Thursday, June 1, 2017

Meet our Volunteer Ann Marie for National Volunteers Week!

Over the past few months, we’ve had the pleasure of working with Ann Marie, a student from John Moores University studying English Literature. Ann Marie is our star volunteer who has supported our Media Team by working on our social media channels and churning out a whole host of blogs that I’m sure many of you will have came across. Unfortunately Ann Marie is moving onto pastures new, next week is her last day of working with us (we will miss her so much!). As it is National Volunteers Week, we wanted to take a moment to shine a light on her and her experience at The Women’s Organisation.

What’s your full name, what area are you from and how old are you?

My name is Ann Marie Flanagan, I’m 21 years old and from Birmingham.

How did you end up working with The Women’s Organisation?

My university emailed me a list of volunteering opportunities for Marketing and after researching the organisation, The Women’s Org stood out the most for me. I had wanted to gain some more marketing experience and this seemed like the perfect opportunity for me.

What were you doing prior to working here?

I am in my third year at LJMU studying English Literature and I had previously completed several marketing placements, including the Everyman Theatre. I also have a part time job as a waitress back home.

What did you hope to get out of volunteering with us?

I hoped to gain some invaluable experience in the marketing field as this is the role I have wanted to pursue as a career for a while now. As it was one day a week, I thought this would be great to build up some more experience for my CV.

What have you learned while you were here? Have you developed any new skills?

I have learnt more invaluable information about the world of marketing. I have developed my social media, writing and creative skills with the help of The Women’s Organisation. Working alongside some amazing people in the Marketing team has helped me to learn how to manage social media. Every week Abi and Lucy would set me many tasks to work through which I always enjoyed. They have been so helpful whenever I have had any questions etc. I have been able to be as creative as I want, there have been no restrictions!

What has been most interesting about working here?

The most interesting thing about working here has been learning about the amazing women that have gained helped through The Women’s Organisation. As I have written various client success studies for the blog, I have read so many inspiring stories that show how great this organisation really is.  The women come from all diverse backgrounds and education, but they all come together in terms of their empowerment.

What will you take away from the experience?

I have grown in many ways and experience really is vital. With the stress of third year deadlines, coming to The Women’s Organisation once a week was a fantastic way for me escape the stress and engage in something I thoroughly enjoy.

Not only will I take away the skills I have developed, but I will also not forget the wonderful team who all work extremely hard. Working in an office surrounded by empowering women (and men) added to how great this placement has been.

Why do you think volunteering is important/useful?

Because it allows you to decide whether this is something you want to pursue or not. The experience and skills you gain are also invaluable. Getting out there in the real work environment and experiencing it first-hand prepares you for the future.

What is your next step and future goals?

My next step is to hopefully continue a role in the Marketing industry and go from there!

Do you think your career journey is any different as a result of your placement?

No, I think if anything this placement has confirmed the interest I have for Marketing.

What advice would you give to other women considering looking for volunteer placements?

Don’t hesitate to apply! You have nothing to lose, but so much to gain from it.  Make sure you choose a company/organisation that interests you. Working for an organisation in which you agree with their values and mission adds to your enthusiasm.

Is there anything else you want to say about volunteering or The Women's Organisation?

I’d like to thank everyone at The Women’s Organisation for welcoming me into the office and particularly to the Marketing and Engagement team for teaching me.  It has been such a great experience and I wish I didn’t have to leave!

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