Bates Fund Student Caller? More like Bates FUN Student Caller: An Interview with Jordan Becker
Jordan Becker, a sophomore, currently holds a position as a Bates Fund Student Caller. As a Student Caller, Jordan contacts alumni and parents to solicit donations for the Bates Fund through an automated calling system.
Jordan applied for this job because he found the idea of calling up past students of Bates College to be extremely interesting and “wanted to help Bates raise money”. He also felt he was qualified for it, so he decided to apply for the job and was interviewed by his future supervisor, Nina Emmi, over the phone. “The interview happens over the phone because it is the best way to test an applicant’s phone-skills, which are highly important to do the job.”
Indeed, some of the qualities looked for in a Bates Fund Student Caller includes a clear and personable telephone voice and strong communication skills. According to the job description, callers must be “self-motivated individuals who possess good feelings for Bates. Callers are extremely trustworthy, as confidential information, in the form of giving history and address information, is constantly available.”
Calling happens every Sunday-Thursday from 6:30pm-9pm. Jordan works “3 nights a week, so 7.5 hours, though sometimes I am able to take thank-you notes home and write them on my own time, for which I am able to earn a few extra hours.” The primary task is to call alumni and parents to let them know about what is going on on campus and to also raise money for the Bates Fund, which is used to finance next year’s budget, from everything to athletics, to financial aid, and everything in between. “On a normal day, I will call many alumni and speak to them about the news from campus (Clayton Spencer is a hot topic!) and ask them to contribute to Bates.” At the end of the night, the callers write thank-you letters to alumni and parents who have contributed, showing their gratitude for their generosity.
Jordan finds the most interesting part of the job is definitely the wide variety of people that he speaks to over the phone. “I really enjoy their stories of their years at Bates. Apparently Roger Williams Hall aka the Bill was quite infamous when it was a dorm…” Jordan loves talking to alumni and parents, learning about their opinions of Bates and of their experiences at the college. “I enjoy being exposed to the massive Bates community that’s out there in the world; there are thousands of alumni to speak to, that I am connected with! I also enjoy the delicious snacks we are provided while calling.” says Jordan.
When it comes to valuable work skills honed from working as a caller, Jordan believes that “being able to speak to someone over the phone in a professional way is going to be useful no matter what career I end up in after graduation.” Because of this job, Jordan’s communication abilities have improved drastically, and the knowledge he has learned will be useful to him for the rest of his life. Jordan has also learned “that I can face rejection in a mature way without taking it too personally” as sometimes the people he calls are not interested in donating to Bates.
Although Jordan does not plan on pursuing this type of job, he does believe this increased ability of communicate with people will help him in his desired career path. “I plan on going to medical school, so the communicative abilities I have gained from being a student caller will be useful to me in the many interviews I have in my future and also in the way I would speak with patients, if I do become a practicing doctor.”