BU helps thousands of people to reach their potential every year. Find out how you can support our work and develop your skills through volunteering.
Turkish Alumni gathering
BU Alumni Volunteers
Urban Guild Event
Inspiring the next generation
Bristol Media Week
Journalism Careers Forum 2019 group
Share your story
Volunteering overview: We love to hear what our alumni are doing now, and find out how the BU experience has shaped their career. By sharing your story, you will be helping to show what BU graduates go on to achieve and inspire others to do the same. Your story will appear on the BU website and could feature in prospectuses and internal communications campaigns, to give prospective and current students a glimpse of their future.
Time commitment: 1 hour – comprising a call with a member of our alumni team and the review and approval of text prior to publication. We will also ask you to supply a photo, which we can use alongside your article.
Skills and aptitude: An ability and willingness to reflect on your career to date and pass on advice to others.
Suitable for: Anyone. We aim to showcase the diversity of the alumni network and want to hear from graduates working in the field they studied for as well as those whose careers have taken a different route. We are happy to hear from recent graduates at the start of their working lives, although one or two years’ experience is helpful.
Register your interest: Let us know that you would be interested in sharing a graduate profile via our online alumni details update form. We will come back to you when we are working on particular campaigns. Please note we may not follow up immediately.
Give a talk
Volunteering overview: We regularly need alumni to give talks to current students. This might be course specific, to offer students insights into future career paths, or may form part of an extra-curricular activity focused on developing broader skills and experiences. We also invite recent graduates to come back and talk to potential students and their parents at open days.
Time commitment: 2-3 hours – including time to prepare and deliver the talk. Some talks require you to be on campus while others can be delivered digitally.
Skills and aptitude: Some confidence in speaking in front of groups (although we also encourage alumni to use this for skills development) and an ability to engage listeners by telling a story or bringing your career to life through examples.
Suitable for: Anyone who can talk authentically about their BU experience and career to date.
Register your interest: Let us know you’d be interested in giving a talk via our online alumni details update form. We may not come back to you straight away but will follow up when your experience matches a speaker opportunity.
Become a BU alumni mentor
Volunteering overview: Our alumni mentoring scheme matches the skills and experiences of BU’s graduates with the career aspirations of our current students. As an alumni mentor, you will be matched with a student mentee to provide advice on making the first steps into graduate employment. Your mentee will set out the areas they’d like to work on at the start of the mentorship – from improving their CV to interview tips or insights into the skills which employers are looking for.
Time commitment: Up to 8 hours over three months, during which time you will exchange emails with your mentee and possibly chat online, or in some cases meet up face-to-face.
Skills and aptitude: You may already provide line management or coaching to others in the workplace, or you may be keen to move into management and want to use the mentoring programme to gain experience.
Suitable for: Graduates with experience of the workplace who are happy to share their insights and advice to others. Mentoring can also help to connect you with new talent entering the sector.
Register your interest: To express an interest, complete our online alumni details update form, and tick the ‘alumni mentoring’ box under the ‘Getting involved and volunteering section’. We will get in touch to let you know about relevant opportunities.
You can also find out more by reading our Alumni Mentoring Handbook (pdf 463kb).
Support our work in schools
Volunteering overview: BU works with schools and colleges across the UK to promote opportunities for students to progress into higher education. Many schools are keen to hear from their own alumni – who have also gone on to graduate from Bournemouth University. Why not share your journey and inspire the next generation by taking part in one of the following activities? We are happy to help cover travel expenses for alumni visiting their former school, or BU, for a talk.
- Back to school talks – Join our UK Student Recruitment and Outreach Team as they attend school and college careers fairs to promote university options. This is an opportunity for you to revisit your former school or college and talk about your experience at BU and what you are doing now.
- On campus school visits – We regularly host school groups on campus. The visits are designed to give students a flavour of what university life is like, as well as what BU can offer. By registering to take part in our Back to School scheme, we will contact you to if your former school is visiting and invite you to be part of the day.
- Record a case study – If you cannot visit your former school or BU due to time commitments or distance, we would still love to capture your story in the form of a case study. This could be written or recorded so that we can share it during school careers fairs and campus visits.
Time commitment: Variable depending on the option taken up – from 1 hour to half a day.
Skills and aptitude: An ability and willingness to reflect on your career to date and pass on advice to others.
Suitable for: BU graduates who have also studied at one of BU’s feeder schools and colleges.
Register your interest: To express an interest in any of these options, complete our alumni details update form and tick the ‘Giving an alumni talk at your previous school’ box in the Getting involved and volunteering section. Be sure to include the name of your previous school where requested.
Become a school governor
Volunteering overview: Joining a school governing board is a great way to develop your professional skills and apply existing ones within a new context. Governors play a key role in leading, supporting and improving schools for children across the UK. It is a chance to broaden your experiences as well as improve educational outcomes within your local community.
Time commitment: Varies depending on role and nature of board membership - but typically governors attend around six meetings a year and spend around seven hours a month on governing duties. The term of office for a governor is four years.
Skills and aptitude: While parents and those with education experience make great governors, neither are requirements to volunteer. Many schools want an outside perspective and rely on those with business acumen to bring challenge to the board.
Suitable for: School governing boards need skilled people to help them run effectively, but both hard and soft skills are needed around the table. Whether you’ve spent 20 years as an accountant or are in the earlier stages of your career, schools need soft skills such as problem solving or negotiation as much as specific expertise.
Register your interest: We have partnered with Governors for Schools, a charity which helps to recruit and train school governors to meet the needs of schools and academy boards across England and Wales.
Hear more from two BU alumni already volunteering as school governors
Richard Lloyd-Williams graduated from BU with a BA (Hons) in International Marketing with French and now works as a Marketing Consultant. He is a governor at Horley Infant School in West Sussex.
“I’d recently moved to a new area when I saw the advert to be a school governor and I thought it would be interesting. From a civic perspective, I’d like to give something back while supporting my own personal growth. It felt like there was a big opportunity to be part of the local community.
“Being on the governing board was particularly interesting at the beginning of the pandemic when schools were closing. As governors, we were looking quite specifically in detail around risk assessments and understanding what procedures needed to be put in place. With our support, the school leadership ultimately had to make a decision on whether the school was in a position to take pupils back in.
“I would recommend volunteering as a school governor – it’s a great opportunity to learn a bit more about how schools work, and engage with your community in a slightly different way.”
Hsiao-Pei (Sophie) Yang completed a PhD in Marketing at BU and is a governor at Templars Primary School in Coventry.
“As I’m not from the UK, I feel that I bring a different perspective to the board. I don’t have first-hand experience of the education system which
can be one of my strengths in the role. As a team, it allows the board to think outside the box. Although I’m a parent, it wasn’t until I became a governor that I realised how much pressure the senior leadership team are under. The funding of UK schools is such a big issue and being on the board has been an eye opener for me. Having those discussions as a board means we can support with maximising resources and look at other fundraising streams.
“Every school faces different challenges and I’ve had to understand and adapt to the school community. Compared to my daughter’s school, there are different challenges and considerations, even though both are in Coventry. Once you become a governor, you need to look and consider all perspectives.
“I’ve been learning in the school governor role to see things at a more strategic level rather than operational. These are skills you’ll need in every career at some point. The skills and competencies required are not a given - you need to learn and practice.”
Organise a reunion
Reconnect with former classmates and relive your university experiences by organising a reunion. Download our short Alumni Reunion Guide (pdf 348kb) to get started.
Make a gift
Bournemouth University works with a variety of individuals and organisations to secure financial support for many different projects and priorities.
With support, we can help more and more students reach their potential and make a real contribution to the wider world through research and enterprise work going on in our academic schools.
If you believe in the good work BU is doing, or if you'd like to give today's students a helping hand, we'd be delighted to hear from you.
To find out more about what we're seeking support for, or to make a donation yourself, visit our information pages.
SUBU community volunteering
As one of Bournemouth University's alumni, you have also have access to a wide range of volunteering opportunities through SUBU Volunteering which matches people interested in volunteering with the organisations who need them.
Opportunities come from a range of local, national and international organisations that conform to a clear code of practice, which ensures the health and safety of the volunteer and the quality of the opportunity. So, whether you want to volunteer for laying paths on Brownsea, painting murals or taking disabled young adults to the pub, now you can find the right opportunity.
You can also use SUBU Volunteering to advertise for volunteers for community activities you are involved in organising.