Being a proactive student means doing things out of your comfort zone, going beyond the ordinary, and really putting yourself out there with every opportunity worthwhile and meaningful to yourself during your time at university. This is all simply through experience!
Every student should always think about how they can develop themselves or their knowledge of study every day. You can do this by getting real life experience and really getting yourself prepared for the real world. Gaining experience whether through a job, internship, volunteering, work experience is a vital and necessary skill and a great path towards opening many more opportunities into your lifetime.
For myself personally, I have managed to be proactive and gain more experiences by having a part time job alongside studies, such as care/support work jobs. However, other jobs outside this sector such as retail or customer service assistant roles are all useful for self-development.
As an individual, you are acquiring interpersonal skills and experiences into the real working field, which is a valuable skill to develop as a student. This will also prepare you for employment after studies. Having a part time alongside studies shows how proactive you are as a person, something to talk about to future job prospects.
I have also got involved with opportunities associated to Social Policy - Whether it be in university, taking part in focus groups for the National Students Union, or for Canvas as a student ambassador. I believe all these experiences have developed me as a person through networking.
I have volunteered at various charity shops such as British Red Cross, Heart Research and Cancer Research, where I’m a staff at the moment. Volunteering shows that you are a proactive student because you spare your time to make an impact for others. As a Social Policy student, this is a good trait to have. By getting involved and working with various organisations such as charity shops, you are acquiring practical skills and networking with potential employers and organisations.
Personally, I have not done an internship but only work experiences for period of times such as a month or so at British Red Cross for example. Internships are useful by making you more competitive in the job market and help you gain exposure to the work field. They can give you an insight to whether the desired career pathway is right for you.
Here are links below of potential websites for work experiences, volunteering, internships:
Better yet, if there is something you have always wanted to do differently, make the change and you never know the impact you can have, this is where university offers such great opportunities during your course of study. As a university student, you should take advantage of the opportunities given, which will help you develop as an individual.
Also, as a Social Policy student - you must think and act like a social politician. You have the knowledge, power and understanding of social problems, community and society, you should always aim to do more for the wider community and most importantly, yourself. Be spontaneous, be open minded and be a proactive student!