Spotlight on Anna-Rosa Muscatelli

12 August 2014

Anna Rosa Muscatelli

This week the spotlight is on Anna-Rosa Muscatelli, CASE Graduate trainee in the UCL Development and Alumni Relations Office.

What is your role and what does it involve?

My role is that of CASE Graduate Trainee within the Development and Alumni Relations Office. I am one of eight UK graduates on the scheme this year; each of us was placed within different world-class universities.

The scheme was set up in 2009 as an entry point for graduates wishing to embark on a career in advancement in the higher education sector. The Graduate Traineeship involves spending one year at a world class institution – in my case, UCL – and a one-month secondment to a smaller or specialist institution – in my case the Royal College of Music.

The idea is to allow the graduates a breadth of experience across the entire Development Office in order to show how its various components work together. As such, my role is actually quite difficult to define.

My day–to–day work varies a great deal.

I have helped manage three telephone campaigns – each of which has allowed me to work alongside the students themselves. To see so many of them working passionately engaged in their tasks has been hugely rewarding.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to work closely with the entire Supporter Engagement Team and, as such, have learned about the complex and valuable relationship between the university and its alumni and supporters.

This also allowed me to help with many high profile events, such as the Scholarship and Bursaries Reception (among other events and reunions) and meet a vast demographic of alumni, students and other supporters of the university. It’s so interesting to meet people from such varied backgrounds that I often don’t view the events as work.

So, safe to say my job (or my year) has been hugely varied and incredibly exciting… I even found myself being a translator for Italian guests!

Notwithstanding the fact that the bulk of my work has been with the Supporter Engagement Team, I have worked with, and learned a great deal from, all of the teams within the office.

I know I am fortunate to have been placed in an office where everyone was keen to help, teach and nurture, and, as a result, the past year has provided me with exactly the right encouragement and experience that I needed to help launch my career in this field.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I joined UCL in August of last year, fresh from the University of Glasgow where I graduated with an MA a month prior to starting.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

This is a particularly difficult question as I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to participate in so many exciting projects throughout my time in DARO. However, we are now more than three quarters of the way through a telephone campaign and have raised just over £111,000!

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?

Given that we are right in the middle of a telephone campaign, much of my work at the moment revolves around that. It involves supporting our callers and student supervisors as much as possible, as well as helping the organisational elements of the campaign.

As such, I often stay for the calling shifts (6pm–9.30pm), which is hugely rewarding as I’m able to witness first-hand the students engaging with our alumni. There’s a wonderful atmosphere among the callers and it’s just great fun to be a part of it!

(Other than that, my time should probably be spent tidying out my desk before my traineeship finishes next week!)

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

My favourite album is Genesis – Turn it on again. This was my first-ever album (definitely stolen from my dad) and in my opinion an absolute classic. Other favourites of mine are often fleeting but Turn it on Again remains a favourite.

As for a favourite film, it has to be La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) by Paolo Sorrentino. This is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen; a wonderful, sad, tormented nod to Fellini and Marcello Mastroiani’s character in La Dolce Vita and a commentary on the political, social and economic state of Italy. It is also really funny!

Finally my favourite novel is, without doubt, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. “You look so cool, you always look so cool”, I have been in love with this book almost as long as Gatsby was in love with Daisy… it never gets old!

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

This one definitely appeals to my inner geek:

“Schrödinger’s cat walks into a bar. And doesn’t.”

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Ignoring the fact that there may be some language barriers with the following; Antonio Carluccio (and his food!), Steven Moffat, Charlie Chaplin, Billy Connolly, Dame Judi Dench, Carol Ann Duffy, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum (somehow they come as a package deal!) and to direct the whole event – Paolo Sorrentino.

What advice would you give your younger self?

1) Sun-in does not give you golden highlights – it makes your hair orange.

2) Drinking milk does not make you grow tall: this is a lie, perpetuated by my vertically challenged parents.

3) Mum is probably right (apart from the above claim).

What would it surprise people to know about you?

In primary 7, I won a pizza eating contest against all boys. (Though maybe that’s not all that surprising to my colleagues in the Development Office.)

When I was 14, an awkward time at best, my braces and decidedly uncontrollable frizzy hair prompted someone to ask if I was the actress who played Betty in Ugly Betty.

I once played flute alongside James Galway and shared a music stand with him. While I’d like to claim it was my amazing flute playing abilities that he spotted, I suspect he homed in on my mighty 5”3 stature and realised I was the perfect height for him.

What is your favourite place?

The beach at St Andrew’s (in Scotland), for many reasons:

Firstly, it is a beach, the beauty of which could challenge any Australian holiday hotspot. (Minus the sharks!)

Secondly, it is an exception to the usual Scottish weather – it seems to me that it never rains there.

Thirdly, I firmly believe it has a restaurant (or café) to square mile ratio that is unrivalled in the world (except perhaps in Italy)

However, most importantly for me, it’s become inextricably linked with my family (I’m a bit of a sentimentalist). Some of my happiest memories are of holidays spent there; eating sandy sandwiches with my grandparents, playing in the sand with my brother and parents and dipping my toes in that crystal-clear water.