Spotlight on Sarah McGee
16 December 2014
This week the spotlight is on Sarah McGee, Senior Development Manager, UCL Development & Alumni Relations Office (DARO).
What is your role and what does it involve?
As a Senior Development Manager within DARO, I have an opportunity to work with a range of alumni and friends from across the world to build relationships and raise money for UCL strategic priorities, and beyond, to help ensure our fundraising and support engagement campaign is a success.
It's a job I love - always exciting, always inspiring and will forever have an impact on the world. And because of UCL's impressive reputation, it's not a terribly difficult 'sell'!
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I joined UCL nearly two years ago (March 2013), and previously worked at University of North Florida as Assistant Director of Development, dedicated to the College of Business.
Prior to fundraising for higher education, I worked for a small grassroots maternal and child health non-profit raising money, and advocating on behalf of the women and children we served in north-east Florida.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
Landing a job at UCL is a major one, but I'm not sure I can pick just one. Truly, each time I close a gift to support someone or something in need - be it a project related to reducing infant mortality, ensuring cancer research progresses or allowing young people to have an opportunity to further their education - it makes me feel proud of the work I do.
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?
I've recently taken a lead on our US fundraising efforts, and it's been an exciting and encouraging undertaking as we have roughly 13,000 alumni based in the US. A recent visit to New York City and San Francisco proved to be very beneficial as we met with a number of key alumni and friends interested and willing to support our fundraising campaign dedicated to ensuring the success of UCL 2034.
While there, we had an opportunity to meet one of our celebrity graduates who offered to host an event for us, and another individual gave a first gift of $300k to support research at UCL! UCL is committed to creating a lifelong community and I look forward to helping increase our fundraising activity in the US, and here in London.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
Album: Hozier (for now… it may change next week!)
Film: Good Will Hunting
Novel: Kite Runner (I know it's not really a novel, but it's a great book!)
What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?
I don't think I'm very funny so I leave it to the professionals.
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
Family members I never had a chance to meet.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don't sweat the small stuff - life is too short. It's more important to live, take risks and be kind.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I'm secretly an introvert.
What is your favourite place?
I've left a little piece of my heart in every city I've travelled to and all mean something a little different for different reasons.