Volunteering pays off for award-winning student

A Buckie student who clocked up more than 1,200 hours of volunteering and won six awards during his time at Robert Gordon University has graduated with a BA (Hons) in Law and Management.

Tom Sadler BA (Hons) Law & ManagementTom Sadler (23) originally began his university career in 2011 studying social work but as a 17-year-old felt that he didn’t have the necessary life skills to fully appreciate and contribute to the subject. After taking a year out to decide what he really wanted to do, he opted for law and management.

“I had always had an interest in law but had never truly been interested in becoming a solicitor. As I found the legal side particularly interesting, the balance between law and management modules really attracted me to this particular course.”

Tom started volunteering when he first started at university and in 2011 he was involved in setting up the RGU: LGBT + Society, a society which continues to run today.

In 2014, he helped found RGU: Nightline with fellow student Steve Mills.

“As co-chairs we built the peer-to-peer voluntary listening service from the ground up with a small but incredibly dedicated team and this has to be one of the things I’m most proud of,” said Tom. “That involved everything from recruitment to stakeholder meetings to being on call to assist volunteers. I stood down from the role in 2016 to free up time to focus on my final year and and was elected Head of Recruitment instead.  

“Earlier this year, I was elected Scottish Regional Coordinator of the Nightline Association, the charity that supports and develops Nightlines across the UK and that’s a role I’ll continue with now that I’ve graduated.”

Tom said the time he spent volunteering was invaluable for his personal development and he also hoped it had benefited his peers and the staff at RGU.

“Before I started university someone said to me that volunteering and societies really enhance your skills. Volunteering with RGU:Nightline really helped me to learn important skills such as time management, volunteer management, dispute resolution, presentation and interpersonal skills.”

Over the course of his university life Tom received the Student Achievement Award (2012), Student Contribution and Involvement Award (2014), Volunteer Award (2014), Half Scarlet with Continued Excellence (2015), Half Scarlet with Distinction (2016) and Full Scarlet (2017).

Tom’s career is now taking him to Edinburgh where he has secured a position with the Supreme Court.

“My time at university helped me develop from a quiet teenager with little confidence to a confident graduate,” he said. “Volunteering developed a lot of skills that directly helped me secure an exciting opportunity in the justice sector.”


Release by Kate Yuill
Communications Officer | Business, Management and Law
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