Volunteer in the spotlight - Chris Steers
As we continue our focus on volunteering this week, we caught up another one of our dedicated student volunteers, Chris Steers to talk about his volunteering experiences. Here’s what he had to say:
Tell us about your volunteering journey at Staffs
I first started volunteering with the One Media Group as a presenter in my first year at university.
In 2019 I accepted the role of Station Manager. This worked well with my degree in Film, TV and Radio as managing the station was part of my final year project. It meant I could use my degree to do what I love at the same time. Running the Students’ Union’s radio station is something I take enormous pride and enjoyment in. Staffs is incredibly lucky to have a not for profit radio service, made by students for students.
In my first year as Station Manager, I set out the aim of at least getting the station nominated for a national award. In November of 2019, the station was up for Best Speech and Best Journalistic at the Student Radio Awards. We came runner up in Best Speech, however we won the surprise category of The Kevin Greening Award for Creativity for my documentary ‘Love, Art and Radio Resistance’ which was amazing. You can listen to that documentary here.
The following year, OMG doubled its nomination count and won Best Speech with another one of my productions. This would not have been possible without the support of both the university and Students’ Union
These were OMG’s first ever awards and this makes me immensely proud of the work the team have done. The Covid-19 pandemic may have made things difficult but in my opinion OMG has really thrived.
How have the University and Students’ Union helped you on this journey?
The University and Students’ Union have been hugely supportive of my aims as Station Manager, with the station now being played across the campus in venues, shops and reception areas. On top of this we have access to studio space in the Students’ Union free of charge, get to utilise specialist facilities and are given a budget, which means students can sign up to the OMG student group for free. This creates so many opportunities for the students at Staffordshire University.
What skills have you developed through volunteering?
The skills I have picked up through volunteering at OMG have allowed me to boost my CV, apply for jobs within the industry and also allowed me to network with big names in radio such as Radio 1. Doing the role has allowed me to pick valuable industry experience and given me the confidence to apply for roles within major organisations.
What opportunities has your volunteering role opened up for you that you wouldn’t have otherwise have access to?
The opportunities which have come way in the last 2 years, are all because of the support of the University and Students' Union. They have created an atmosphere which allows students to thrive and make their own opportunities. Links with the Student Radio Association have also helped students to network and given them the confidence that there are opportunities out there in media, even with the pandemic.
If you'd like to know more about OMG, you can visit their page, or listen live here.