Why volunteer?

By volunteering, you can make a vital contribution to what makes Surrey successful. You can support both current and prospective students, help the University meet its objectives and maintain and grow our global reputation.

Become a volunteer

It’s not just about giving, you get a lot back!

There are many benefits to volunteering, such as:

  • Developing your skills
  • Meeting interesting people
  • Promoting your company
  • Keeping in touch with fellow alumni and academics
  • Supporting a cause you care about.

We are always delighted to welcome new alumni to the volunteering community, and there are many ways in which you can help. 

Meet our volunteers

Our volunteers come from a diverse range of backgrounds and disciplines, hold a variety of skills and are at different career stages. Their common ground is a shared desire and enthusiasm to work together to really make a difference to the University of Surrey community. 

We asked our volunteers why they chose to support Surrey:

Lewis Young, LLB Law 2012, Solicitor at The Partnership Ltd

Lewis Young

Lewis supports our Open Days and Law Networking Evenings, sharing his experiences with applicants and current students.

"I always felt passionately about the University, and, as I always felt at home at Surrey, being able to share this with prospective students means that my experiences can be of benefit to someone else."

Janet Preston, BSc Physics 1978, Director of Cold Fuzion business consultancy

Janet Preston

Janet supports our Student Enterprise programme, encouraging entrepreneurial students to develop their skills and business ideas.

"I had four fabulous years at Surrey and I want to give something back. I get to pass on my business experience and work with bright young minds testing the boundaries. In return, I’m gaining new insights in the digital media and retailing industries, worlds quite different to my own."

Pat Boadu-Darko, MSc Tourism Marketing 1993, Principal Tour Organiser, pbdTravel International

Pat Boadu Darko

Pat mentored a final-year Tourism Management student and was keen for her mentee to learn about the motivating factors behind her business and invited her to a celebration by a Ghanaian and Nigerian community in Woolwich, south-east London.

“My mentee’s appreciation of the culture and values of the gathering that evening went a long way to inform her critique of the company and her suggestions for new ideas which have had a positive effect on our operations. In return, through our mentor/mentee relationship, I got a peep into her community in Lincolnshire – a community I plan to visit in the not too distant future!”

Sana Sandra Karbal, LLB Law 2015

Sana Sandra Karbal

Sana volunteers as a Marketing & Student Recruitment Ambassador for the University of Surrey in Abu Dhabi.

“I decided to volunteer because I firmly believe in giving back to communities and causes I am passionate about. I enjoyed my experience at the University of Surrey and I’m wholeheartedly passionate about encouraging individuals of all backgrounds, demographics, and socioeconomic groups to seek higher education.”

Hear from our students

“My mentor helped me talk through all of my thoughts and ideas so that I could think out loud - and she probed me when I sounded uncertain to find another option.”

The advice given to PhD student Shamini Holloway from her mentor Maria Evangeli, a PR and brand specialist, has been a crucial factor in helping her to set up her own social enterprise business.

Shamini is one of hundreds of students who each year benefit from one of the University’s mentoring programmes. All of our mentors are volunteers who share our aim to help students build a solid foundation of skills from which to launch a variety of successful careers.

In Shamini’s case, the University’s social enterprise team paired her with Maria, to help her develop her MAGIC Wand hemp shake, an industrial hemp-based drink that addresses issues related to nutrition, obesity and the environment.

She said: “My parents did not go to university and were not entrepreneurs, so I did not have the support to talk through any of my ideas, ambitions or hair-brained schemes. Surrey is doing a wonderful job of giving students that opportunity to develop through listening and training.”

Through the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management Student Mentoring Programme, final-year students are brought together with more than 40 industry mentors from around the world.

The pairing of Tourism Management student Ellie Rooks and Surrey alumna, Pat Boadu-Darko, went beyond learning new skill sets and gave them both an insight into different cultures and communities. Pat’s company, pbdTravel International, runs tours with the primary objective of encouraging people (in particular migrant Africans) to see more of London and the UK in general.

She was keen for Ellie to learn more about the motivating factors behind her business and invited her to a celebration by a predominantly Ghanaian and Nigerian community in Woolwich, Southeast London.

Pat said: “Her appreciation of the culture and values of the gathering that evening went a long way to inform her critique of the company and suggest new ideas which have had a positive effect on our operations. In return, through our mentor/mentee relationship, I got a peep into her community in Spalding, Lincolnshire - a community I plan to visit in the not too-distant future!”

The true worth of mentoring often extends beyond university and becomes a long-lasting connection. MBA student Sreekanth Sasikumar has valued his relationship with MBA alumnus Paul Stone, former Vice-President of Strategy and Portfolio at Shell International, as part of the Surrey Connect Mentoring Programme.

“My mentor has introduced me to new business connections to help with my career progression. I will cherish our relationship beyond this MBA and I am sure that Paul will be a guide throughout my career,” he said.

We could, of course, not do all this without the volunteers who give so generously of their time. Professor Marco Mongiello, Surrey Business School, summed it up: “We are extremely grateful to the mentors who have succeeded in a wide variety of fields and who are willing to share their stories. The opportunity to tap directly into the knowledge of successful people, discuss their stories and the lessons learnt in achieving those remarkable results, is tremendously effective in helping the students to build their own careers.”

Feeling inspired?

We have a wide variety of volunteering roles so you can find something that’s the perfect fit for you. Complete our short form to tell us about your interests and we’ll be in touch to discuss the opportunities.