ALIVE Certificate

ALIVE Certificate

ALIVE Certificate

Gradam Uachtarán OÉ Gallimh don Obair Dheonach

  1. ALIVE Certificate - A Celebration of Volunteering

  2. Application
  3. Awards Ceremony
  4. Skills Development
  5. Careers in NGO Sector
  6. Volunteering and your CV
  7. Your Digital Badge
  8. Awards and Programmes
  9. Interview Questions

Celebrating volunteering at University of Galway

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! 



Step 1: Volunteer! - What can Volunteering offer you?

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.

Step 2: Get Certified! - The ALIVE Certificate is the University of Galway Presidential Award for Volunteering

The ALIVE Certificate has two aims.

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:


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, mentoring first-year students or off campus with a school, charity or hospital. All volunteering is recognised!




The ALIVE Award Ceremony down through the years!

2023 Ceremony:

2020 Ceremony:


2016 Ceremony:

2015 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.

1. Teamwork

  Participation in most ALIVE Volunteering opportunities involves working with others. As a result of volunteering, you can quickly identify examples of where you have cooperated with others in your team to achieve a communal goal.

2. Communication

  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 centre 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, have confidence in themselves. Involvement in a volunteering project will give you some valuable evidence of all these areas.

5. 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.

6. 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 coursework 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.

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:

In the US:

In the 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!

University of 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 on Linkedin. Here are some excellent links to learn more.

About Digital Badges 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 for Volunteering- 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.

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

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


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