When sophomore Tiaira Bates ’15 saw the fliers advertising available positions for Spencer Society Phonathon callers, she just had to smile. With previous experience “cold calling” customers while working for a logistics company, Bates was confident that she could do the job well. She was also eager to build her experience and earn money to help support her education.
What she was not expecting was how much she would enjoy talking, sharing, and connecting with the alumnae/i and friends of the college on the other end of the line. Although each caller is guided by a script, the dialogue often takes on a life of its own.
“My favorite part is finding something to draw in someone who is about ready to say good-bye,” said Bates, a Southern Maryland native who started with the Phonathon in fall 2012. Recently, Apple Day has been a popular topic, and Bates’ interest in physical therapy (PT) has sparked several conversations as well.
“I was talking with one Baldwin Online and Adult Programs graduate who wasn’t really interested until I mentioned that I wanted to study PT. He had gotten his degree in that field, and he had a lot of advice for me,” she said.
Many potential donors are excited to hear more about plans for the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, Bates said. She added that it is always enlightening to talk to older alumnae about traditions and campus life.
“I see Mary Baldwin as my second home, and it’s very comforting to hear from others who felt the same way when they were here, too,” Bates said.