From Kickstart to Digital Engagement Graduate
“Hello, my name is Andrew MacIver, and I have recently joined Project Trust as a Digital Engagement Graduate through the HIE ScotGrad placement scheme. A couple of months ago I was finishing my kickstart placement. I was gaining while on my 6-month placement with The Training Folk. Well, I am here again with an update on what I am up to now since leaving The Training Folk. As I stated at the start of this, I have recently become a Digital Engagement Graduate for Project Trust - one of the original volunteering charities for young people, offering long-term placements for 17-25-year-olds in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Challenging young people, allowing them to learn about the world, and be a positive force within it.
I can honestly say that without my time spent at The Training Folk learning and adapting my marketing skillset, as well as building my confidence taking on a lot of responsibility and autonomy within the field, I would not be here writing this. That placement shaped my confidence and mindset about my capability within marketing and without that exposure, I would not be in the position I am in now. Those 6 months were crucial in setting me apart from the competition and I feel they show in the work I am carrying out today.
In my current role, as a Digital Engagement Graduate, I am responsible for making sure the charity’s message is displayed online, whether that be on social media or through our website. I need to make sure we are always showing an engaging presence online, always coming up with new ways to be interacting with our current volunteers to help produce content, which then in term helps us to show potential new volunteers the great experience they can have if they choose to go on one of our placements. Alongside that, I need to always be making sure the messages we are putting out are appropriate and align with the charity’s vision. This means I am kept very busy, and I am constantly faced with new challenges. Though being faced with new challenges is always a little bit daunting, maybe even a little bit stressful at times, I know that my experience through my kickstart placement has helped me a great deal on how to react to these situations.
I am very excited for the next couple of months at Project Trust, as we start to welcome in more volunteers. One thing that makes this role very interesting and something I already do not take for granted is how I can watch these volunteers on their once-in-a-lifetime journeys. Being the point of contact for all volunteers when it comes to content, I am constantly communicating back and forth with all, and this is only the start.
Before I end, I would like to add that I can honestly say that the kickstart placement did kickstart my marketing career, so I will be forever grateful to The Training Folk for the opportunity they gave me. Though I also want to say a massive thank you to all my colleagues at Project Trust, though I have only just joined they have welcomed me with open arms, been very supportive but also allowed me to have that creative freedom that is needed in a role like this.
ABOUT PROJECT TRUST
Project Trust has been organising long-term voluntary placements in Africa, Asia, and Latin America for young people since 1967, making them the most experienced educational charity specialising in overseas volunteering for school-leavers and now recently.
From their home on the Hebridean Isle of Coll, they annually select around 300 young people from across the UK for 8 – 12-month overseas teaching, social care, and outward bound projects. Working with partners overseas, these projects are carefully chosen to ensure the Volunteers’ skills can be put to good use in their host communities and do not take work away from local people.
Project Trust provides all Volunteers with training and support before, during, and after their time overseas, to maximize both the educational value of their experience and the positive impact they have in their projects and host communities.
Although only being less than 2 months in the role, I get a real sense that undergoing a Project Trust placement gives these young Volunteers a chance to grow and come back to the UK with a wide range of skills. Having already spoken to several Returned Volunteers. I have a good understanding of the development they experience when they return home. Once a Volunteer has finished their placement. They return home with broadened horizons, increased maturity, and an impressive range of transferable skills. Volunteers can now receive a National Qualification, an NOCN Diploma in International Volunteering. “