Offers of work experience and mentoring, industry contacts and insights into wildly different career paths are all part and parcel of an Annual Fund Telephone Campaign Fundraiser’s workday.
Korinna Williams has been a Fundraiser for two years. She has assisted in recruiting and training new Fundraisers and has also been instrumental in getting the role recognised this year on the HEAR. Not only that, she’s got a bag load of brilliant stories to tell about her conversations with Goldsmiths’ rich array of alumni.
What course are you studying? What do you enjoy most about it?
I’m in my third year, studying Economics Politics and Public Policy. I’m from Manchester and I knew that I wanted to move to London and I was just narrowing down universities. I came to a Goldsmiths open day and just loved the campus and decided it was the one. I think because it is Goldsmiths, it’s not traditional politics so I had a module on gangs and pirates. We do a lot of philosophy based things which is really interesting as well.
What attracted you to become an Annual Fund Telephone Fundraiser?
I saw the advert in one of the student newsletters and I’d worked in a call centre before but this time it was different because in the past it was for something I didn’t care about like car insurance, but this time around it was good because we had a chance to speak to alumni and I thought it would be really fun to get involved.
What does the role involve?
So we call up alumni who’ve been warned that we’ll be calling, so it’s not cold calling. You have a chat with them about their time at Goldsmiths, their career and you’re paired with the alumni based on a form you did in training so you say what your interests are, so it’s easier to make conversation. At the end of the call you then say what we are fundraising for and you ask them for money and the amount you ask for has already been assigned.
What do you enjoy about the role?
It is the chats we get into. Some people went to Goldsmiths forty years ago and they’ll tell you what’s changed, what’s new. If I’m paired with someone from the Politics Dept. sometimes they know lecturers. People have done everything, they go into all different kinds of fields regardless of what degree they’ve done so you get a nice range of people.
You became involved with training new recruits – what did you get out of this experience?
I’ve never done anything like that before – for me I’ve always been the person being interviewed, so it was actually quite interesting. So things I would never have noticed going into an interview I noticed doing the interviews. So for example if someone wasn’t paying attention or whispering or came in late, they’re things I noted were bad signs. So when I go to future interviews I’ll remember to make eye contact, remember to speak up loudly, because you might not recognise that you’re mumbling when you’re in an interview but you do when you’re conducting one.
What have you learned about yourself from doing this role?
I think I’m more confident than I expected. It takes quite a lot to ask someone for money, especially when you’ve only really had a twenty minute chat. It helps you with your confidence. Being able to make conversation with people is useful. I knew I was able to do the job from working in the call centre but I think I was a lot better than I thought I would be and I think that comes from making conversation. So I’m good at making very very loose ties – say I’m talking to someone who has studied Art and I’m studying Politics, I try to pinch at the tiniest thing, for example, I’ll say I remember this art piece, to get them talking to make a link.
What advice would you give to other students who are thinking of becoming an Annual Fund Telephone Fundraiser?
I would say go for it. It’s convenient hours, it’s only three weeks of the year and you do have some great conversations. You’ve just got to be confident on the phone and call up as if they want to hear from you as well. Call up as if you’re interested in what they are saying and not just asking for money.
What do you want to do when you graduate?
I’d like to do a post grad in political theory which is more the philosophy side of things and then I’m still undecided about the career but I’m thinking maybe be an academic and work in a university but I’m not a hundred percent sure and I’d like to travel as well.
Do you think this experience will help you in your future?
Actually when you are on the phone and when you are having a really good conversation, some of the alumni will offer work experience or positions for you or they give you contacts. I’ve been passed on emails and I’ve been offered mentoring. It’s really good when you are in your third year and you don’t know if you want a grad job or anything and they really are helpful on the phone.
Why was it important for you for this role to be recorded on your HEAR?
I think it’s a really good skill and it’s a good attribute for being a Goldsmiths student. It shows that we care about the university enough to try and get funding. It has a lot of transferable skills that employers would like and I think it’s important to be recognised.
Do you have any big goals for 2016/17?
My dissertation is about population control so one of my goals for this year is to go out and do my own research which is something I’ve never done before. Apart from that I’d also like to get a first as well!
Do you want to help raise funds for the Annual Fund, gain valuable work experience and skills, and earn over £500 in just three weeks?
Are you available to work at least two weeknights and one weekend shift per week, from 25 February until 19 March 2017?
In February and March 2017, 35 Goldsmiths students will take part in the University’s three-week long Telephone Campaign. The team of student callers will update alumni with the latest news from Goldsmiths and raise vital donations for the Annual Fund. Find out more about the Annual Fund.
To be a part of this exciting campaign please apply online before the deadline on 25 January 2017. Interviews will be held on 7 February 2017.
- Compulsory training from 9:45am – 5pm on Saturday and Sunday 25 and 26 February 2017.
- Weekday calling takes place in the evenings 6.15pm – 9.30pm.
- Saturday calling takes place between 10:45am – 5pm.
- Sunday calling takes place between 1.45pm – 8pm.