|English and Related Literature|
|Student and Young Alumni Officer|
|University of York|
|Large business (250+ employees)|
More about Matthew
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A day in the life of a Student and Young Alumni Officer in the United Kingdom
What I do
I work to ensure that all students at York have access to high quality education and educational experiences, regardless of their socio-economic background. Through fundraising with and for students for a number of incredible causes, I help to ensure that students feel the full benefit of philanthropic giving to York, and help students and recent graduates become philanthropists themselves!
Skills I use and how I developed them
Relationship management is a huge part of my job, ensuring that as many people as possible are engaged with what we're doing - doing this is just about getting yourself to be as comfortable as possible around other people. Networking events, non-networking events, public speaking and just generally getting involved in as many different facets of a place/organisation all help with this.
Copywriting is another big part of my job, and I always say that the keys to learning how to write well are in reading a lot across a lot of different forms and genres, and writing a lot yourself!
What I like most
Helping to provide incredible York students with opportunities to achieve their full potential.
What surprised me most
How political fundraising can be - there are a lot of issues that can crop up surrounding who or what receives funds and why, and how we fundraise responsibly. These questions can be challenging, but it's ultimately rewarding to be able to hold yourself to account and know that you're fundraising for great causes and in responsible ways.
Courses taken since graduation
The team at York have been great at providing me with a huge range of opportunities to take courses in fundraising and management, and in 2018, I'm going to be expanding my knowledge of education through taking a part-time masters course!
Where I hope to be in 5 years
I'm not really sure...whatever I do, all I hope is that I make a positive contribution to culture and society.
My advice to students considering work
Make opportunities, not plans! There's no real through-way in life, we're all making it up as we go along, but creating opportunities will mean that there is always room for progression and change as and when you feel you need it.
My other big thing at the moment is about creating your own grad scheme - there are some great grad schemes out there, and if you think it's the right option for you then I would totally recommend doing one. But I also think there's real value in finding an organisation that doesn't have a grad scheme, but is totally invested in you and is willing to help you grow.
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