COVID-19 testing volunteer: Fashion Buying student Imogen Rowley
Student experience 26th May 2020
Imogen Rowley, a third-year BSc Fashion Buying and Merchandising student in the Department of Materials, was enjoying her industrial placement year in Stockholm when news of the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown meant a quick return home to York.
Despite the unexpected change, Imogen has put her newfound free time to brilliant use – not only getting ahead with her studies, but volunteering in the battle against the virus.
She’s been volunteering with high street pharmacy Boots and the Department of Health and Social Care, taking samples to test people for COVID-19. We caught up about her work…
Hi Imogen, how have you found studying since lockdown?
Since I was on placement, it has actually been much easier for me to complete deadlines at home, without balancing them with full-time work.
What motivated you to be involved? Where are you conducting the tests, and for how long?
I was getting restless and bored at home, and I really wanted to help the community in some way. I saw the position advertised online and just decided to go for it! I applied on the Friday and started my training on the Monday. I’m conducting the tests at the drive-through site in York, and I do around four shifts a week – taking samples from patients with teams of other volunteers (including my mum!).
What have you learnt from your experience? Do you have any advice for others who may wish to be involved?
I learnt that it’s not as scary as it looks! As soon as I got stuck into it, it became quite simple and so rewarding. I would really recommend it to anyone who is thinking about it!
Has it affected what you wish to do beyond your degree? Have your potential career choices been altered?
After my placement I know that fashion buying is the career path for me. However I have learnt really valuable lessons from this, which I’ll take with me! And I’ve learnt the importance of volunteering, which I hope to continue alongside work in the future.