Let’s hear it for the boys – volunteering can help your career prospects

By Nikesh Arya Marie Curie Volunteer Nikesh joined Marie Curie as an Analytics Intern during his summer break from university. Nikesh studies natural sciences at University College London, and in his spare time enjoys travelling and blogging about current affairs from a global health perspective. Nikesh Arya, Marie Curie Volunteer

When my university assessments were all over for the summer, I found myself with a lot of spare time on my hands. I decided to volunteer with Marie Curie as I wanted to do something worthwhile with my time, while gaining some experience and developing my skills.
I thought volunteering might provide a great opportunity to learn what interests me before choosing my career path and, as a result, I decided to apply for the analytics internship. As Analytics Intern, I work as part of the team that collates data on various aspects of Marie Curie’s operations. We analyse this data and pinpoint opportunities for business improvement. My role within the team is to work on an information bank for the Service Design team which, when it’s finished, will help the team locate specific information much more quickly and easily when working on future projects.

Developing key skills

One of my favourite aspects of my time at Marie Curie has definitely been the team I work with; they’ve been really helpful and supportive and I feel like I’ve thrived in this positive working environment. I’ve also gained some great experiences and developed some key skills, like project management, that I think will be really useful when I come to apply for jobs in the future. My time with Marie Curie has been a real confidence boost and I’ve enjoyed how my internship has allowed me to contribute to some really interesting work, such as attending meetings about Marie Curie’s future communication and brand work. On the flipside, I’ve also learned some valuable lessons about different aspects of the role which I am less keen on, which will help inform my career choices. For example it can be difficult to communicate with colleagues who are based in different locations around the country, which is unavoidable within a large national organisation. I also thrive on variety, so think that perhaps a purely desk-based job might not be for me in the future. Overall, volunteering as an intern at Marie Curie has been brilliant. When I first joined I was invited to an intern welcome lunch which was a great opportunity to meet other like-minded people and discuss our reasons for volunteering with the charity. There are many ways to get involved as a Marie Curie volunteer, see what opportunities are available in your area.