Occupation: Fund Development Coordinator, Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa & Renfrew County
Degree and Year:
BA Psychology, Concordia University (13).
BA Honours, Law, Carleton University (15).
What does a fund development coordinator do?
My job is to expand our organization’s fundraising base by building relationships with donors and corporate groups in our community and seeking support from foundations.
How did your experience at Carleton help you on the job?
My law degree has helped me to successfully construct and communicate arguments on behalf of our organization to gain support from potential donors and partners – to show them the impact our programs have on the community. It even helps in job interviews where you need to build a case for yourself. Plus, the critical thinking, writing, and communication skills I gained at Carleton have been invaluable.
Before you returned to university, you worked as a front-line worker with chronically homeless women. Why did you decide to earn a second degree in law?
I was working with women who had no other options for housing, often due to chronic addictions and severe mental illness.
“The only fight you lose is the one you don’t show up to.”
It was both challenging and rewarding, but I felt limited in the change I could make on a broader scale. As important as the work is, at a front-line level, I didn’t feel as though I could do a lot more than meet their day-to-day needs. Now I feel like I’m working on the mezzo level — supporting a charity that helps at-risk youth to see opportunity and reach their full potential.
What advice would you offer students who are just starting out in university?
Seek out opportunities that complement your degree. I found a volunteer position at the United Nations Association of Canada that not only led to a summer job, but really impressed interviewers after I graduated. I also acted as the Editor-in-Chief of the Carleton University Journal of Legal Studies.
A lot of graduates have good grades, but those extra-curricular activities really set you apart.
One sentence to describe your strategy to success.
My dad always said, “The only fight you lose is the one you don’t show up to.”
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