VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) Team Leader

Rosemarie Middlehurst 

VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) Team Leader

Watch a Youtube video of Rosemarie talking about her life and career-path after graduation

 Degree subject and year of graduation – (MA) Hons Linguistics, 2014

My current job

Currently I am a Team Leader of a group of young volunteers in Tanzania, Africa for the VSO ICS program. My volunteers are British and Tanzanian young people aged between 18 and 25. My team deliver information on sexual and reproductive health and life skills in order to facilitate the young people in the community to be better equipped to handle and control the AIDS epidemic currently ongoing in the Kagera region of Tanzania. My specific role is to support and guide these volunteers, and implement the delivery of the VSO’s project and aims.

My career history

Through school and university I worked as a Healthcare Advisor for Boots the Chemist. After graduating, I was a temp Administrator for Capita Pensions Services for four months, before leaving the UK for Tanzania.

How I’ve used my degree skills and/or knowledge in my career.

I implement my project management and deadline-management skills gained through my degree in my work here in Tanzania. I regularly employ my Second Language Acquisition and knowledge about language acquisition and second/third language use to either teach children English, or communicate effectively with my team and members of the community. I use my presentation skills and essay-writing skills to compile reports and give feedback to senior management. I have used my degree in my application for my Administrator role and my VSO role, and I believe having a degree greatly influenced my employer’s opinions of my commitment, reliability and employability.

Experience that helped me get to where I am now.

I will be eternally grateful for the supervision and guidance of my dissertation supervisor, as working under her and listening to her advice meant I managed to complete a dissertation that I am able to discuss extensively in interviews.

Holding down a job throughout school and university was hard, but now enables me to discuss my time management and commitment with evidence to back up my claims. The consistent working history also now assists me in proving loyalty and being able to work in varied settings and under various deadlines.

My career decisions

I made use of the careers advisor at university, who gave me some good advice on how to improve my CV. I discussed my options and job opportunities with my dissertation supervisor. I persevered with job applications even when all I was receiving in turn were rejections, as the application and interview processes I went through have now all given me confidence and skills in the application and interview processes I undergo and perform now. I researched my options whilst temping, and decided to boost my CV whilst benefiting others by volunteering with the VSO abroad.

My advice to current students interested in this area of work

Research thoroughly your charities and the third sector. As a hugely competitive jobs market, the third sector will not accept you unless you display force of will and commitment. Do not be intimidated, or think you are not the sort of person who can volunteer or good enough to work for a charity. Persevere, commit, and work hard.

My advice on making career decisions

Do not limit yourself to what you once wanted, what you’ve been told you should be, or what your degree naturally inclines you to. Find that thing that makes you light up, and then find a job that pays you to do it. And temp in the meantime!

 

 

 

 

 

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