When I started my first semester at Campbell, I was thrilled; I had a fresh start from high school where I could make new friends, try new activities that piqued my interest and dive deeper into my passion for psychology. I quickly became involved in a few clubs and extracurricular activities but was soon faced with the financial burden that comes with making an educational investment.
With my newly acquainted friends, I strolled through the annual Street Fair: a street lined with every club and organization there was to take part in at Campbell and the nearby communities. I searched for employment opportunities to support myself throughout my time at Campbell.
Soon enough, I heard my future boss’ child shout, “on-campus job!” Following the lively voice, I was met with a table of kind and energetic Call Team members. Shortly after, I started my journey as a Call Team member through the Office of Annual Giving asking alumni to support the advancement of our university. Surely it would be a breeze – I was about to get paid to talk to people on the phone!
This was not the case. In training, the Call Team Leaders and the staff members of the office unanimously agreed and emphasized that Call Team is the most difficult job on campus.
Why? Talking with strangers is not always easy. Asking for money is not always easy. But Call Team is where I found true meaning in service, leadership, teamwork and giving back to my roots.
Calling All Camels
I think my first year as a caller was my favorite year. Certainly, there was a learning curve, but I was soon acquainted with the history of Campbell, current events on campus and building rapport with alumni. I learned that scholarships not only make it possible for me to attend Campbell, but they also have made it possible for other callers and alumni to attend Campbell as well.
Calling almost came easily to me – there is true value in giving back and supporting fellow camels in our community. There were good and bad conversations, but the heartfelt exchanges and stories I heard always made my time and effort worth it. My first year, with great enthusiasm for Campbell, I raised $3,950.
Call Team Member to Leader
Two years into my time with Call Team, I was promoted to the position of Call Team Leader. This meant that I would be in charge of training new callers, managing shift, giving constructive feedback and motivating the team to meet individual and group goals.
There was another learning curve that came with serving as a Call Team Leader as we faced multiple challenges:
- How do we ensure that Call Team still functions meaningfully during a pandemic?
- How do I motivate callers to do their best and host genuine conversations in a world of uncertainty?
My goal as a leader was to keep community and service at the heart of Call Team despite all of the unpredictability in the world. Having socially distanced activities and group discussions, we found meaning in hard times. We found purpose in advocating to support our students to be as successful as they can be.
As a Call Team Leader, I learned what it means to build community in the workplace particularly in the face of hardship. Through Call Team, I made amazing friendships with my coworkers.
Educating Future Leaders/Serving Our Communities
Serving as a Call Team Member and Leader, I have been able to see where gifts from alumni are sent to and the students who are directly helped. Giving back to your alma mater is not a donation – it is a gift. It is an investment in the future leaders that are being cultivated at Campbell. It is a resource to help our camels become teachers, engineers, doctors and musicians. And for those who have invested in me, you are supporting a future child psychologist.
Call Team has instilled in me the value of serving others and giving back to the place that served me. I sincerely hope that a first-year Call Team member will call me as soon as I graduate so that they may have the same enthusiasm for their camel community as I do.