Suzanne Scott

Learn as much as you can - then when an opportunity arises be ready to leap.
St. Paul's Foundation
Manager, Major Gifts
Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver, Canada
Canadian Philanthropy and Higher Education
Amy Metcalfe

Where and what is your current position?

I raise money in the $10,000 to $100,000 range and liaise with physicians, surgeons, and other care providers to fundraise for equipment, research, and Fellowships / Chairships.

Is your current career path as you originally intended?

Yes, although I had hoped it would happen sooner. I'm also surprised to be in healthcare philanthropy, as I thought I'd be working in higher education.

How does this job relate to your graduate degree?

My doctoral dissertation examined the impact of private philanthropy on the organizational structure and academic culture at UBC. In my role at St. Paul's Hospital Foundation, I am able to understand how the fundraising 'business' is critical in helping shape the renewal process in building the new St. Paul's.

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

My cohort of doctoral students.

What are key things you did that contributed to your success?

Optimism, volunteer leadership often allows you to try out new ideas, challenge yourself, show your passion about your field, never give up.

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

Finding good, paid, full-time work took me longer than I had hoped. Volunteer in your field. Get on a Board. Volunteer leadership often allows you to try out new ideas, challenge yourself, and show your passion about your field. Learn as much as you can – then when an opportunity arises, be ready to leap. Never give up. 

Did you have any breaks in your education?

I had a third child in the first year of my doctorate, but I didn't need to take time off; the department was understanding and flexible.

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

Multiple challenges tried to derail me, but you need a steely gaze to climb the PhD mountain and head into unknown territory.

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

What I enjoy most is engaging with our loyal donors and physician and care giver community to fundrais for critical needs that will improve patient care.