Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?

Victoria Williams, a second-year student studying Arabic and Art History, just started her new job.   

Before I began working for the 600th Anniversary phone campaign I was unaware of the work of the Development Office and the great projects for which they fundraise. I was excited to learn that during the course of the campaign I would be promoting truly worthwhile projects such as accommodation bursaries and the transformation of the Students’ Association Building (if you haven’t heard, it’s becoming a dynamic, twenty-first-century space, including a theatre and snazzy new media suite)!

With the target of the team raising £250,000 in six weeks I was ready to rise to the challenge but felt rather daunted at the prospect (truth be told, I was hoping to make a casual fundraising call to Kate and Wills)! I definitely did not realise how fascinating it is to speak with interesting alumni, all of whom have a different story and perspective of St Andrews. Or how much I would come to hate answering machines.

The best bits of the job?

  • Making new friends with like-minded students of different years and schools of study. Fellow student campaigners quickly create a bond, making a really supportive and friendly environment, which at times can be quite competitive, adding to the fun.
  • The ‘buzz’ feeling after securing a gift can make an good night truly fantastic.
  • I live for food, so my supervisor’s baking and the abundance of chocolate available makes every shift pure bliss!

This week, my 45 team members and I begin our final 20 days of a telephone journey, hearing unforgettable tales from alumni of their time as students, often coupled with their favourite fond memories. It is always inspiring to hear about the success of our far-flung alumni, discovering where their individual career paths took them after leaving St Andrews. The enthusiasm of alumni choosing to give back so generously and be involved with the University that they love so dearly is a reminder of how fortunate I am to be studying here at such a unique and prestigious establishment.

What do I hope most for the next three weeks?

Mostly that alumni and parents won’t hang up once we’ve introduced ourselves, even if they are not interested in making a gift. We are charming students (IMHO) who just love to chat about St Andrews!

Victoria works on the 600th Anniversary Phone Campaign Team — in perhaps one of the most challenging and most rewarding student jobs at the University.  Check out pictures of our callers, along with some of their favourite alumni memories on our Pinterest boards, and learn about the programme at our website.


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