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News > Alumni Spotlight > Abbey Stewart, Fundraising Campaigns & Content Lead

Abbey Stewart, Fundraising Campaigns & Content Lead

"Doing my language degree gave me the confidence and skills which then allowed me to communicate with international partners"

Current Job Title & Employer

Fundraising Campaigns & Content Lead, Plan International

Dame Alice Owen’s Class of....

Class of 2009.

Brief description of your path after Owen’s.

When I left Owen’s, I went to the University of Birmingham where I studied a BA in Modern Languages, French & Hispanic Studies. I lived abroad for a year in France and Costa Rica. I also completed my MSc in International Development (Poverty, Conflict & Development) in 2018 too, despite swearing off education when I graduated from my BA in 2013.

How your path led you to where you are now?

My career so far has been a bit of a wiggly road but I started off in a Supporter Relations role where I was answering phone calls and emails of supporters to an organisation working globally with street children. I didn’t need to have done a degree to get that job and I learned so much while I was there, thanks to some brilliant managers who kept challenging me. That said however, doing my language degree gave me the confidence and skills which then allowed me to communicate with international partners (particularly in Latin America) and took me on trips to Central America for gathering content for the organisation’s communications because I could save the cost of a translator - always a bonus in an NGO. Before I left school, my original plan was to be a social worker in the UK, but after completing my BA, I wanted to use my languages in some way too and that was what lead me towards the international development sector.

Did your time at Owen’s inspire any particular skills or attributes?

I really have Mr Johnstone’s trip to India in 2005 to thank for where I am now. Going on that trip opened my eyes to the way that different people live around the world - I saw so many realities on that trip that were just unacceptable to me and that was when I started exploring how I could do something to change it. My interest in languages was also inspired at Owen’s and being able to do a couple of language trips ignited my interest in different cultures, places and people, which is so key in what I do now, working with so many colleagues around the world. 

Favourite Owen’s memory?

I think the trips have got to be up there, especially that one to India that gave me a taste of what I’d end up making a career of, but the best gift that Owen’s gave me is the friends I’m still in touch with. We’ve seen each other through so many chapters of life and I’d not change that for the world!

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