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Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)

  • 100 - 500 employees

Ziqiao Chen

7.30 AM

I wake up slightly later than usual, as it’s going to be a rather long day today, but extremely excited as I will be meeting a donor in the morning followed by an event at the University later this evening.  

8.15 AM

After a quick breakfast, I started my work at home since the meeting will take place at a café near my apartment. Even as a Graduate Trainee, I’m extremely grateful for the autonomy my manager has entrusted on me. As it’s one my very first individual meeting, I was quite nervous! To ensure that I’m best prepared. I spend some time familiarising the donor’s bio, and started working on a meeting plan.  

9.30 AM

Knowing it’s one of the first donor meetings that I’ll be doing by myself, my manager took the time to go through my meeting plan over the phone. We also did a meeting role-play where my manager played the role of the donor that I will be meeting – “All the best Ziqiao and remember to speak slow!”.

10.15 AM

After a short drive, I arrived at the Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building 15 minutes before the meeting, and wanted to make sure that there is a free table at the café. It’s 10.25 and I can already see my donor making her way toward me…wish me luck!

10.30 AM

Meeting time! The donor was an elder lady who was lovely and kind. We had a wonderful conversation, where I got to learn her story and why she chooses to give to Monash University. Throughout the CASE Graduate program, my favourite memories had been the donor/prospect meetings, and the wonderful conversations I got to have with each amazing individual.

11.45 AM

It’s almost lunchtime when the meeting concluded, and given that I’m close to the city I decided to quickly grab a bite at a café looking over the Yarra River. It was also the perfect opportunity to write up the Contact Report on what was discussed during with donor, as well as any follow-up actions – it’s important to do them as soon as you can after each meeting when the information is still fresh.

A few other colleagues also checked-in with me to see how the meeting went, during which they shared valuable advices with me on ways to better engage the donor, and to better understand the areas she’s most interested to support.

1.00 PM

After a fruitful morning, it’s now time to jump in the car and head back to the Monash University Clayton Campus.

2.00 PM

Today is a special day at Monash University, as it’s our annual Fellows and Distinguished Alumni Awards (DAA) Ceremony and Dinner, where we recognise the outstanding achievements and contribution of Monash graduate and friends of the University.

I was assigned to be the experience manager of a Monash alumna who will be receiving her DAA today. Before the arrival of the recipients and their guests, all the experience managers met together for a quick run-through of the evening.

3.30 PM

Here we go! The guests are now slowly arriving, as my colleagues and I anxiously wait for our assigned recipient to show up. I was so delighted when I saw my guest arrive with her family, and then escorted them to the campus centre for official photography and refreshments. It was no doubt an incredibly important day for them, and I was grateful to have the opportunity to spend this occasion with them. 

4.45 PM

Time to escort my guests to Monash University’s renowned Robert Blackwood Hall where the ceremony will take place. I could see the excitement on my guest’s face, and how proud her family is as she makes her way onto the stage, and was greeted by Monash University’s Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor.

Robert Blackwood Hall ceremony

6.30 PM

Upon the conclusion of the ceremony, my colleagues and I escorted our guests to the campus centre Dining Hall. The hall was transformed into a magnificent dinner venue, with an open plan entrance for guests to mingle with each other.

As my guests wanted to spend some family time amongst themselves, I took the opportunity to chat with other guests, as well as senior members of the University. An evening like this is a great opportunity to meeting new people through the introduction of your colleagues.

9.30 PM

After a fabulous dinner, I made sure to guide my guests back to the pick-up point for their ride home and jotted down a few quick dot points to capture our conversations.   

It has been a long and extremely rewarding day, and I’m ready to make my way home for what I’m sure will be a great night of sleep – or even a sleep in given the extra couple of hours I worked today!