There are very few times in which the thought of waking up at 6am on a Monday and commuting over an hour has been particularly thrilling; however, working at the Foundation has completely changed this for me. No matter how long the commute, how much traffic has conspired against me, or how groggy I may feel in the morning, walking through the doors of Liberty Plaza and sitting down at my desk is an instant pick me up.
The introduction to my unit, the “small but mighty” campaign team as my unit hosts Jessica Miller and Ingrid Cordasco like to say, quickly transitioned into a warm welcome into the huge family that is the Rutgers University Foundation and this year’s class of Futures interns. After receiving my first project to audit the Dean Advisory Boards, I quickly learned that in order to complete this assignment, I would need to meet with professionals in many different departments to strategize a streamlined process of communication and data collection. A meeting with Karen Hurst, the Director of Gift Processing and Alumni Records, opened my eyes to just how vast and intricate the hierarchical structures of the Foundation and the University truly are. Despite this complexity, there is one common goal that unifies the entire Foundation: advancement. This common goal transcends the individual initiatives of specific schools and departments, which is key for the successful launch of the next multibillion-dollar comprehensive campaign.
Our University did not achieve the prestige it carries today by the work of individuals operating on their own. Akin to a kaleidoscope, many shapes and colors are constantly shifting, but a beautifully complex mosaic always remains. Work in advancement impacts nearly every aspect of the student experience at our University. Foundation staff work and coordinate with each of the University’s 29 individual schools daily. As Jess Miller has said to me on more than one occasion, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” As I continue in my internship, I am excited to see how the different units, boards, councils, and teams come together to launch our University’s next comprehensive campaign.
Hailey Lemasters is a Futures in Advancement intern with Campaigns