David Reeves - College of Life and Natural Sciences - University of Derby

David Reeves, BSc (Hons) Psychology with HRM, 2010

What are you doing now?

I am currently responsible for developing community and regional fundraising for Newlife across the East Midlands. It's a very challenging role as the charity have no network or contacts in the area, so I'm effectively starting from zero and building a network of supporters for a very worthwhile cause. It's an incredibly varied role - I spend most of my time on the road, meeting a huge variety of people. I organise events, attend events, work closely with business partners, individuals and volunteers, all of whom will help change the lives of local children with disabilities.

After years of fundraising/volunteering while studying, I was fortunate enough to be offered an opportunity to work for one of the largest charities in the UK. They invested a lot in me, and I soon became a very good fundraiser. I left there to work for a very ambitious, growing charity that had a whole new road of challenges ahead. I worked anywhere between London and Manchester, and managed a small team of fundraisers across 7 counties in North England. After a break for travelling, I found my current job at Newlife - a nice balance between the two previous roles I had.

I also represent the charity sector as a member of the Institute of Fundraising East Midlands committee, delivering training and events designed to support other people in my role across the region.

What were the main reasons you took that course?

I wanted to study a subject I was interested in, and at the time I never really knew what direction I would go in for my career.

Why did you choose to study the course at the University of Derby?

The University had a good reputation for Psychology, and being a Derby lad, it was conveniently on my doorstep!

What impact has studying this course at Derby had on your career?

If it wasn't for studying at Derby, I wouldn't be in this career at all. I'd more than likely be stacking shelves or working in property maintenance.

How did the lecturers inspire you?

My IS supervisor, Maggie Gale, in particular was really encouraging and supportive. She invested a lot of her time in helping me develop my study which was in an area of interest for her own work. Lovemore was a great character, and really enthused me with a passion for Psychology which I'm sure many others share because of him.

How do you feel the University has helped you in your career so far?

Taking part in the Derby Award (now the Futures award) and the employer mentoring programme was pivotal in supporting my career development. It allowed me to understand my strengths and areas to develop, as well as be able to demonstrate and communicate that to other people - especially employers. 

What are your future plans?

I will continue my strong career as a fundraiser, but ultimately I would like to be Director of Income Generation or CEO of a regional/national charity making a very real difference to the communities around us.

What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?

Do it! The University was great when I was there, and I know it's even better now - more support, more real life opportunities and an even better student community.

Who are you still in touch with from University of Derby?

I work closely with the Students Union, The Business College, Events Management, and the Careers and Employment Team - as well as the University's very own marketing team.

For more information on newlife click here.

"The University was great when I was there, and I know it's even better now - more support, more real life opportunities and an even better student community." David Reeves