Moa Schafer is originally from Sweden, but has grown up abroad. She studies management, psychology and sociology at the University. In her first year at Glasgow, she announced that if she could raise £1,000 for cancer research, she would shave off her 57cm long hair and donate it to a Swedish charity called Änglahår (Angel Hair) that makes wigs for children with chronic hair loss.
Using knowledge gained from her university classes, she set up her own marketing strategy, created a photography campaign and managed to meet her target in just over a week. This inspired her to double the size of her goal. In the end, she raised a total of £2,296.89.
The money raised was donated to Worldwide Cancer Research, which is a charity that provides grants to cancer scientists all over the world, including University of Glasgow’s Dr Carl Goodyear's research targeting bone disease in myeloma.
“I know too many individuals, families, friends, students, and educators whose lives have been affected by cancer. Cancer doesn’t stop at borders - so nor should research. I may not be a cancer researcher myself, but I won’t let that stop me from supporting scientists who are working to end this disease.
I am quite a visual person, so I thought that if I was going to run a campaign, it should be appealing and stick in people’s minds. I started by setting up a mini studio in my own room and brainstorming different ideas. Then using Photoshop along with some props I tried to establish a brand that would run through everything that I was doing. These were things I’d been learning about in my business and psychology classes – strategies of how to make things stand out and make them more memorable.
After I posted the first announcement, the response I got was overwhelming. People who I hadn’t spoken to for years were sending me messages and donations. It really touched my heart.
It might sound like a cliché, but something that drives me is that I want to be able to make a positive difference in people’s lives and in the wider society. By shaving my head, I hoped to raise money, but also awareness, as well as to challenge some of the beliefs we have about appearance. I also wanted to show how much we can achieve if we work together.
I try to get as involved as I can with projects that can make a positive impact in this world. As Project Manager of TEDxUniversityofGlasgow for instance, I work to provide a platform for world changers to spread ideas, spark discussions and catalyse change. And as President of UNICEF On Campus, I try to think of innovative ways to raise funds and awareness for children’s rights, as well as to inspire others to do the same.
Understanding both ourselves and others, as well as how to work together successfully, is in my opinion, key when trying to improve society. Through studying management, psychology and sociology at the University of Glasgow, I get the chance to learn about this and how individuals think, behave, and interact every day.
Studying the principles of effective team management, learning about social interactions and change, and examining the role of gender and culture in society - I hope to bring all of this material with me as I enter the workplace with the aspiration of changing the world for the better. I feel privileged to be able to think of myself as a lifelong learner – always looking for the next adventure and challenge.”