Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and the young people who participate in our programs. Alessia Roujenikova is a Doxa Cadet Alumnus who knows all about this, having spent so much of her spare time guiding the next generation at Doxa’s University Pathways Program this summer holidays, as well as volunteering on other programs throughout the last year. We caught up with Alessia to tell us more.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, I am Alessia. I’ve recently completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Monash University majoring in Accounting after attending Footscray City College, Melbourne’s inner West. I was very fortunate to be offered a place on Doxa’s Cadetship program and a work placement with Baillieu Holst Ltd.
I greatly enjoyed my four years with the financial services firm, acquiring knowledge and experience in a professional environment to help set up a foundation for my career path.
Since then, I’ve secured a full time graduate role at KPMG in the Audit Assurance Risk Division.
Why do you volunteer at Doxa?
During the last two years of my degree, I studied part time to create more free time to focus on my wellbeing, get back into my hobbies and take up volunteering opportunities with Doxa.
I decided to dive-in on the opportunity to be a Team Leader on a University Pathways Program (UPP) and it has been one of the best decisions I’ve made yet. Doxa staff were there to support me in my growth personally and professionally, so it felt super rewarding in-turn being able to impart my experiences and knowledge to younger students in that mentoring capacity and give back.
“I wish I had guidance from students in their university years to tell me back then what I know now.”
I continue to come back for numerous reasons; growth in leadership skills, having lots of fun, meeting the other amazing team leaders and most importantly, being continuously inspired by the young individuals that go to these UPPs with a hunger to learn.
Since that initial opportunity, I’ve volunteered on: Future Focus, Future Insights and the Peer-to-Peak Performance Program. I hope to continue to make a positive contribution in future years for these programs as a Doxa Alumnus.
What are your top 3 tips for UPP students unsure of what to do next?
- Study in the area/field you are interested in I believe that if you follow what you love doing, you’ll find your calling.
- Do not have a “year 12 is the be-all and end-all” mindset What you choose to study in year 12 does not determine your outcomes in life, they are moreso a stepping stone into uni that opens you up to a world of opportunities.
- Ask LOTS of questions A lot of what we learn is not in theory, but off our experiences in interacting with others.
“I’ve seen so many UPP students learn so much from their discussions with networkers and team leaders, helping broaden their mindset on opportunities that exist out there and how to incorporate their interests with those opportunities.”
Share a favourite memory from a recent UPP you volunteered at?
In the last UPP session, I ran a session for the students advocating the important of taking care of mental and physical health. During the UPP farewell as the students were heading off, a couple of them personally approached me and thanked me for the impact that my session had made on them and how they’ve learned a lot on such topic that is usually never addressed at this stage of their life. It was truly heart-warming and is what makes me so motivated to help mentor young individuals.