Suzanne Scott

Learn as much as you can - then when an opportunity arises be ready to leap.
The University of British Columbia
Assistant Dean, Development & Alumni Engagement
Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver, Canada
Canadian Philanthropy and Higher Education
Amy Metcalfe

What are your main responsibilities or activities in your current position?

Suzanne facilitates inspired philanthropy by championing the mission of the Faculty of Education to the donor community, alumni and prospects. Signature projects include; Indigenous Education, Mental Health Literacy, the Veterans Transition Program, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity inclusive education, Autism Research, STEM & Early Childhood Education. Suzanne actively promotes and strengthens community and alumni engagement of over 52,000 alum.

How does your current work relate to your graduate degree?

My current position as Assistant Dean, Development & Alumni Engagement at the Faculty of Education is directly related to my doctoral work and dissertation which examined the impact of private philanthropy in higher education in Canada. When designing my dissertation research questions and topic area I had hoped that I would achieve a role such as this. I designed my doctoral work to pave the way for my current position.

What do you like and what do you find challenging about your current position?

Fundraising for the Faculty of Education and engaging with our over 53,000 Faculty of Education alum who are in over 90 countries is a wonderful experience. I enjoy being the advocate for the researchers and practitioners to showcase the critical work produced at the Faculty of Education and matching donors with capacity to ensure transformational work continues.

Is your current career path as you originally intended?

Yes! Finally. It took me seven years to reach this level with important learnring opportunities along the way.

What motivated you to pursue graduate work at UBC?

I am curiosity driven and wanted to pursue an intellectual challenge.

What did you enjoy the most about your time as a graduate student at UBC?

My doctoral cohort of fine scholars and community minded great people.

What key things did you do, or what attitudes or approaches did you have, that contributed to your success?

Optimistic, "can-do" attitude, bold, brave and recognize humility is a strength.

What is your best piece of advice for current graduate students preparing for their future careers?

Learn everything you can, volunteer, be a team player and when the opportunity comes MAKE THE LEAP!

Did you have any breaks in your education?

I had my third child during my PhD. My home was affected by fire and I had to move out for 4 months. These additional challenges made me even more directed and compelled me to finish.

What challenges did you face in your graduate degree, or in launching your career?

Challenges are constantly thrown at all of us. Don't give up. One foot in front of the other. Smile.


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