Volunteer with us this Autumn, delivering practice interviews for year 13 students applying to university, to raise money for the charity of your choice and support widening access to top universities.
Students in year 13 applying to Oxford, Cambridge, medicine or other university courses that interview applicants in 2017. We work with two groups of students:
Bursary students: we have a number of partnerships with groups such as Teach First, Ark Academies, The Access Project, Villiers Park and the Sutton Trust. We offer their students, who are high achieving academically but face multiple barriers to university access, interview practice and advice. Around 1 in 5 of our interviews are provided for free.
Paying clients: the majority of our clients are paying for the practice interviews we offer. Around 50% of our paying clients contact us directly via our public website, and sit interviews at Paddington Academy. The other 50% come through partnerships with a number of top independent schools around London and the South-East.
We offer students personal statement interviews and subject specific interviews. For personal statement interviews you'll interview within the academic division you graduated in - so a Classics graduate might do a History personal statement interview, etc. For subject specific interviews, we'll keep it related to your area of expertise - you'll share a text or problem with the student and then discuss their response to it. We can share resources to use or you can develop your own.
If you're a medicine graduate you might give practice MMI interviews.
As much or as little as you want! This is a very flexible opportunity. We run our interview days on Saturdays and Sundays, September to early December. We send you a list of dates and locations and ask you to select those you're available for. Most of our volunteers pick three days from our full list, allowing them to raise about £500.
Once you've signed up to volunteering days, we'll share background on the students you'll interview. Most volunteers spend an hour or so the day before the interviews preparing the interview exercises and reviewing personal statements.
Most of the interviews take place at Paddington Academy (5 minutes from St John's Wood, Maida Vale and Westbourne Park tube stations). However we also visit a range of schools around the South-East and in Oxford.
For every hour of volunteering you do for paying clients, we award you a "charity hour". At the end of our financial year, we look at our profits and divide this by the total hours conducted. This gives us our hourly rate and means that in March 2018 we will let you know the total amount you have raised for the charity of your choice. We keep our overheads as low as possible, in order that this hourly rate for your charity donations is as high as possible.
This is normally between £35 - £50/hour. Last year we gave away over £100,000; our top volunteer raised over £5,000 and the average was £527.
The amount you can donate depends on the number of days you sign up for - doing 3 six hour days over 4 months can easily raise over £500 for the charity of your choice. Many of our volunteers sign up as a group of friends to collectively fundraise for one charity - let us know if you'd like to do this and we can run a private training session and help you set and reach a target!
We ask volunteers to choose a UK registered charity. If you would like to donate to an international charity, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss. We are not able to donate to private individuals or to for-profit entities.
Before volunteering with us we ask you to complete our 1.5 hour training session (online or in person) that covers the ethos of how we support students, advice on pitching at the right level and giving feedback, and essential child protection training. We will also observe your interviews and share advice and feedback.
We have a large database of educational resources for you to use in your interviews, and our staff team and experienced interviewers are always on hand to share advice.
We will also process a DBS check on your behalf, and you will complete our child protection training - both necessary conditions of working with young people.
Many of our volunteers tell us that an unexpected benefit of volunteering with us is that it builds their own interviewing skills - invaluable at any stage of your career. It's also a great way to develop your own network of other recent graduates, develop skills of working with young people and reconnect with your subject. It's also really fun!
We are looking for Oxford, Cambridge or medicine graduates, who are motivated by our social mission and keen to support young people from all backgrounds to achieve their potential at university. No other expertise required!