Career Central
CASE Europe Graduate Trainee: Sophie Altham

Sophie Altham

p>Name: Sophie Altham

University from which you've graduated:
King's College London

Degree subject:
English Literature

Which societies/sports clubs were you a member of:
King's Players (drama society), I designed the sets for three of the University productions.

Home town:
Southport, Merseyside.

Host institution:
King's College London

Why did you apply to the graduate trainee scheme?
In the final year of my degree I had a part-time job as a Student Telephone Fundraiser at King's. My interest in the sector began because I wanted an interesting job with flexible hours that were suitable to the demands of my final year at University. However, as I got more comfortable in the role and became more aware of the way King's was benefiting so many different sectors of research and sections of society my job stopped being just something that was convenient and fun but something I became very passionate about. I applied for the graduate trainee scheme at CASE because I knew I needed to bridge the gap between relatively informal asks on the telephone and larger asks in the wider world. There was also so much that I wanted to learn about the sector - the different departments, the politics of fundraising and the obstacles and benefits to fundraising brought about by the modern world.
I wanted to be equipped with the best tools to fundraise for the projects that I feel are important and I felt that the CASE graduate trainee scheme was the best way to learn them.

What are you hoping to achieve from your year on the scheme?
My main aim for this year is to develop my skills as a face-to-face fundraiser and understand what approach of fundraising works best for me. I am hoping to gain confidence and competency in working within the professional fundraising world. The scheme is great for giving you a broad overview of the different elements that make up a fundraising department and I am really looking forward to learning about and working within new and different sections of fundraising. I am really looking forward to embracing the breadth of what the CASE scheme has to offer.

What are you career ambitions?
At this early point in the scheme it is difficult to say what the future holds. I am interested in working in the philanthropic sector and hope long term to be able to use my Arts background to find new innovative ways to tackle matters of social inequality. The fundraising community offers you so many interesting and important projects and so many different ways to be involved in them that I want to take the time to find out what fits best for me and where I feel I will be most useful.

What are you hobbies/activities outside of study/work?
In my free time I am usually hanging out with friends, drawing, wandering around London or - as would be expected of an English Literature graduate - reading. I also love to travel, the next place I hope to go is Hong Kong to visit my sister who lives there!

Proudest moment?
I think my proudest moment was getting a 1st in my dissertation - it had been a lot of work and it was brilliant to see it really successfully payoff.