Career Central
CASE Europe Graduate Trainee: Elisabeth Payne

Elisabeth Payne

Name: Elisabeth Payne

Also known by: Lis

University from which you've graduated:
University of Birmingham

Degree subject:
BA (Hons) Drama and Theatre Arts
MA Translation Studies (French)

Which societies/sports clubs were you a member of:
During my undergrad, I was heavily involved in stage management for a number of theatre societies. My favourite parts were getting to know the actors and having to think outside the box for obscure props, like dead puppies and crying babies (don't worry, not real ones, on either count!). I was also a member of the Ballroom and Latin Dance Society for several years, competing throughout the UK and having the privilege of dancing in Blackpool's Winter Gardens and Tower Ballroom.

Home town:
Cély en Bière, France

Host institution:
University of Surrey

Why did you apply to the graduate trainee scheme?
Having spent a year in a job where I felt a bit like a cog in a wheel, I was eager to find a new role that was meaningful, rewarding and had a positive impact on others. Fundraising in higher education ticks all the boxes, but I have very little experience in this area. So on a (very enthusiastic!) recommendation of a previous grad, I applied to the scheme because it's a great starting point - it provides a broad and solid foundation on which to build a career in the sector.

What are you hoping to achieve from your year on the scheme?
I'm keen to get involved in anything and everything and soak up as much knowledge as possible whilst learning from my colleagues. It's also an opportunity to develop new, transferable skills. Most importantly, I'd like to leave the scheme knowing that I gave it my all and that somewhere along the line, I made a difference to the University of Surrey.

What are you career ambitions?
To be honest, I'm still not sure what my specific career ambitions are! I'm hoping that at the end of the scheme, I'll have a better idea of which area of philanthropy I am most suited to. For the moment, I'm leaning towards a role that involves a lot of face to face contact, so maybe major gifts or stewardship is where I'll end up. We'll see!

What are you hobbies/activities outside of study/work?
I love a good boogie! Whether it's shaking it out at Zumba, busting some fun rock and roll moves, or trying to convince people to join me in the Macarena... If there's a dance floor, I'll be on it! My weekends are usually busy traveling to explore new places, test my skills in escape rooms, and catch up with friends and family. My downtime consists of a good book and a large bar of chocolate.

Proudest moment?
It's a cliché, but graduating from my Masters with a Distinction has to be one of my proudest moments. It's hard to beat the feeling of joy and achievement that comes from enjoying what you do, finding success in it and knowing you've got there through the support of friends and family.

Anything else?
My translation of a short story "Chloé, Constance et Jane Austen" by up-and-coming author Marie Vareille is due to be published in October, which I'm really excited about!

LinkedIn profile: