A big thank you from our student telephone fundraising team!

A student is smiling as she adjusts her computer headset while on a telethon call to an alum. She is wearing a white top, and is looking away in the distance to her right.

Did you receive a call from a University of Bristol student recently? Our team of 30 student ambassadors contacted 1,500 alumni via phone during this year’s telethons. As a community, you helped raise £200,000 for student support initiatives at Bristol.

To everyone who spoke to current students during the 2023/24 telethon: thank you! Our student ambassadors enjoyed speaking with alumni and hearing their stories, and want to thank you for your support.

‘To all the alumni reading this: thank you for sharing your stories with us. Your words will echo throughout our lives, as we progress from the academic to the professional world.’ – Maria, MSc International Security.

Our student ambassadors were delighted with the financial support pledged by Bristol graduates. They also valued the opportunity to speak to alumni about their professional experiences. These interactions and learnings are incredibly helpful to our students.

For Lucy, a fourth-year Biology student, the reassurance provided by alumni is invaluable:

‘The uncertainty of post-graduation life can be daunting. My experience as a telephone fundraiser has given me unexpected reassurance and guidance. Drawing on their own experiences, alumni emphasised that it’s okay not to have all the answers. They’ve inspired me to explore different paths and utilise the University’s career services.

Alumni understand the challenges students face. Their commitment to ensuring everyone can reach their full potential is inspiring. My time as a telephone fundraiser has been a valuable learning experience, and I will take the stories and advice into the world of work where I will feel content that, together, we made a difference in someone’s university journey.’

A student telethon fundraiser is smiling as he holds the phone to his ear.

Thanks to you, we have funded over 400 student scholarships for 2023/24.

The continuing cost of living crisis is pressuring students to take up more paid work. This means less time for them to enjoy socialising with friends or being part of university clubs and societies. Having such a supportive community of alumni helps us to break down educational barriers for our students, allowing them to experience Bristol to its fullest.

First-year History student and Think Big scholarship recipient Souhardya said: ‘Working on the telethon has been a meaningful and rewarding experience for me. It feels great helping to make higher education accessible.’

Souhardya received helpful practical advice from one of the alumni he spoke to. This has led to him securing a work experience opportunity:

I have had an incredible time speaking to inspiring alumni from across the globe, and learning from them first-hand. One alumnus working with the US Congress discussed career pathways into the policy sector. Thanks to his pragmatic advice, I was able to secure work experience with a Commons Member of Parliament.’

Your insights are so valuable for our current students and are much appreciated. Your time and advice will help Bristol students to succeed professionally like you did. If you would like to connect with more students or offer mentorship, please sign up for one of our alumni volunteering opportunities.

Maria told us the key lesson she’s learned after speaking to more than 60 alumni during the telethon:

‘My time as a telephone fundraiser has been fantastic. It gave me the opportunity to talk to a wide range of alumni, each with an inspirational story to share and great advice to offer. I am in awe of all the amazing personalities I encountered. The main thing I learnt from them all was to never give up on my dream career.

In a time when employability opportunities may seem uncertain, your words of wisdom and encouragement mean more to our students than you may realise. You have inspired the next generation of Bristol alumni. Thank you.

Listening to alumni reminisce about their time at Bristol was my favourite part of the role. Stories ranged from wacky sports socials to sharing their favourite late-night study spaces. All these anecdotes stand as a valuable reminder of the fleeting nature of student life, encouraging me to make the most of my university years. I look forward to the day that I can share my own stories with a student caller at Bristol.’ – Lucy, MSci Biology

If you would like to donate in support of our students, please visit our website. Or, you can choose to leave a gift in your Will to secure future students’ academic journeys. If you would like more information about this, please read our legacy brochure.

If you would like to receive a call from one of our students in the next telephone campaign in autumn 2024, please send your up-to-date contact details to alumni@bristol.ac.uk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *