Ellen Jurczak is a BA English Literature graduate and Local Fundraising Manager for Cancer Research UK. The volunteering and part-time job opportunities has access to whilst studying helped her to realise that she wanted to work in the charity sector.
Tell us about a typical day
As a local Fundraising Manager for Cancer Research UK, I work with individuals, groups and companies to raise funds for cancer research. One of the great things about my job is that there is no real typical day.
Sometimes I will be in the office answering emails and making phone calls, other days I will be planning events from home, or driving to various places across Birmingham to meet with supporters or attend events. I also work with local committees and secure corporate partnerships.
How has your career developed since you graduated?
I was a Community Fundraising intern with Birmingham St Mary's Hospice to start with. I went straight from university into this five month internship, working three days a week on their annual big bucket collection event.
I then joined Cancer Research UK as an Events Assistant. I spent my weekends over summer 2013 working on Race for Life events in various locations across the North region, managing the volunteers, setting up the course and helping to ensure the days ran smoothly.
I was then a Regional Fundraiser for Diabetes UK and responsible for a variety of fundraising activities for the West Midlands region, including community, events, trusts, and corporate.
My time at University
I came to university with no clear idea of what I wanted to do afterwards but once I started working for the Alumni Fund, did some volunteer work and became Head of Fundraising for Platform society, I realised I wanted to go into the charity sector.
Because of the variety of experience I had, the skills learned through those roles and other activities I engaged in during my time at Sheffield, I secured an internship for as soon as I graduated and went straight from that into a paid full time fundraising role.
What advice would you give to students?
Make the most of your time at university. There are so many opportunities available to you, just keep trying things and get as much experience as you can in as many areas as you can.