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Impact of Enactus: How it can shape your university experience

Being a part of any society can massively impact a students experience at University. It is an opportunity to meet new people from a variety of backgrounds and learn from each other, do things you love to do and even bulk up your CV!

Being a member of an Enactus team is a combination of all these things, working collectively in a team, whilst personally developing key employability skills, you work on real life projects impacting the communities and environment around you. What more can you ask for!

Each member will take a way a different experience from their time at Enactus, but the passion and values learned from the organisation last with students a last time. Trying not to sound too “cheesy” but doing good feels good and being a part of such a significantly important cause in our ever changing society is crucial to its future!

We asked some of our current and old members to share what they have gained from being a part of Enactus Northumbria, here’s what they had to say: Ellie Beggs, Head of Marketing, IBM 4th year student

“For me personally I joined after hearing our UA do a lecture shout out after I heard about the job aspects and realised in my second term in first year I was yet to join a society or any other extra-curricular activity! But after attending my first Nationals competition as a spectator in 2016 and watching presentations of the competing teams I was in awe of the amazing work and project students just like me had achieved. This is where I found my passion for social enterprise and being one of the first members of the team, I really wanted us to succeed. I made lifelong friends through Enactus, we definitely bonded through stressful and fun times together and when we as a team won Rookie Champions in 2017 it was one of the proudest moments of my life!

Seeing the work we can achieve and the impact of “every ripple” is a fantastic experience as a student and has helped me develop my career path and with some module assignments. In addition, although Enactus is so much more than an easy way to grab recruiters attention, being involved in the organisation does create huge opportunities for students as long as you actively engage. Through networking at one of the training weekends that Enactus hosted I was fast-tracked onto a Enterprise-Rent-a-Car summer placement scheme; purely because Enactus students have key attributes and skills that companies seek and scout!

In terms of personal development when I joined Enactus I was extremely shy and the thought of public speaking was enough to make my mouth dry up! After lots of different occasions of being thrown in at the deep end it pushed me (in a positive way!) to experience public speaking and presenting, something I will be able to use in my future career.”

Louise Fletcher, Head of New Project Development, IBM 4th year student

“Enactus has ended up being a huge part of my university experience. Being a part of the five-person team that created Northumbria’s first Enactus team is one of my proudest achievements. Although it has been a challenging process and sometimes not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, without a doubt it has been due to the team's hard work and dedication. Which led to us becoming  a successful team that could call ourselves Rookie Champions 2017. For me the most important aspect of Enactus is the projects and the real change that students make across the globe through them, this is the main reason I signed up to join Enactus, to have the chance to make a difference. After coming back from a study abroad year last year I am so proud to see the difference our team is making to our local community and how far the team has come. I can’t wait to see the continued success the team has in the future.” Naved Khan, Project Leader of Food4Future, MSc Engineering student

“I am Naved Faraz Khan. I am an international student from India pursuing full-time MSc Engineering Management at Northumbria University. I have been a member of Enactus Northumbria since January 2018. I had no idea about the existence of Enactus before I came to Northumbria. However, my introduction to Enactus has had a really positive effect over the course of time. Enactus to me, from the start has been the perfect platform for my personal and professional development in addition to my education. Together with this thought and my interest in volunteering and helping people and community, I joined as a team member of Food4Future (previously known as Soup Stories). As part of Food4Future, I was involved with sales and transportation of food and overall project development and help. Being involved in this project as a team member provided me with opportunity to interact with new and more people be it team members, project participants or wider customer base). This has resulted in me gaining more confidence, self-believe, skills for successful project operation and has made me a better team player. I have also received great advice and support from our business advisors which have been very helpful in our project delivery.

In fact, this confidence and skill gain has been a great incentive for me to take the mantle of Food4Future project leader for year 2018-2019. I am currently leading a team of 8 members and together we are working with local refugees and asylum seekers to pave way for a better and more sustainable community. My position as project leader has given me the chance to apply my current academic education about project management, in addition to the skills I have gained along my Enactus journey, in delivering our project. The position also helps me exercise my managerial skills and helps me gain transferable skills in relation to working in a professional environment.

Being part of Enactus has given me various other opportunities as well. Some particularly mentionable are the Enactus UK national competition 2018, Enactus training weekend 2018-2019 and few PMI and APM events. These events have been the perfect chance to meet and see other Enactus teams and their projects which is a great way of motivation and advice. But most importantly, these events provide more knowledge and skills to develop our own projects and team. In attending these events, I have received great advice, knowledge and motivation from various seminars, workshops and presentations from various groups of experienced people. These events also help build stronger network among team members and other student teams. The employability and career fairs at these events have been an excellent way to learn more about the Enactus project partners and their prospective employee requirements.

Enactus has been a very rewarding experience of my higher education. I believe my involvement in Enactus has made me a more well-rounded person and I can definitely notice the development along my Enactus journey. My journey has also sparked my interest in social entrepreneurship and being a part of a social enterprise. I am gaining the skills and confidence along the way and will keep doing so. I hope to continue my passion for Enactus even after my education and dream to have my own social enterprise one day.”

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