What can you use Inspiring Women for?

Inspiring the Future volunteers can support a host of opportunities, which schools & colleges can run in-house.

This could range from a 15-minute assembly talk to full day of events which could include multiple activities. Below is a summary of some of the things you could do – but feel free to be creative with what you ask your volunteers to do. We are always thinking about innovative ways to improve our service and would love to hear about the exciting events and activities that your school or college has organised, so please let us know.


Speed networking: Speed networking allows your students the chance to speak to a range of volunteers in an informal setting. Students sit in small groups with a volunteer, spending around 10 minutes hearing about the volunteer’s job and asking questions about their career and career route. Volunteers will rotate around the student groups, giving students the opportunity to hear from a range of different jobs in a short period. Typically, speed networking sessions will last between 1-1.5 hours and students will speak to up to 10 different volunteers during the session. For more details on arranging a speed networking session, please see our Resources page for a step by step guide.

Assembly talks or presentations: Volunteers can speak to larger groups of students to help inspire them and to increase understanding of different jobs in the world of work. Topics could include their career to date, focus on their current role or sector. Talks can act as insight in to the daily life of working in a given field or role, and support the broadening of career aspirations. For more details on Assembly and classroom talks please see our Resources page for a step by step guide to inviting in and using a volunteer.

Subject talks: Many Inspiring the Future volunteers have indicated on their volunteering profiles which subjects they feel their jobs relate to. By inviting these volunteers in to give talks in lessons, teachers can help to increase motivation and participation in the classroom by providing real life examples of how certain subjects or topics can be applied in the world of work. You could invite volunteers to talk about how they use maths in their work, or to talk about the importance of languages within their role. For more guidance or ideas in organising subject talks please refer to the downloadable guides on our Resources page.

Mock interviews: Schools can host a wide range of volunteers who can act as interviewers, giving your students a chance to experience what a real job interview might be like. When considering hosting mock interviews, think about the number of students that will be interviewed and how many will be interviewed by each volunteer. It may also be useful for you to base the mock interview on a specific job or sector, so that your students can prepare in advance for the session

Supplementing this activity, we also suggest inviting volunteers in to support students in preparing themselves for interviews, such as soft skills based workshops. Inspiring the Future has thousands of volunteers, with many representatives with a HR and recruitment background or members of the leading professional body – the Chartered Institute for Personal and Development (CIPD).  With volunteers actively involved in recruiting, they can share with you and your students what employers are looking for, providing tips and advice based on their professional experience. For more details on organising mock interviews or interview workshops, please see our Resources page for a step by step guide.

CV Workshops: Volunteers can be used to supplement career or employability events or sessions, through supporting work on CVs.  Volunteers can be asked to take part in sessions that provide feedback on CVs, or asked to run workshops on constructing a successful CV. Several of our Inspiring the Future volunteers are from a recruitment or HR background and can share their insights on what they look for in a CV when recruiting with you and your students. These activities will allow your students to gain feedback on their current CVs, so that they can prepare themselves fully for when they do apply for jobs, giving them the best chance of securing a job.

Working in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), we have developed a number of resources which may be useful, including examples of good and bad CVs. Please see our Resources page for these and other useful resources.