Week 8 and 9: My Fundraising experience and what being a Saltire Scholar means to me
During the second part of my internship, I started thinking about organising an activity to raise some money for Entrepreneurial Scotland, the organization responsible for the Saltire Scholar Internship Programme. Along with Tirath, the amazing Saltire Technology intern I got to know during my time at ROVOP, I decided to bake some goodies and sell them in the ROVOP office. I admit I am not a gifted baker (to say the least), however, Tirath was more than happy to show me how to make exquisite brownies, an amazing sponge cake as well as shortbread cookies.
We placed our cakes and cookies in strategic locations (for example, the kitchen) and created flyers explaining Entrepreneurial Scotland’s values and mission, as well as the incredible opportunities offered by the Saltire Programme. Most importantly, we promoted our bake sale on the ROVOP’s favourite social media channel and sent emails to the staff explaining the importance of giving back to the organization and ensuring that future Saltire Scholars can have the same life-changing opportunities that Tirath and I had. I confess I was amazed (but not surprised) by the extraordinary support we received from the company and its staff. ROVOP’s people do care about giving back to the community, not only through the charities they support but also through Saltire, giving young people like us the chance to undertake commercially valuable work in an international company. Our bake sale was an occasion to promote the ES’s mission as well as the Saltire Programme, explaining how it benefitted our professional development. The experience made me more eager to become a Saltire Ambassador and represent the brand among my peers at University as well as other companies like ROVOP.
My past fundraising activities and what I have learnt
I think the experience was incredibly valuable in that I learnt how teamwork, shared passion about a common cause and determination are key when setting and reaching fundraising goals. More importantly, I gained the skills necessary to succeed in my future fundraising activities.
This was not my first bake-sale, nor my first fundraising activity. In fact, I am the Secretary-General of the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) Aberdeen, so even before my Saltire experience I participated in a few baking sales and fundraising events for the student society. As the Vice-President of Lawyers Without Borders on campus, I will have to contribute to fundraising activities to finance the society’s efforts, including conferences and other events. Being a fundraiser for Saltire, I am persuaded that I learnt the importance of effective marketing, for instance through social media, as well as in-person interaction.
What being a Saltire Scholar means to me
I think that being a Saltire Scholar means much more than interning in a global company: in fact, it entails being an active member of an exciting and committed network of like-minded and entrepreneurial individuals, including fellow students, great companies and visionary entrepreneurs.
For instance, along with Tirath, I attended a fantastic BBQ and networking event organized by the Spirit Energy Institute Young Professionals Network in Aberdeen in August 2019. On this occasion, we had the opportunity to listen to interesting talks regarding the Energy industry, how it stays innovative and how technology will represent a massive disruption and opportunity in the sector. During the event, we met Graceann, a proud 2014 Saltire Scholar. Needless to say, I was amazed by the instant connection we shared with Graceann just in virtue of the fact we are Saltire Scholars! Listening to her experience with the Programme, how it shaped her professional goals and contributed to her marketing career in the energy industry really struck me as an example of how Entrepreneurial Scotland enables its Scholars to have successful careers and make a true impact on a commercial level, both in Scotland and beyond.
Being part of the Saltire network means being part of something bigger: the shared vision of making Scotland “the most entrepreneurial society in the world”. Moreover, I believe that the faith that Entrepreneurial Scotland puts in its Saltire Scholars really motivate us to be positive Ambassadors of Scotland and the organization in the world. ES commitment to its members is made apparent by the countless networking events and professional development opportunities it offers on a monthly basis. In conclusion, I feel incredibly lucky to be part of the Saltire network and look forward to facing my last year at University with a sense of personal accomplishment and motivation to make a difference for Scotland and its business community.
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