Volunteering with Youth Employment UK is great for your confidence, youth empowerment and your CV! Meet our Youth Ambassador Shanique Clarke.
A bit about me
I’m Shanique, a 23 year old MSc Management student from Manchester. I am driven and determined individual. I have a strong work ethic developed over the past five years through various work experience opportunities. I am very passionate about the lived experiences of the BAME community and hope to create meaningful and long-lasting change.
What inspired me to join Youth Employment UK as a Youth Ambassador…
My entrance to Youth Employment UK began through my involvement in the Greater Manchester’s Young Persons Guarantee. Working alongside the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the team over at Youth Employment UK, I gained a taste of all the great work I could get involved with at Youth Employment UK. I knew this was a conversation I wished to continue. Furthermore, my personal experiences over the past year renewed my interest in tackling the topic of youth unemployment. After graduating in 2020 and finding it difficult to find a job, I wanted to shine a spotlight on the experiences of recent graduates, particularly those who graduated in the midst of a global pandemic.
What I’ve been doing since starting my Youth Ambassador journey
In a few months, I have had the pleasure to get involved with so many amazing projects. A major highlight for me was sitting on a youth panel with Kings College London and The Edge Foundation to mark the launch of the Young Lives, Young Futures research project. I was able to contribute my experiences of education, offering my perspective and shaping a much larger conversation.
How volunteering has helped me
Volunteering as a Youth Ambassador has helped me immensely; both professionally and personally. Before becoming an ambassador, I struggled with confidence and speaking to large crowds. While this has been all virtual, I have significantly developed my public speaking skills. This is invaluable for me as I now feel like a stronger storyteller. Moreover, as a Youth Ambassador I have gained a deeper understanding about other people’s stories and seeing things from different perspectives. Being a Youth Ambassador at Youth Employment UK has also helped me to pinpoint my passion and how one person’s voice in unison with others can create change.
Advice I would give to a young person who was unsure about joining the Youth Ambassador team
Just do it! There are no cons to joining the team. At first, I was hesitant to join due to my other commitments, however Alesha and the team understand that you may have other priorities and will support you to gain the most out of this opportunity.
Being a Youth Ambassador in one sentence…
I don’t need a sentence, just a word… inspiring.
My work experience journey
I have completed many different forms of work experience over the past five years varying from: work placements, student ambassador, part time work and volunteering. I have found these experiences instrumental in helping to figure out my next steps and future career. Much of these opportunities were found through online platforms such as LinkedIn, Indeed and my university’s careers service.
What has given me most self-confidence on my career journey
I’ve grown my self-confidence by embarking on many different work experiences to identify what I liked and didn’t. This helped to narrow ideas for my future career and highlight areas I succeed in and areas which need strengthening.
Advice for anyone who doesn’t feel confident about their skills or future
Everything happens for a reason! As cliché as it sounds, sometimes a rejection is meant to be part of your story. It may direct you to a bigger and better opportunity which you didn’t see coming around the corner. Trust in your journey and your own timing. Everyone is running their own race. Take your time and trust the process.
Advice to me 5 years ago
“Keep going girl! It’ll be worth it in the long run”.