December 2012: Athena Wilson

2010 English and American Literature

What am I doing now?
I am a Fundraising Campaign Manager at Buffalo Fundraising Consultants Ltd
Athena in Canada How did you get to where you are now?  
I had the opportunity to work as a student caller for Keele when I was in my final year. After the campaign had ended, the company who had been running it asked me if I would be interested in working for them full time. After a year travelling, I interviewed for a Campaign Manager position and got it! I have been working for them for over a year and have been running the campaign at Keele in November 2012!

‌What has been your biggest achievement so far?  
Going to Canada for a year after graduation! Booked flights, paid for a visa, then hopped on the plane with my friend Tania Stephens (Keele, 2010) to see what North America had in store. I found a great job, made amazing friends, visited beautiful places… as well as meeting the love of my life! It’s a year of my life I’ll never forget. Photo: in Canada

What are your ambitions now?
I’m really enjoying working in the fundraising sector, I never imagined while I was studying at Keele that this is where I would be. I’m keen to keep learning and maybe branch out into different fields within the sector.

Athena in Canada What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in a similar field?  
You need a strong passion and sense of self, as well as a positive attitude and the ability to problem solve! It is a very rewarding line of work and I would recommend it to anyone.

What made you choose Keele University?
One of my A Level English teachers studied here and told me all about it. I then came on an open day and fell in love with the campus, especially Keele Hall! I’m from rural Norfolk so I feel at home in the countryside.

What kind of a student were you?  
I was a “last minute” kind of student… I got everything in on time, but 9 times out of 10 I had done it the night before! There may have been a few afternoons spent playing pool in the lounge when I should have been in the Library but I don’t regret it at all! I really enjoyed being a student and the whole university experience.

How has Keele influenced your life?  
Keele was such a fabulous experience; I have lifelong friends who I know I’ll always keep in touch with! I really enjoyed studying English and feel honoured to have met so many great lecturers who inspired me and my love of reading. It has been great being back on campus seeing old friends and favourite lecturers, as well as seeing the changes to the campus and the Students’ Union – it’s all brilliant!

Athena on Keele Hall lawns What is your favourite memory of Keele?
I can’t pick just one! Pimms on the lawn in the summer whilst revising (!), snowball fights outside Barnes in the winter, dancing your heart out in the Union at the headphone disco, the list is endless! Coming back for graduation is a special memory, seeing everyone dressed in their gowns feeling proud of what we’d all achieved – it was a great day.

What is your impression of Keele now?  
I love all the changes that are happening around the campus, it looks great. Especially the new Forest of Light sculpture, what an amazing idea! I miss the Kiln but chips, cheese and gravy tastes just as good in Munch! The students that have been working on the campaign with me have all been fantastic; it’s warming to see everyone still enjoying the bubble and making their own lasting memories.