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Maxine Trotter (Blunden)
2000 Biomedical Science
What I am doing now:
I am currently living in South East London with my husband James and our little boy Malachy. I’ve just started back at work after having 15 months off on maternity leave so I’m trying to juggle being a mummy with my job as Director of Fundraising for Help the Hospices.
How did you get to where you are now?
After I finished my degree in Biomedical Science I stayed on at Keele for an extra year as Vice-President (Finance & Services). Having the chance to do this job was an amazing experience and I learnt so much in just twelve months – it definitely set me up for my career. After this, I went travelling for a year and a half with a friend from Keele before heading back to start life in the real world with a job as Assistant Brand Manager at P&G. A couple of years later, I decided the corporate world wasn’t for me and I moved in to charity work. I started out working in the corporate fundraising team, before becoming manager two years later. At the age of 28 I was appointed Director of Fundraising, the role I’ve been doing ever since! Help the Hospices is a great charity and I get to work with some fantastic people who are all passionate about what we do – knowing that every pound we raise is going to help people at a time when they need it most is really rewarding.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Without a doubt my biggest achievement has to be having my son. He is utterly adorable and after some complications with my pregnancy we are soooo extremely lucky to have him with us – I feel so fortunate every day.
And your biggest mistake?
Hmmmm that’s a tricky one! I don’t think I have any. I think you look back and have things you wished you may have done differently but at the time you do what you think is right.
What are your ambitions now?
My ambitions now are very much related to my family – I just want to make sure I give Malachy the best start in life that I can. With work, my ultimate goal would be to be my own boss and run my own business or consultancy or something like that! Oh, and when I eventually retire, I’d like to travel around America in a huge Winnebago.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in a similar field?
Go for it. It’s an amazing environment to work in – the people in the charity sector tend to be very passionate about their jobs and are generally very lovely people. It’s possible to make a career out of it too and some charities offer internships and have great training programmes. My advice would be to really make the most of the transferrable skills you have and get yourself out there – volunteer for a charity, offer some pro-bono support or ask if you can do some work experience. They’ll snap you up!
What made you choose Keele University?
Urmm, it was actually my second choice and my first place university wouldn’t accept me! I’m so glad it worked out that way because I love Keele.
What kind of a student were you?
A keen bean I think! I used to be involved in everything I could. I was student rep, ran clubbers club, got involved with loads of things going on in the Union and was always out – every Friday without fail. On the study side lets just say I was more likely to be found in Union Square than the library but still somehow managed to get my 2:1.
How has Keele influenced your life?
Massively! Keele has introduced me to the most special people in my life. I met my husband James at Keele after initially seeing his profile in ‘Keele Top Totty’ but never in a million years did I think I’d end up marrying him! We became friends but didn’t get together until a couple of years after we’d left. He tracked me down to Clapham Junction (the half-way house between studentville and real life)…… and the rest is history as they say! It’s so lovely to share the same friends and memories of Keele days together. I also met my best friends there and still see them regularly (Helen, Sarah, Ailsa, Georgie) and went travelling around the world with my lab partner, Matt.
What is your favourite memory of Keele?
Sundays in Union Square, doubles for a pound in BJs, dancing in the club, chips and cheese, fridge raiding, coming last at the Golfers Arms quiz, winning the limbo competition, lazy days by the lake, roller-blading at midnight, parties in the woods, eggs and flour after exams, Baileys milkshakes in Horwood bar, the minstrels machine, graduation, sending my first ever email, the raft race on the lake and too many fancy dress nights to mention.
What is your impression of Keele now?
I’ve only been back once since graduating (I was worried that coming back without all my friends would spoil my memories) but it was lovely to be back. Lots has changed but you still get the feeling that Keele still has that special thing about it – that bubble syndrome that means you know everyone which is sometimes good and sometimes not so good but it’s what makes it very Keele. Its an amazing little bubble of fun!
Anything else you would like to add?
If anyone wants to get in touch they can reach me through the Alumni Office!