An interview with Riyaadh

Read Riyaadh's story of how he joined our sector support team at VAL, in his placement year as an Economic and Politics university student.

Riyadh is a third year university student studying Economics and Politics. As part of his degree he had to carry out work experience in a field that would help him to enhance his skills and develop his knowledge in the area which he is studying.

Riyaadh carried out his work experience within the Sector Support team at VAL at one of the most busiest times of the year. We were right in the middle of initiating our Covid Vaccinations volunteering programme and Riyaadh played an important role in helping us to coordinate volunteers as well as providing the much needed support to the entire team.

1)    How did you hear about VAL?

I originally discovered VAL through a job vacancies ad, which I discussed with my Dad (who works for the local authorities) who then gave me a basic insight into what he knows about the organisation; being that they provide services to the community.

2)    Did you know anything about what we did before you started working for us?

After the discussion with my Dad, I went on to research VAL. I discovered that VAL was a non-profit organisation that worked with charities and other organisations to provide support and advice. However, prior to seeing the job ad I hadn’t heard of VAL.

3)    What made you choose us to carry out your work experience?

I chose to carry out my work experience at VAL as I concluded from my research that they provided a vital and valuable service to the Leicestershire communities. Therefore I believed the work I would be doing was beneficial to society.

Furthermore, as an economics and politics student, getting an insight into the voluntary sector was incredibly educational, as my studies usually focus on the private and public sector.

4)    What do you feel you have learnt throughout your time with us that you can take away with you?

My time at VAL has further developed a range of my skills. From IT skills, that I’ve used considerably through my work with excel, to communication skills that have been developed as I’m constantly using whilst talking with my team members, other organisations, as well as with volunteers that I’ve worked with.

Additionally, working with VAL has increased my independence and ability to work under pressure as often I’ll be set tasks with a deadline to meet. This encouraged me to correctly manage my time, deciding when to complete what task and how to prioritize when I have multiple.

As well as working alone, I also had some tasks to work through with colleagues. I learnt how it’s essential to equally contribute to work between team mates, whilst also supporting each other through work, building strong working relationships.

5)    What did you enjoy most about working with us?

There were many aspects of my job that I thoroughly enjoyed- from talking to volunteers, being able to put my IT skills to use and completing research. However, I’d say my favourite part about my time at VAL was being able to work with my colleagues as part of a team. The Sector Support team is a wonderful group of people, who’ve offered me plenty of support and advice to make sure I felt welcome at VAL.

Any other comments?

I have enjoyed working within a team and finding out about all the different things that VAL does. Whether it is funding training, support for groups or volunteering my time here feels like I have only had a small insight into what they do. I am looking forward to taking my experience back with me and putting in into practice when I start employment.

Get involved in volunteering

If you’re inspired to get involved in volunteering, you can find out more on our VAL Volunteering website.

If you’re a voluntary, community or social enterprise organisation who wants more support with recruiting or managing volunteers, can get in touch with us:
0116 257 5050