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Naemi Gutmann – BA History & Politics, Macmillan Cancer Support

Naemi Gutmann profile picture

What degree course did you study?

History and Politics.

Why did you choose that particular degree course?

I didn't have a specific career path in mind, but had a great interest in politics and especially modern history and felt that a social sciences course would equip me with many transferrable skills. My main ambition was to understand and learn from the past to create positive social change, which I is also why I then decided to pursue a career in the charity sector at the end of my degree at Warwick.

Tell us about your employer

I work at Macmillan Cancer Support, a large national charity that provides medical, emotional, financial and practical support to people living with cancer.

I started as an assistant in the Supporter Care department, responding to queries from donors and ensuring a positive experience with the organisation, hopefully meaning they will donate or fundraise for the organisation in the future.

What attracted you to this position?

I was keen to get a foot in the door in the charity sector, and I was particularly interested in the fundraising division that makes the charity's service provision possible.

What are the key skills you learnt at Warwick that have helped you with your career to date?

Being part of a society exec team pushed me out of my comfort zone in terms of public speaking and leading a group, which has been really useful in professional settings - such as managing my team. During my degree I also developed strong organisational and time management skills, starting projects as early as possible and working on them consistently rather than rushing at the end - which has helped me meet deadlines and handle pressure at work.

What has been your greatest career challenge to date and how did your experience and skills help overcome it?

Since 2019 I have been working as team leader in the same department that I first joined as an assistant. The Covid-19 pandemic created a huge challenge for my team as we didn't have processes in place for remote working and to stay connected with colleagues. I was able to rely on my resilience to create a positive work environment while at home and during a difficult time for the organisation as a whole.

What top tips would you give to students looking for a career in your market sector?

Volunteering opportunities (short-term, long-term, even just for a day) are a great way to develop your own personal and professional skills and they show your passion for charity work.

What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were applying for jobs?

When I first started applying for jobs, I thought graduate schemes were the best way to start your career after university so I was very disheartened when realising how few graduate schemes there are in the charity sector. For me personally, it worked out really well to start in an entry-level position instead. Also, it might go without saying but the career service, CV workshops and application checks that are on offer at Warwick were incredibly helpful and I would really recommend making use of them!