Could this be you? What it’s like being on the MC!

Reflections from the MC members whose roles are open for recruitment this year:

Lucien Georgeson (Communications & Marketing Manager)

What Workstreams were you responsible for?

I looked after Fundraising, Communications and Alumni Relations.

What did you learn in this role?

I learnt a huge amount about how EPAfrica presents itself to the outside world, and also to our key groups within the charity; especially our alumni. I have also learnt a huge amount about our key reporting activities and how we should think about talking to our key stakeholder groups.

What did you enjoy about the role?

I have really enjoyed working with the rest of the MC and the Board; they are two fantastic groups of wildly talented, motivated and intelligent people that really believe in what we do, and this has really shone through in the supportive, collaborative environment that this has created.
Being able to get involved with wider parts of MC and charity business, like representing the charity at events, helping out with UCs, as well as thinking about the strategic direction of the charity are all really exciting opportunities that come with being on the MC. As part of this, I love working with such a great group of intelligent, motivated and brilliant people to answer the fundamental questions about the charity, what we do and why we do it!

What advice would you give to someone taking over next year?

I’ve got three pieces of advice;

  1. Meeting face to face is always more productive than talking over Skype; whether you’re talking to the whole of the MC or just one of your workstream leads! Going for a coffee or a drink with someone else from the charity for a meeting feels much less like work.
  2. Trust the rest of the MC when times get tough; trust that you can share your feelings, concerns, with them and they will do their best to help! When we’re all volunteers, it’s vital to feel that you can share the stresses and strains with the rest of the MC team. We’ve been a very collaborative team this year and part of that is because we have been very open!Take every chance you can to get involved with what’s going on with the UCs – whether that’s spending a day or two in Oxford or Cambridge helping out with Project Worker interviews, attending an international development talk or giving an hour to stand on a stall at a volunteering fair! It’s great fun and it helps to remind what we’re all doing this for; to help recruit and train a great team of volunteers to deliver a successful and fun summer.

Molly Manning (University Committees Manager)

What Workstreams were you responsible for?

The University Committees

What did you learn in this role?

I have learnt a great deal about recruiting, managing and supporting volunteers which presents many interesting challenges. I have gained a greater insight into the workings across the charity’s various workstreams and had opportunity to explore and understand how a small NGO works, experiencing project management and policy implementation.

What did you enjoy about the role?

I have really enjoyed overseeing the recruitment and support of the project workers, who make up the foundations of our work. Being involved in inducting a new group of committed volunteers into the charity is really rewarding.

I have also gained a lot from working with the MC and Board on bigger strategic decisions, having a big impact on the development of the charity. I have been able to work with both the new recruits and long-serving alumni, all of whom are enthused, engaged and create an energetic and inspiring organisation to be a part of.

The personal development opportunities I have gained from the role have been great and I am honoured to have been given the chance to have an impact on the way EPAfrica runs and delivers investment.

4) What advice would you give to someone taking over next year?

  1. Develop systems for working with your workstreams that involves regular communications and updates.
  2. Don’t be afraid to delegate. It allows you to cover more and frees your time up for other MC-level tasks. It is also provides development opportunities for your WSLs.
  3. Use the MC as your support network, we all find it hard at times and we are all working towards the same goals, each with our own strengths.
  4.  Enjoy it! Take every opportunity to meet in person, join social events and engage with alumni. It is a vibrant charity to be part of but it’s easy to get isolated with just emails and Skype.