Career Spotlight - Tiffanie Holmes

Photo of Tiffanie Holmes
Monday, May 31, 2021
What is your current role at Yale University?
Administrative Assistant in Development in the Department of Major Gifts. 
What are your main responsibilities?
I support three major gift officers. When they are traveling, I make travel arrangements, process and run any expense reports, and handle filing and data entry. 
What do you like most about your work?
Having flexibility now during Covid. I have never worked in the office as my one year anniversary with Yale was on March 16th.  I’ve only been in my office twice. I love the comradery and team atmosphere. I like how our department is very team oriented. Everyone shares in the success of a gift officer closing a gift. The support in my office is phenomenal and there is so much talent here. 
How does your job affect your general lifestyle?
I haven’t been able to experience on-campus working so having the ability to work from home with two teenagers has been a positive experience. 
How did you begin your career?
I was an Office Manager at the Sickle Cell Disease Association where I was first exposed to the Yale African American Affinity Group and New Haven Hiring Initiative. I had heard of them, being from New Haven, but I got exposure to them through my work with Sickle Cell Disease Association. In 2018, I threw a gala for the Association and had the NAACP assist - many members who work at Yale. I grew up with Fallon Thomas and she suggested that I look into New Haven Works. I started in a User Tester position as a temporary employee with Yale. While in this role, I shadowed the disciplines and the specialties in the Care Center. I have a knack for technology. I was able to help take the lead and help with training in my role. What I liked and appreciated about this position was meeting different people, people I wouldn’t necessarily have met. When I came to Development, I was lucky to have such wonderful managers, who really took the time to train me online and I really appreciated that. I’m still learning how it all comes together and my manager has been instrumental in getting me there. 
What steps would you recommend one take to prepare to enter this field?
In this field you definitely need an attention to detail as it’s very data-driven. Having knowledge of Excel spreadsheets, being comfortable overall with technology, and being adaptable. Most importantly, having a team player mindset. 
What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job/this field?
I’ll say again - attention to detail and adaptability. Some attributes would be organization, time management, and integrity. Overall, it’s important to be a pleasant professional - even when having a bad day. It is important to keep calm and have emotions at an even level. 
If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? If not, what would you change?
I would choose the same path and would not change anything. I’m a firm believer that the trials and tribulations we go through make us who we are today. I would not be the same person today if I had changed something. 
What does YAAA mean to you and how have you contributed as a member?
YAAA means a sense of community. I enjoy being able to work alongside a group of professionals. The comradery with the other affinity groups is great because we all work together.  I appreciate working with like-minded and service-minded people like me. I contribute by being involved and participating in events we offer.