Working in a management role in the charity sector

About me

Charlotte P.
Politics, Economics and Philosophy
Political Philosophy / Politics and Philosophy
United Kingdom

About this profile

Supporter Experience Manager
Friends of the Earth
United Kingdom
Charity and voluntary sector / Environment and energy

About the job

What I do

The overall aim of my role is to maximise supporter loyalty and engagement. I do this by managing how the charity communicates with existing supporters. I have two line reports who each project manage individual communications pieces, such as supporter magazines and email appeals. These communications form the programme for supporters, which I manage as a whole.

Finding and applying for the job

How I looked for work

I lived abroad for a year right after graduating, so started looking for my first 'career' job in London without any support from the university. I found some relevant sites with a Google search and took it from there. When going for my current role, I had a much better idea of where to look and used the following charity sector job sites:

How I found out about the job

Recruitment agency

My career

Courses taken since graduation

Chartered Institute of Marketing - Integrated Communications Award

How my studies have helped my career

Although my MA and BA don't directly relate to the job I do, they have helped me enormously. Studying Philosophy and Politics, and then Political Philosophy, gave me the skills to logically order my thoughts and present them to others clearly. This is such a crucial skill in any job that involves communicating with and influencing others, which all of my roles since graduating have. It's also worth mentioning that the social side of university really shaped me as a person. I'd say that what I learned from those experiences have been as useful in my career as my studies.

My advice to students

My advice to students considering work

You need to have more than a degree. Make sure you do extra-curricular activities. It doesn't really matter what these are as long as you're doing something outside of studying. This will make you more attractive to employers and will also really help you learn what type of work you might enjoy.

My advice about working in my industry

If you're able to do an internship at a charity over the summer and/or right after graduating, this will give you a significant advantage. The bad news is that most internships at charities don't pay; and if they do, then it's rarely enough to pay London rent.

Don't panic if an internship isn't an option for you though. There are other routes in, for example combining relevant private sector experience with volunteering. Still, it is important to be realistic that it will be harder without an internship. If you're not able to do an internship, I'd advise you work out the type of charity you might want to work for and plan your alternative route in.

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