One of our computer donation volunteers, Blanka, has recently secured a job working in IT Support at the University of Edinburgh! To celebrate Blanka’s new role, we sat down with her to reflect on her journey into the IT sector and find out more about life as a volunteer.
Why did you choose to volunteer with us?
I came to The Turing Trust wanting an opportunity to help out whilst building up my experience working with different equipment. I’ve had lots of different types of jobs in the past, but I really wanted to focus on a particular sector and build up my expertise within IT.
Whilst looking to get some experience working in IT, I received a recommendation from a previous volunteer who I’d met at Edinburgh College whilst I was studying English and Computing and doing an HNC in Cyber Security.
What did you learn during your time volunteering at The Turing Trust?
I learnt a lot about the work of the charity, the computer donation process and all the fantastic things happening in Malawi. It was really nice to see how technology was changing people’s lives there too.
As I was working on a lot of different types of computers, I also started to gain lots of technical skills whilst getting the PCs ready for reuse. Being exposed to all the different aspects of the charity’s work, from the more technical IT fixes to helping out in the warehouse and with stock management, all helped me to build up my CV. When I was applying for my current role I felt confident I could show off a wide variety of skills and prove that I was able to learn new things quickly.
Where are you working now and is it in any way related to your volunteering experience?
I’m now working at the University of Edinburgh on the Helpdesk in IT support. Whilst there’s lots of variety in the problems I’m helping with, many of the things I’m doing now build upon what I’d been working on at The Turing Trust.
I’d also say that many of the soft skills I picked up whilst working at the Turing Trust have transferred over too.
Anything you’d like to share to encourage other people to volunteer with us?
I’d say that it’s always nice to give it a try. You will definitely learn something and help lots of other people with the computers you help to repair! I really enjoyed being in a fun workplace, getting to meet lots of other nice people and feeling like part of a local community.
Anyone who’s trying to change their career path should be encouraged and not give up – I’ve managed to make this change at 40 years old and it’s going really well, so I’m sure lots of other people could too!
Interested in volunteering with our computer donation charity? Explore our current vacancies now.