This week, 1-7 June, is Volunteers’ Week. So, we thought we’d post a series of blogs to celebrate the work of volunteers in the Cancer Information Development team (CID).

In this blog, one of our editorial assistants Amy-Louise shares a Q&A she had with our last intern Liza (who has just started her new job as our other assistant!).

Almost two years ago, I started out as a Macmillan volunteer, working as an intern for the Cancer Information Development team. From day one, I fell in love with the role and the organisation, and a year later I was lucky enough to be able to return to the team to work as a full time editorial assistant.

Image shows a photo of Liza

Interns play an integral role to our team. I caught up with our intern Liza to talk about what she has enjoyed the most about being a volunteer intern for Macmillan.

1) Tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m a dual nationality Canadian-Brit, and I’ve lived nearly half my life in each place – I still have the Canadian accent though! I love going to new places – I’ve been to 21 countries (and counting…). I was also lucky enough to study at university-level in three different countries. I did my BA in Anthropology and Archaeology at Durham University, where I also wrote for and edited university newspapers.

For my two-year MSc I split my time between Sweden and Australia. After I graduated I knew it was time to stop flying around the globe for a while, and try life in the big smoke – so when I found this opportunity I was pretty excited!

2) What made you want to intern for Macmillan?

I knew I wanted to do something that I genuinely cared about, and work for a cause I believed in. That’s where Macmillan came in! I’ve also always enjoyed writing and editing, and when I read the role description it seemed like such a perfect fit, I couldn’t not apply! I was pleasantly surprised and grateful to be given the opportunity to take part in the internship. I think my exact words on the phone were “…are you serious?”

3) What have you enjoyed most about your internship experience?

Firstly, the team have been so good to me. Everyone is helpful and welcoming. Secondly, I’ve never felt like I was just a spare part. I’ve been given proper tasks despite being an intern, and I’ve always felt like my manager genuinely wanted me to work on things that I wanted to work on. I’ve had the chance to do a wide range of things – from conducting an interview, to writing an audio script, researching ideas for a new resource, attending a focus group, tweeting, blogging, working with the other interns to organise a fundraiser, and much more! I’ve enhanced skills I already had, and learnt new ones. Thirdly, there have been some wonderful opportunities for learning development from elsewhere in the organisation.

4) What does volunteering for Macmillan mean to you?

Putting my time and energy behind a charity like Macmillan has been so worthwhile. I knew that I would be able to be 100% behind all the work that I was doing here, and that mattered a great deal to me. I hope I’ve been able to help the team, and help to make a positive impact on the lives of people affected by cancer. Once I graduated there was a period of time where I was losing hope in finding a role that I genuinely cared about, and I wasn’t hearing back from many applications. The job market can be tricky for a social science graduate who has spent most of her adult life flitting between new places! When I heard about this internship it sounded like a great fit. Truthfully, I’m just very thankful to the team for choosing me to join them in their efforts to affect positive change.

So, you’ve heard from Liza about her experience. But what do our recruiters think of the scheme? I asked Laura Espin, Recruitment Partner: 

Quote from Laura which reads: ‘The Macmillan Internship Programme brings bright new talent in to Macmillan and works as a pipeline in to the many vacancies that we have throughout the organisation each year. Interns could be just starting out or looking to change their established career. Either way, our interns are an amazing way to bring in fresh ideas and a new perspective and they become strong brand advocates following their positive experience with us.’

And there you have it. One great way that volunteers are involved in the Cancer Information Development team! 

To see what else Macmillan's cancer information team has been blogging about, please visit our blog home page! You can subscribe to receive our blogs by email or RSS too.

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