18 March 2020

My UEA Story: Jack

“I have always been the first person to say yes to a challenge, no matter how big” 

What were your career aspirations when you joined UEA – did you know what you wanted to do? 

Originally when I started UEA, my main aspirations were to work in the charity sector – potentially specialising in Economic Development in Sub Saharan Africa. 

How did you get to where you are now? 

Taking every opportunity is how I got to where I am today – especially when I was a student. If it wasn’t for me applying to be a Student Caller back in 2013, I wouldn’t have been introduced to the world of Higher Education Fundraising and Alumni Relations. Too often it is easy (as a student) just to focus on your studies, which is extremely important – however, it is equally important to build skills and experience from as early as possible. This is what sets you apart from others. 

The best thing about my job is… 

Making a daily difference to Students and the wider community. 

The biggest challenge in my job is…

Articulating the importance of higher education fundraising and how it is different to charity fundraising. The higher education market has changed significantly over the past 10 years, with government funding cuts across the board. Alumni support, now more than ever, really provides students with opportunities, and ensures universities remain the hub for vital research and innovation. 

What does it take to do your job? 

Determination, passion, thick skin, flexibility, creativity… so many more also. 

What do you think sets you apart from your colleagues? 

I have always been the first person to say yes to a challenge, no matter how big. No matter what is going on around me, I will be sure to try my best to succeed in my job. 

What personal achievement are you most proud of? 

My role in The Difference Campaign – UEA’s Fundraising Campaign. In 2013 an ambitious target of raising £50 million by 2016 was set. Working with many alumni and friends of the university, collectively not only did we achieve this target, we actually raised more! 

Where are you heading next? 

Currently Major Gift Fundraiser; next, who knows. The plan is to continue to make a difference to the lives of students. 

How did UEA prepare you for your career? 

Through my role as Student Caller, I had an opportunity that many other students don’t always have – speaking to the amazing alumni, who were always happy to impart their advice. I loved speaking with them so much, it became my role after leaving University. This opportunity, paired with the likes of the Working in Development Forum, really gave me the clarity of where I want my career to go. 

What made you decide to study your particular course? 

Having a passion for Development. 

My best day at UEA was… 

Successful set up of annual event “DEVs got talent”. Not too sure if it is still running but it was a great success. 

Jack studied BA International Development with Economics at UEA, graduating in 2015.