When is a good degree not enough?

Most students come to Northumbria to gain a degree or other training that will improve their job prospects.  

But did you know

  • Only 60% of employers rate a good degree as important - it’s your skills and achievements that will really set you apart in an interview.
  • Nearly 50% of recruiters said that without previous work experience graduates have little or no chance of receiving a job offer for graduate programmes.
  • 73% of employers prefer candidates with experience outside of their degree.
  • 70% of degree level jobs do not specify the discipline of the degree – what is it that makes you stand out?
  • Employers do want staff with skills in self-management, team-work, problem-solving, communication, business awareness and a positive attitude. [Source; CBI/NUS Working Towards Your Future Report, May 2011]
  • Most graduates will change their jobs and even careers at least once by the time they are thirty – what experiences and skills do you have that will help you manage that change?

These days a good degree isn’t enough to start building a promising career. Whether you are a final year, or starting at Northumbria, we have something for you.

How NSU helps you

NSU commits that volunteering with us gives you –

Valuable experience – We want all our volunteering opportunities to be meaningful to students, not just for employability but their chance to have a positive impact on the lives of your fellow students or people in the local, national and international community.

Many of our opportunities – particularly programme representative and committee members, will give you the opportunity to gain experiences that employers will want to hear about - from organising great events for hundreds of people to speaking up on behalf of thousands of students to the University to working with some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Personal Development – Volunteering with the Union can be challenging and in many roles you will do things you’ve never done before and develop new skills – working in a group to achieve a common aim, negotiating with suppliers, helping people dealing with mental, emotional and physical issues, planning ahead and running to budget, even just listening to others. Whatever you do, our volunteering opportunities will help you develop into the person an employer wants to recruit.

Recognition –

Every student who volunteers with us, whether in the community, as an academic rep or on a society committee, can have that recognised by the Union and added to their Higher Education Achievement Report. This lists all your academic achievements and work for an employer to see.

We have three types of recognition

LEVEL 1: You’ll receive a Volunteering Certificate in pdf / hardcopy certificate confirming your volunteering in that role, or roles, with the Union and have this entered on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) alongside your degree transcript. 

LEVEL 2: Excellence in Volunteering Certificate - receive a pdf / hardcopy certificate confirming your commitment to the volunteering role and showing your personal development. Also appears on your HEAR.

LEVEL 3: Leadership in Volunteering Certificate - receive a pdf / hardcopy certificate confirming your personal development as a leader and commitment to the role. Also appears on your HEAR.

To receive your certificate please do the following;

Level 1: Volunteering Certificate - log your hours on the module for each role you wish to have recognised. Programme reps log hours on the feedback tool. You do not need to do anything else!

Level 2 and Level 3 can be applied for from 01/01/2019. 

Level 2: Excellence in Volunteering Certificate - log at least 50 hours on the module across all the roles you wish to have recognised (i.e you could do 50 in one role, or 10 hours in 5 roles etc. As long as the total is at least 50 hours). Complete at least four sections of the following reflective statement once only (you do not need to do it for each role and can use different roles in the same statement) with at least 500 words. 

Level 3: Leadership in Volunteering Certificate - log at least 80 hours on the module across all the roles you wish to have recognised (i.e you could do 80 in one role, or 20 hours in 4 roles etc. As long as the total is at least 50 hours). Complete all sections of the following reflective statement once only (you do not need to do it for each role and can use different roles in the same statement) with at least 750 words.

In addition if your society completed our society recognition scheme, wins society of the month, you win rep of the month or you win an award at any of our three awards events, this will also get recognised on your HEAR.

Have a look at all our opportunities on www.mynsu.co.uk/getinvolved/volunteer/ and find what’s good for you.

Partnership  - We work with the University Careers department to promote their work and run specific sessions for volunteers to help translate their experience into job winning CVs and interview responses. Whatever year you are, now is always the best time to get in touch with them and use the resources on their portal