BA: Double Major in International Relations & History

Where did Rishabh work? 

Work Term 1 and 2 (8 months):

Development Assistant | Union Gospel Mission (UGM)

What did Rishabh accomplish?

Main Tasks

As a Development Assistant, one of Rishabh’s major responsibilities was to enhance relationships with donors, which was done by devising a stewardship matrix that guides which donors are stewarded and the relationships that are cultivated. Rishabh was in charge of creating handwritten notes on donor tax receipts and the cultivation pieces written each month. Cultivation pieces are normally brief testimonies given by Downtown Eastside community members who were supported by UGM.

Rishabh also helped to plan and implement donor-appreciation events, like Dinner at the Mission, Coffee at the Mission and Lunch at the Mission, as ways of engaging donors and cultivating relationships. Rishabh’s responsibilities included providing take-away packages, sending invites to donors, planning the event, setting up the venue, and liaising with Volunteer Resources, Outreach and the Kitchen in order to organize the presentation, meals, and Alumni testimony.

Major Accomplishment

During a period of transition at UGM, where a number of positions on the team were vacant, Rishabh effectively stepped into an acting Monthly Giving Coordinator role. With responsibilities not usually taken on by co-op students, Rishabh supported a transition to Salesforce, made amendments on donor files, created and optimized database reports, and helped create a strategy for the Monthly Giving portfolio on a month-to-month basis. “Although it was difficult at first, I was pleased to have helped out because previous Co-op students would not have seen these processes. My situation was an exception,” stated Rishabh.

What challenges did Rishabh overcome? 

Rishabh faced a lot of uncertainty during his first work term with UGM, when many of his co-workers’ positions shift and he had to take on many of their responsibilities alongside his own. However, it was especially difficult to take on these responsibilities as his work term coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, and he quickly had to transition to working from home and setting up all the tools he needed on his personal laptop. Although this uncertainty was stressful to deal with, teamwork and delegation allowed Rishabh to coordinate actions with the rest of his team in order to achieve results.

How did Arts Co-op Benefit Rishabh? 

Link Between Academics and Work

“Having been a student for most of my life, I knew how to achieve academic success. However, I was always worried about whether or not those skills would translate themselves to success in a professional setting, “ he claimed. However, his experience at UGM taught him how success can be achieved in the professional world through different skills including data management, event planning, and teamwork.

A specific useful skill he applied from his academics to his work was written communication skills. A requirement in the field of fundraising, this skill had been developed by Rishabh through his studies, where he learned to effectively use language to persuade readers of a given argument. The same basic calculation is also evident in fundraising literature. Telling the story in an effective manner, while maintaining the spirit of the story requires the adept use of language to persuade the prospective donor.

Preparation for Post-Graduation

Rishabh claimed that his work term with UGM has made him feel more prepared for post-graduation, by giving him an idea of what field he sees himself working in for the foreseeable future. Moreover, his job at UGM has shown him the importance of having a strong community in the workplace, as many of his co-workers soon became his friends. “I now know what my priorities are in terms of future professional avenues. I know that a community at the workplace is a priority for me when I choose jobs for myself in the future,” he stated.

What is Rishabh’s favorite part of Arts Co-op?

Before starting the program, Rishabh thought that solely academic success would land you a job, but he quickly learned that applying for jobs without much hands-on experience is not easy.

“Through my work terms I have learned hard skills, which show employers that I could fit into their teams and that they are not choosing a risky option,” he claimed. Thus, Risabh’s favourite aspect of the co-op program is that they open avenues for students to build and develop marketable professional skills that make it possible for these students to then get a better idea of where they want to go in their career.  “My application will now have a competitive edge over others,” he proudly stated.