Why Volunteer?

Why volunteer?

There are a variety of reasons why people volunteer:

  • to give something back to your communities
  • to support a cause you feel particularly passionate about
  • to make connections and build networks 
  • to experience opportunities 'on the job' that you may not otherwise have had
  • to develop your skills and abilities in a real world environment 
  • to identify further learning opportunities
  • to explore what it is we might like to undertake as paid work or in your career
  • to promote yourselves and our University/Students ’Association
  • to be challenged and rewarded

Explore the different sections of the 'Volunteering & You' tab to find out exactly how volunteering can benefit you and your future!

Professional Development

Professional development is a broad term to describe the way that individuals learn and progress in relation to a specific field of work. This means it is about developing employability skills, understanding industry standards and practice, knowing how to use specific equipment or software, learning the lingo and culture, keeping up to date with current practice and knowledge, and reflecting on what you're learning to make you a more well-rounded and skilfull practitioner. 

Your degree syllabus is part of your professional development; it will introduce you to the sector and develop the basic skills and knowledge you'll need when you go into work. For some courses, you will receive professional accreditation in addition to a degree.

Professional development is about more than just your academic qualificaitons though - you need good communication skills, the ability to work effectively in teams, the skills to set and manage deadlines and prioritise tasks, the experience of working with a wide range of people, and many other attributes besides.

We know that for many people University is a pathway to a great career, and VBase are here to support your personal pathway however we can.

You can contact VBase for an appointment to talk about your personal and professional development at any time.

Placements, Employability Modules and Volunteering

Most courses at Edinburgh Napier provide the opportunity for you to engage in an external placement of some sort. This might also be called an employability or volunteering module, or professional practice. These terms all cover the same type of experience though - it is about giving you the opportunity to apply and develop your skills in a real-world environment, make contacts and network, and experience working in a professional environment.

VBase works with placement offices and academics around the University to provide opportunities for students to work in the third sector (the umbrella term for charities and other not-for-profit organisations - the other two being the private and public sectors).

Using our links in the local community, VBase can facilitate rewarding placements in interesting environments. Doing your placement with a charity will often have a greater impact than doing it in business environments, as charities are often under-resourced and struggling to cover all that needs to be done. You can be an incredibly valuable resource for them, and make a large difference in the local community and to people's lives.

Have a look at the Placements section for more information about this area.


Ashley McLean
VP Reps and Volunteers
VP Reps and Volunteers

Ashley is ENSA’s Vice President Reps & Volunteers. If you need any information or advice about anything relating to being a rep, campaigns or volunteering, contact Ashley and she will tell you all you need to know.

Email Ashley

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