Towards the end of my final year, I had received an email asking if I was interested in doing any voluntary work for the Wychwood festival; working with Waterstones as part of the children’s literature event. The summer holidays in between studies are long, and I thought this would be a great experience to put my degree to good use. And I’m glad I did- as not only did I have a great time meeting the authors and learning a bit about children’s literature, I was very fortunate in later getting a job with Waterstones; which I’m thoroughly enjoying and hope to take further as a career as a bookseller.
For anyone thinking of volunteering for anything or wondering what opportunities are out there that can help tie in with their own degrees after their studies, I would say to ask their lecturers and see if they know any contacts in the fields you are interested in. My lecturers were a constant support to me; and I know that without the contacts that my lecturers have had with these booksellers for example, this opportunity would not have been possible.
What I would say is keep looking out for these opportunities for voluntary work and do apply to them. Amongst having some fun experiences of your own, you never know what path they might lead to for your career.