Thoughts from a graduating student caller who has helped raise funds from alumni and supporters
Maggie Karanasiou has been a student caller for the past year and graduates in July with an MA in Psychology. We asked her about her experiences.
How long have you been a student caller and what attracted you to the job?
I have been a student caller only for a year, since I discovered the post on my last year of University. The reason I applied for it was because I was longing for a new challenge, something different to my waitressing posts. Speaking to people who have been through the same University as me, learning about their experiences and at the same time making an impact on the lives of the current students and those to come seemed like an extremely rewarding opportunity, more so a life experience than a job.
What have been a couple of your most interesting conversations with alumni?
Some conversations, which lasted as long as an hour, will most likely always be in my memory. Once, a graduate spoke to me about how he met his own wife at the University, and that even after 35 years of marriage they still sit together on their anniversary and reminisce about their time at Uni, and their years together. Both of them are dedicated to helping new students have as amazing an experience as their own, and I found that extremely touching.
Other than the vital fundraising income, what do you think are the main benefits of the Development Trust’s calling campaigns?
I belive that raising awareness is one of the most important things that comes out of our calls with graduates. Letting them know about what´s new with their university or even their city, what problems new students are facing, and all the innovative ways we can help them with, is vital. I always find that most graduates are still very happy to hear about what the issues are nowadays, and how the University is helping its students. The transition programme has been one of the most popular ones, in the sense that most graduates know someone with autism who can take advantage of the programme, and will talk to others about it as well. That way, our projects become more known.
What has been your most memorable achievement as a student caller?
Finding out that, to my surprise, speaking to people you do not know on the phone is really not as scary as I once thought! As I am not a native English speaker, I was quite reluctant to use the phone. I was so happy to find out that, most graduates were actually happy to receive the call. I learnt to be confident with my English, managed to convey information efficiently, and have the best, and friendliest conversations! I definitely feel that I can now speak to people on the phone without feeling apprehensive about it.
What would you like to say to the donors you have recruited?
Just that I am very glad they decided to help improve my University, that has given me the best four years of my life and that I will be very sad to leave! I aspire to be one of the donors as soon as I can, and their dedication and willingness to help people they have never met before has touched me.
What are your plans for the future?
I am graduating and hoping to find a job related to my degree - Psychology, before I do a postgraduate in Clinical Psychology. I would love to become a Neuropsychologist and help people with a brain damage resume their everyday lives the best way they can.
Fundraising calling campaigns are administered by the University of Aberdeen Development Trust which is an independent registered charity. The Trust raises essential funds to support much of the University’s activities such as vital medical research as well as supporting students through the provision of scholarships, bursaries and facilities. Funding from alumni, individuals, companies, organisations and the community is essential for the development of a wide range of student activities, globally-important medical research and many other activities.
If you would like to find out more about supporting the University of Aberdeen please contact Vicki Corbett at the Development Trust, email@example.com or phone +44 (0) 1224 274111.