Phonathon SuperCaller may be calling you soon!
Don’t be too surprised if Ripon College gives you a call in the next few weeks. With Phonathon back in session, its dedicated team of 28 student callers are dialing alumni and parents’ numbers.
Queriontae Price ’16, a global studies major and national securities studies minor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, found a Phonathon job a good fit.
“I refused to take something average,” he says. “I wanted my job to be dynamic — I wanted to feel like I was working in the front lines.”
That he does. Lori Schroeder ’13, assistant director of the Annual Fund, says Price’s role as a “SuperCaller” suits his style and skill. “(He) is a very dedicated caller,” she says. “He frequently works four or more shifts a week and has a real passion for connecting with alumni and parents.”
SuperCallers serve many purposes, Schroeder says, internally within the Phonathon staff and externally within the calls. “It’s a way of highlighting the achievements of phenomenal callers,” she says. “Our SuperCalllers are very effective on the phones and are polite and courteous. They set the standard that all callers should try to achieve.”
As a SuperCaller, Price makes calls, serves as a mentor to new callers and also assists with supervising, serving as “extra eyes and ears for the supervisor during shifts,” he says.
Other SuperCallers are Laura Savall ’15 and Elizabeth Konieczny ’16. This is Ripon’s first time hiring SuperCallers, a decision based upon the fact that other colleges with Phonathon teams, or programs like them, use these skilled people as resources and ultimately building up individual and team success.
Since his first shift a year ago, Price, along with the other Phonathon callers, have raised more than $255,000 for the College. They spoke to more than 3,000 alumni and parents last year alone.
Shifts — for SuperCallers, callers and advisers — are saturated with activity. “Imagine a bunch of little worker bees working on the hive — can you imagine the nonstop buzzing?” Price says. “That’s what the Phonathon room is like — chatter, chatter, chatter — but it’s fun.”
This so-called “chatter” actually is a three-step process. First, a caller confirms contact information so alumni and parents can continue receiving news about the College. Then, students engage in the rapport section, which starts a conversation about Ripon happenings.
“Many of our alumni like sharing stories from their times at Ripon or how things have changed since they were on campus,” Schroeder says.
“It’s a blast,” Price says. “It wouldn’t be a shift if you did not have that one alum with his or her crazy story.”
Phonathon requires feedback from both the caller and the person on the other end. Schroeder says Price’s calling method works because it is personal, allowing for a deeper connection and excellent rapport.
“Queriontae’s calls are always positive and upbeat,” she says. “He works to personalize every single call. Throughout his career, multiple alumni who received a call from him have contacted our office to thank him for the call or to tell us that they really enjoyed speaking with him.”
Finally, callers encourage their contacts to donate to the Annual Fund, which supports countless programs, facilities and people at the College. Because tuition, room and board, and Endowment earnings do not cover every expense, the Annual Fund provides crucial financial assistance across campus.
Price applies a “five-reasons-in-15 seconds” approach to encourage gifts to the Annual Fund, explaining how financial gifts go to “scholarships, financial aid, maintenance, faculty support, and extracurricular activities, like In Focus programs or influential speakers.”
Schroder says Phonathon also encourages connections, community and a way for people to stay involved with Ripon after graduation. “I love the program,” she says. “It’s amazing to see current students bonding with alumni. It is a way to keep alumni and parents connected to and involved in Ripon College, and it also creates networking opportunities for students. I’ve seen students who receive advice regarding graduate school applications or hear an alumni story that makes them smile. These connections are a part of what Ripon is all about.”
-Kaylie Longley ‘15
Saint Francis, Wisconsin
Make a gift to the Annual Fund here.
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