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Career Story: Institutional Advancement Associate At A Private School

Institutional Advancement Associate At A Private School

Job Title: Institutional Advancement Associate

Type of Company: A private school in Providence, Rhode Island

Education: attended, Rhode Island College

Previous Experience: I worked as a development associate at the Rhode Island Historical Society.

Job Tasks: I serve as the assistant to the school's Director of Public Relations and Publications. I also act as assistant to the Director of Parent Relations, maintaining the accuracy of the school's database of alumni, students, parents and friends. I produce the school's yearly parent directory from records in our database and organize and send a monthly bulletin to all current parents regarding the upcoming month's activities. I also organize and run two major visiting days on the campus: one for parents, and one for grandparents with duties including producing and mailing invitations, recording RSVP's in our database and ordering refreshments.

I produce invitations for parent events such as coffees and lunches and I help to organize all major events producing auction bid sheets and programs as needed.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that every day is different. One day I may be running an event and the next I may be making displays for student projects. I feel this keeps my job fresh and prevents it from getting boring.

The worst part of the job is maintaining the database. People move constantly and it is a never-ending battle to keep correct addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers in the system.

Job Tips:
1. Learn as much about an organization as you can before accepting a position with them. The more you know, the better you will fit in and know what is expected of you.

2. Keep your computer skills up-to-date. Learn as much as you can about the software you will be using, and keep up with the changes. Avail yourself of all the free computer classes or updates your company has to offer.

3. Be flexible, go with the flow, be a team player. In this environment things change daily, and that is what helps to keep the job from becoming boring. I am constantly pulled off of one thing to work on another. At times it can be frustrating, but most of the time it is a welcome, fun break.

Additional Thoughts: A school is a great place to work. While the pay may not be as good as it is at a for-profit business, it is definitely a very exciting, vibrant place to be, and usually the benefits make up for the lack of salary.

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