As part of the University’s summer internships programme, fourth year Physics student Francis Newman has just begun a six-week internship with the Alumni Relations team in the Development Office.
The Development Office, tucked away on North Street between the Barron Theatre and the Library, is not only a beautiful and spacious building in which to work – particularly on a summer’s day, with the sun streaming through the windows – but is populated by an exceptionally friendly team of people who are responsible for engaging with the many thousands of former students who have passed through the University over time. They work not only to keep these alumni engaged with the institution, and to organise the University’s philanthropic fundraising efforts around the world, but also to organise reunions, let alumni share their news, and to put old friends back in touch with each other.
My first impressions have been extremely positive – within a few hours of arriving in the building I already feel like a valued member of the team, and I’m looking forward to getting started on various projects!
On my first morning I discussed my plans for this internship with Phil, my supervisor. I have the opportunity to work on a range of projects that really interest me – and that I think could really benefit both current students and alumni.
What will I be doing? Well, as well as writing posts for this blog (keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment!) I’m hoping to explore new ways to engage current students and societies with the work of this office, so that it’s easier for them to stay in touch with alumni when they need to. I also hope to work on publicizing Saint Connect – a portal run by the Careers Centre which allows alumni to mentor current students as well as to offer jobs and advice – an idea that keeps different generations of students in touch with each other! I also look forward to helping organise the Bejant Receptions for incoming students in the USA.
As any alumni who’ve come to visit in the summer will know, being in St Andrews at this time of year shows a very different side of the town from the term-time cycle of lectures, labs, rehearsals and social functions that I’ve grown accustomed to – but both experiences are equally enjoyable, enriching and rewarding!