“The one thing all famous authors, world-class athletes, actors, singers, business tycoons and celebrated achievers in any field have in common is that they began their journey when they were none of these personalities – and yet they began.”
My 10 week summer internship at the Development Office, University of Kent has been a real experience, which I will treasure for many years to come. During my internship, I was part of the Fundraising and Prospect Research Department; working as Fundraising Research Intern. Working at the Development Office was not a normal 9-5 shift. In fact, I got to be involved in real projects – ranging from fundraising campaigns to filming videos and working at the congregation.
I started off my internship looking into the Telephone Campaign where I was involved in preparing recruitment and training materials, as well as preparing the annual report for the Autumn 2015 Telephone Campaign. Being an undergraduate in a scientific field, the report was perfect for me where I could utilize the statistical and analytical skills that I had learned from my studies. This year, the Telephone Campaign, which is one of the biggest fundraising campaigns carried out by the university, was successful in raising over £90,000. The funding is used to facilitate projects such as Kent Opportunity Fund, Hardship Bursary, Postgraduate Scheme and Student Projects in order to promote student experience by facilitating students. In order to promote the Telephone Campaign, I represented the Development Office at the Freshers Fayre stall by designing flyers and distributing them to the students. Alongside the campaign, I had the opportunity to get an insight into the footstep project, a fantastic avenue for the alumni to connect with the university by providing donations to support various projects run by the University and in return, have their personal message engraved in a brick.
One of my shining moments was designing website content for the Student Sport Scheme, a new student project that focuses on enhancing the student experience in the sports sector. Being a student myself, I appreciate the sheer importance of sports in the wellbeing of a student. My role allowed me to design and compose the website content for this scheme. This involved researching previous alumni, such as Olympic Gold Medallist Susannah Townsend, who received financial support from the university to succeed in their chosen sports whilst studying. It was an invaluable experience to have the privilege to look into their work in sports and how they benefitted from the university. This is evidence of the important role I was provided with, as the content I prepared has now been published on the university website.
I was also trained in prospect research, including how to carry out various research on Kent alumni, trust organisations and remarkable personalities. I thoroughly relished wealth rating and developing my knowledge of the Raiser’s Edge. It was astounding to learn about the efficiency of the database, which unequivocally helps in carrying out stewardship. Prospect Management and New Leads are also another aspect of the prospect research that I developed my interest in throughout my internship.