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WCU Stories

Meet Chatty Cat Engagement Officer Grace Blizzard

Grace Blizzard


What initially got you interested in becoming a Chatty Cat Engagement Officer?

I was very interested in having a job on campus because I am only a freshman and wanted the opportunity to meet other students! My fellow Chatty Cats are so awesome. I honestly look forward to our staff zoom meetings every week because each person is just so great. We start our meetings off with ice breaker questions, and its super fun to just talk and hear from everyone, especially at the end of a long week. Everyone is also really supportive of each other and helps one another out when we need it! I am so glad to work with people like them!

What are some of the things you have learned during your time as a Chatty Cat Engagement Officer so far?

One of the things I have learned whilst being a Chatty Cat Engagement Officer is that it never hurts to put yourself out there and just ask people for their support. When you are earnest and candid about your cause, people will not only listen, but also be more interested in what you have to say. I have also learned that most people want to hear about myself as well, and that bringing in my own personal life, makes me more successful as a Chatty Cat. When I first started working, I was so scared to go off the script that we are given as a guideline, but to make such meaningful connections you have to really delve into your own conversation with the person on the other side of the phone. That is what being a Chatty Cat is really all about.

What is your favorite part of being a Chatty Cat Engagement Officer?

Definitely my favorite part is speaking with past alumni who went into the career field I am hoping to go into, and the best part is that they are so happy to give me advice on how to be successful. Nothing is more rewarding than someone who already succeeded in what you are looking to achieve tell you that they believe in you! Another thing that is really awesome about being a Chatty Cat is hearing how WCU was during the 70's and 80's. Hearing former student experiences and identifying how our campus is always evolving is always so interesting to hear about!

How do you think the technical and personal skills you are learning by being a Chatty Cat Engagement Officer will help you during life after graduation from WCU?

I am hoping to go into the film industry, which is an industry where fundraising and networking are absolutely essential. Being a Chatty Cat Engagement Officer lets me practice interpersonal skills that will translate perfectly to my life after graduation. I am a fairly new chatty cat, and I feel that even in my short time of working with the Office of Advancement, my skills have greatly developed! The great thing is that there is still so much to grow and improve upon, and since each person I speak to on the phone is completely different, there is always something to be learned in each call I make. 

Tell me more about your involvement with Camp Kesem.

This semester I will be serving as the Co-Development Coordinator with my counterpart, Maggie, for WCU's Camp Kesem Chapter! As a Development Coordinator, my job will include fundraising, grant writing, event planning, and donor relations! WCU's chapter is fairly new on campus, and I cannot wait to begin working with the other board members to grow our chapter!

What inspired you to apply for the role of Development Coordinator for WCU's Camp Kesem?

As a freshman, I wanted to become more involved on campus, and when I saw that Camp Kesem's mission statement, it was definitely something I wanted to be a part of. Camp Kesem is a national organization that seeks to help children who have parents suffering from cancer. With the help of funding from college chapters, these children are able to attend Camp Kesem at no cost at all. I wanted to utilize my skillset for a cause that I feel makes a huge impact on the lives of children. 

What are some of the things that you've learned during your role as a Chatty Cat Engagement Officer that will help you in your role as Development Coordinator for Camp Kesem?

I think the main thing would be is that there is nothing wrong with trying to raise funds for your cause, some people may get a bit annoyed, some aren't going to donate, but there are lots of people that do want to give their support. It's easy to get discouraged when someone doesn't want to support and help raise funds, but you can't let that get you down! My supervisor, Mikayla, is awesome. She has taught me how to "frame" my asks to donors and alumni, which can be super tricky sometimes. I used to feel very awkward talking on the phone and then asking them about donating, but like I said before there is nothing wrong with fundraising. WCU would not be as successful as we are today without our awesome and generous donors. I am excited to transfer this knowledge into fundraising for Camp Kesem and send as many kids to camp as possible!

If you could inspire other students to apply to be a Chatty Cat Engagement Officer, what would you say to them? 

Being a Chatty Cat Engagement Officer is a great way to interact with successful people from all walks of life. You could meet someone who is from your hometown, someone from your major, or even someone who you have absolutely nothing in common with. I've talked to each of these people and so many more! It's honestly so interesting to learn more about alumni, and no matter what career you're looking to go into, being a Chatty Chat is the perfect way build experience while still in college. We would love to have you on our team!

Learn more about becoming a Chatty Cat Engagment Officer

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