others.
3. 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.
4. 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.
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.
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 University of Galway's Career Development Centre website.
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
Social Entrepreneurship Ireland
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:
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.
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.
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 initiative.
More information on the supplement is available here.
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
University of Galway Awards
On campus activities are celebrated at annual events. Apply for Societies and Clubs Awards.
The following questions are taken directly from real life job interviews. Practice answering these questions with examples from your volunteering.
In this section we covered:
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.Register Now