What I’ve Learned About DAR: A Student’s Perspective

Ana Kilgore
by Kate Lovin

The Corporate and Foundation Relations team has had the good fortune to work with Ana Kilgore, a Mathematics & Mathematics Education major who has been a student worker for us since August 2018. Ana was just recognized as one of UGA’s Top 100 Student Employees of the Year because of her selfless dedication to her work and the value she adds to our team. I recently spoke with her about her experience as a student worker. Her response impressed me, so I worked with her to turn it into the blog post below.

As a student, it’s easy to get caught up in college life with friends, classes, athletics, clubs, and so many other events happening on campus constantly. It’s not often that a student stops to think about everything happening “behind the scenes.” Since working in DAR for Corporate and Foundation Relations, I’ve learned so much about what it takes to make UGA the school I know and love.

As a student worker, I’ve gotten to know the people of UGA. There is no shortage of enthusiastic employees at UGA, and each has their own unique role. Each project, initiative, and gift is thoughtfully put together through a web of employees across different departments. There is always so much time, energy, and hard work poured in by many people to make what was once an idea a reality.

Not only does it take a multitude of people, but it takes certain kinds of people. All UGA employees are some of the most passionate, hardworking, and genuine people I know. The vibrancy and welcoming atmosphere of UGA truly does stem from having employees who love the school and work their hardest day in and day out to make the school the best it can be.

My time with CFR has given me an even greater appreciation for my school. From new building initiatives to networking opportunities, the work CFR (and DAR as a whole) does is so impactful. In my role as a student worker, I can now see all of the fundraising that goes into the things I take for granted. Whether it be the cultivation of a new scholarship or just a panel of employers or alumni, there is so much fundraising that takes place so that I can enjoy all the little perks of being a student.

This experience has also taught me that my time as a student worker will help me beyond my four years here. I’ve learned things that I can carry with me through life and all my post-graduation endeavors, like the power of connections. Making genuine connections with people is such a valuable tool that can really push you toward success. I know that during my time as a student worker in CFR, I’ve made some lasting connections and friendships, so now more than ever, I feel so thankful to be a student at this university.

But while it’s easy to get involved and stay involved when you’re a student, I thought that once I graduated, my involvement would dwindle down to a football game here and there or a UGA alum tag on my car. Thanks to working within Development and Alumni Relations, I’ve seen many alumni get involved for the first time and other alumni who have been involved for years since their graduation.

From attending Alumni Weekend to joining an alumni chapter, I now really feel like I’ll be able to be a part of this university for the rest of my life, and I’ve seen firsthand the impact alumni can have. The thousands of alumni who still love and support their school— as well as the students here— really do create a family of UGA past, current, and future students.