Seven Questions with Student Campaign Ambassador, Suzanna Cooper
17 November 2016
This week we put seven questions to Suzanna Cooper, who is in her fourth year studying French in the UCL School of European Languages, Culture & Society.
Suzanna is also a Student Campaign Ambassador, who has been getting in touch with UCL alumni all over the world to encourage them to support the new Campaign for UCL, the university's biggest ever philanthropy and engagement campaign.
What made you decide to become a Student Campaign Ambassador?
One of my friends had taken part in a previous campaign and it was her enthusiasm that made me want to get involved. I am a recipient of a bursary funded by philanthropy and I saw this as an opportunity to give something back UCL.
My bursary was fundamental to enabling me to study at UCL – I wouldn’t have been able to come here without it. So this is a great way to say thank you and help other students like me to fulfil their dreams.
What does the role involve?
Being a Student Campaign Ambassador is such a lovely job! We’re given fantastic training and when we call alumni, the emphasis is on engagement and making a human connection, as well as fundraising. As a team we are calling alumni across Europe, the US and Canada and will be calling in parts of Asia too, which really brings home the global nature of UCL.
We’re also able to select the people we want to call on the basis of their subject areas, so I’ve been focusing on people who studied Speech and Language Therapy, which is what I want to pursue when I graduate. As a result I’ve now spoken to lots of Speech and Language therapists and have got some great advice from people with experience of the field I want to work in.
There are also a range of other roles that Student Campaign Ambassadors can undertake, including working at graduations and engaging with alumni at reunions and other events, so the opportunities for further employment and developing new skills are great.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your role?
The most challenging thing was definitely getting over my initial nerves before I made the first call! It feels scary at first, but actually it’s amazing to have conversations with alumni from all walks of life. The experience has really boosted my confidence and I feel much less nervous speaking on the phone more generally now.
I think the most rewarding aspect is seeing how much money we have raised per shift and knowing what a huge difference it will make for people like me who wouldn’t be able to study at UCL without this support. I think it’s also made me appreciate the UCL community even more – I have worked with students from all sorts of different backgrounds and made some great friends who I might not have met otherwise.
What made you decide to study at UCL and what do you plan to do in the future?
When I was about 14 or 15, I came to London with my mum and as we walked past UCL I peeped in and it really caught my imagination. When I started thinking about applying to university, I came to a UCL open day and realised I didn’t want to go anywhere else – everyone was so welcoming and there was a really lovely atmosphere.
I’ve really love studying here and I’m currently applying to study for the MSc Speech and Language Sciences at UCL.
What are your favourite things about living in London?
I’m from a tiny town where even getting to the shops or cinema can be a day trip, so being able walk out of my door and experience some of the best theatres and art galleries in the world is amazing.
There’s always something new to do and it’s a privilege to live somewhere that many people visit for their holidays! I particularly love the variety of life here and the fact that London often feels like a lot of different towns or villages joined together – there are endless possibilities to explore.
What motivates you?
I’m quite self-motivated – I put pressure on myself to achieve my ambitions and I’m quite driven. I don’t tend to compare myself to others as there are so many different definitions of success – I just focus on what I want to do and enjoy it.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I originally studied Dutch at UCL, alongside French. Although I really loved the department, I found that I really wanted to spend as much time as possible focusing on French and the flexible nature of my degree meant that after my first year I did just that.
If you’d like to find out more about becoming a Student Campaign Ambassador, please contact Lindsay Triggs, Supporter Engagement Manager, Office of the Vice Provost (Development).