BA 2014: Major Sociology, Minor Health and Society

Where did Ryley work?

Work Term 1 (8 months):
Special and Annual Giving Assistant, Union Gospel Mission (UGM)

Work Term 2 (4 months):
Community & Special Events Assistant, BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre

What did Ryley accomplish?

Union Gospel Mission

Ryley works in a department responsible for about 90% of the organization’s donor base, which is comprised of about 55,000 donors. In addition to looking for potential donors and maintaining donor relations, she also assists with UGM’s involvement in large-scale Community Partnership Events including the Dragonboat Festival and the Scotiabank Half Marathon and 5K. Ryley is also responsible for UGM’s Christmas Hamper Campaign – a project where she solicits items to fill 300 hampers for needy families in the Downtown Eastside. Her position as a Special and Annual Giving Assistant is extremely relevant to her specialization at university; Ryley is able to apply her knowledge of topics such as Aboriginal rights, women’s rights and access to health care and services that she has gained through her education to the workplace.

What would Ryley tell others about Arts Co-op?

Ryley believes that Arts Co-op is “a fantastic program that allows students the opportunity to try out different types of jobs and work environments on a short-term basis – something that is not possible without co-op.” She is “confident co-op will benefit [her] and have a large impact on her career path.”

How did Arts Co-op benefit Ryley?

Discovery of a Career Path
Ryley has always wanted to work for a non-profit organization in a fundraising capacity. Through this position, she has realized and loved the reality of working in this type of environment and she would like to pursue further education and a career in fundraising or donor relations.

Skills & Experience for a Head Start
Through this work term, Ryley has gained knowledge in Raiser’s Edge, a database which is used widely in the non-profit sector.  She is also “learning a lot about what it takes to raise an annual budget of over $12 million.” She has gained confidence in public speaking and has learned how to be successful when soliciting donations and thanking donors. Ryley believes that “the work experience [she has] gained from co-op is invaluable” and she would not have been able to develop these skills through classes alone.  Her experience at UGM will be a great asset when pursuing other co-op work terms and in her future career in the non-profit sector.