Communications graduate champions micro-volunteering in the community

15 May 2020

University of Waikato student Chantelle Cobby, who graduated last month with a Bachelor of Communication Studies majoring in Leadership Communication, is focused on working to better the community.

Looking back at her time at the University of Waikato, Chantelle can’t believe that three years has already gone past and her degree is complete.

“During my first two years, I really enjoyed living in the Halls and am glad I decided to do so. Even after I went flatting, I love that you can walk around the Waikato campus and there’s always something happening or someone to have a chat with.

“When I was looking for a University, Waikato really stood out because of its smaller size, which meant I could develop personal relationships with other students and lecturers.

“I felt like I would be a real person, not just a number.”

The Bachelor of Communication Studies degree encapsulated what Chantelle was looking for; a mix of business, strategy and leadership that played to her strengths.

“My favourite paper was the Introduction to Leadership paper I took in my very first semester. It was so insightful, gave us the opportunity to be vulnerable and learn more about ourselves and our leadership potential.”

While she was studying at University, Chantelle started a club on campus called the Waikato Micro-Volunteering Collective.

“Micro-volunteering is the idea that a huge positive impact can collectively be created when people each complete tiny volunteer tasks, all of which adds up to make a big difference,” says Chantelle.

“I want to reduce the barriers that commonly prevent students from volunteering, and instead simplify it, by breaking it into small, achievable, yet fun and interactive tasks.”

Starting the club was a natural fit for Chantelle, who grew up volunteering and being involved in her community, Rotorua, during her time as a student at Rotorua Girls’ High School, where she was also named Dux.

“Even though I have now graduated from University, the club is continuing, and with everything happening at the moment with Covid-19, we are looking into offering volunteering opportunities online. Overall, I’m proud of what we have achieved so far.”

Chantelle is now focusing on her next degree, a Bachelor of Leadership for Change through Otago Polytechnic, which she hopes will lead her to a role that involves social enterprise or community development.

In addition, she is also tutoring some papers at the University of Waikato, serving as the Head of Research and Community at Seed Waikato, has helped with fundraising and PR efforts at Hospice Rotorua, and interned at an events company.

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