In Your Shoes - Ailsa WallaceAll members Prev: Eleanor Whitby Next: Andrew Johnson
Ailsa is a Senior Development Officer at the University of Dundee. A graduate of the University she joined the Development and Alumni Relations Office in June 2018. Ailsa is responsible for development and fundraising of University priority projects, including scholarships and bursaries, capital development and research projects. Working with alumni in the UK and internationally Ailsa is committed to the University’s core purpose, to transform lives both locally and globally.
The Impact of SportMonday 18 February 2019
My week starts with the launch of a brand new initiative, The University of Dundee Sports Union Alumni Fund. I have been working with the current and past Sports Union President for the past few months to bring this exciting project to life. The fund aims to help Sports Clubs pursue special projects and secure the best equipment in order to improve their performance. The project gives Dundee graduates, members of the public, and businesses the opportunity to contribute to the sustainable development of University sports clubs in a bid to fulfil the athletic ambitions of every student.
Following an afternoon of meetings the day ends with a singalong and cake as we celebrate a colleague’s birthday, if only every Monday ended with cake!
The Gift of TimeTuesday 19 February 2019
Today my colleague Karen and I are headed up north to visit a local business. The Managing Director is an alumnus of the University and is interested in supporting the School of Business by offering internships and mentoring to students. One of the greatest ways our alumni can give back to the University is by giving their time. Speaking with our students, sharing experiences, mentoring and offering internships are all invaluable resources. After a very positive meeting, we head back down the A9 and back to the office just in time for lunch.
The rest of the afternoon is spent preparing and planning for the next few days as I am headed down south for a couple of days to meet with our alumni based in London.
Shaping the FutureWednesday 20 February 2019
Bright and early start to the day as I head off to Edinburgh to catch a flight to London. My first meeting of the day is with Anuja Dhir QC; Anuja graduated from the University of Dundee in 1988. She was the first non-white circuit judge to sit at the Old Bailey and last year received an honorary doctorate from the University. After a lovely catch up we get down to business and start planning for her next visit to Dundee where she has kindly offered to host a workshop with a group of law students who have entered the University via our Widening Access Programme.
Widening Access gives the opportunity for young people who have the ability but not necessarily the means to access higher education. Anuja is a passionate supporter of this initiative and we are very proud to have such committed alumni who are invested in giving something back to their University and shaping the future of our graduates.
Transforming LivesThursday 21 February 2019
After a hectic Wednesday, Thursday starts with a lovely breakfast on the Southbank before meeting more alumni. My final meeting of the day is with one of our economics graduates who is now the Managing Director of an international hedge fund. We have been working together over the past few months and she has decided to give a substantial gift to the University to create a bursary scheme that will support young woman into studying and careers in the field of economics. We discuss how the bursary will be administered and the impact it will make on recipients, before finalising a timeline for its launch.
Then it’s time for me to head to the airport, I manage to catch up with some emails before catching my flight home.
Your Gift, Their FutureFriday 22 February 2019
Back to the office today, after catching up from meetings in London I turn my attention to organising a thank you event for our Donors.
In November last year, we hosted a dinner with a small group of alumni with the aim to raise funds for The Robertson Scholarship Journey to Success Programme. This initiative supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into higher education. The event was a great success and to date has raised £150,000 to match fund Robertson Scholarships at the University of Dundee. We are now planning an event to thank our donors and give them the opportunity to meet with our current Robertson scholars to learn about the impact their gifts will make on our future students.
And, just like that, it’s the weekend again. It’s been a great week with lots happening. There is never a dull moment in the world of University development!