As part of our nationwide Volunteers’ Week running from 1 to 7 June, today’s blog was written by Laura Humphries, a Marketing & Events Assistant volunteer based in Northern Ireland, about her placement at the RSPB.

As part of my foundation degree in marketing at Belfast Metropolitan College, I needed to undertake a ten week placement. I decided to choose the RSPB, having always been interested in the outdoors and the conservation that helps preserve it. With the help of the college, I secured a three day per week placement under the watch of Kathryn Cochrane (Northern Ireland Communications Manager). I was extremely excited to start and get to see the workings of a Communications Manager’s job.

 From the beginning Kathryn and Brian (Communications and Events Officer) got me involved in many aspects of their job, letting me into the perks and stresses that come with it. My main role as marketing and events assistant volunteer was in social media. I was given a project on levels of engagement of RSPB NI social media platforms, working out whether a post has been successful in reaching the audience. Other roles that I have been involved in are event marketing for reserve events 2018, destination marketing, in particular Rathlin West Light Seabird centre, creating poster templates, and auditing photography databases. Each new role has given me vital skills for the future.

 An experience to treasure

 One thing I have learnt from my placement is that no two days in the world of marketing are the same. You must be ready to tackle any task that you are given and usually in a short time period. Marketing is incredibly fast-paced and organisation is key to its success. However, my ten weeks with the RSPB have helped me realise that I am on the right career path. I never thought that in ten short weeks I would learn so much and it has been an experience that I will cherish forever. The skills that I have been able to develop will continue to grow with me as I pursue my marketing career.

 As I continue to study my degree at Ulster University in September, I will bring with me the skills and the experience that the RSPB has allowed me to gain. The RSPB is an incredible charity that truly dedicates itself to helping conserve nature is every aspect of its work and I am glad to have been involved with it.

 If you’re interested in volunteering for the RSPB, you can browse current volunteering opportunities here.