FLY: Tell me about your current role at Yale University:
Lauren: I am currently a Development Program Coordinator in the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs at the Yale School of Public Health. The work of alumni affairs and development are separate but sometimes intertwined, so I often wear two different hats over the course of the day. My main responsibilities are writing proposals and donor correspondence, database reporting and analysis, and event planning and support. I also serve as Co-Chair of FLY’s Lean In Mentorship Committee – this is my second year in this role.
FLY: How did you begin your career?
Lauren: This position is my first full-time role. I completed a 4+1 Bachelor of Arts/Master of Public Administration Program at the University of Connecticut where I worked part-time in the Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations for three years. I credit these three years as providing me with the solid foundation of professional competencies that allowed me to secure my current position at Yale.
FLY: What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job?
Lauren: Being able to quickly shift from one priority to another is essential in our office. Many times, our work revolves around a donor’s timeline, which means my team and I must be able to quickly respond and collaborate to address the need of the alumnus, faculty member, or donor. Also, as much of my work involves writing projects that are seen and edited by several team members, I must practice diligence and attention to detail when keeping up with revisions and deadlines.
FLY: What non-work-related aspect have you enjoyed most about the Yale community?
Lauren: Handsome Dan’s Instagram and TikTok pages!
FLY: What is your favorite thing about FLY?
Lauren: My favorite thing about FLY is collaborating with colleagues that you would not typically have the chance to meet in your day-to-day job. I have also gained skills such as public speaking and leadership that I would not normally get the chance to practice in my job as a development program coordinator.
FLY: Since you started working at Yale, how has your view of the university, community, and role changed?
Lauren: I have learned in my three years here that Yale provides staff members countless opportunities for personal and professional growth. Whether it is a Zoom charcuterie board class, mindfulness and wellness seminars, or Excel training, there are many ways to feel fulfilled in your job here in addition to your daily duties.
FLY: What changes have been made to your work since COVID-19 started to impact Yale?
Lauren: A new skill that I learned being in the virtual environment is how to run Zoom webinars and utilize other platforms for virtual events. It was incredibly daunting at first putting so much trust in a platform I had not even been using consistently for a month, yet once we successfully put on a few alumni and donor-focused events, I am happy to be the point person in our office when others need help.
FLY: How has working at the Yale School of Public Health during a global pandemic impacted you? Were there any unexpected outcomes?
Lauren: Just when I thought our alumni and faculty at our school could not impress me anymore, the COVID-19 pandemic hits and most of our faculty pivot to focus on combatting and reducing the impact of the coronavirus. I am continually inspired being surrounded by some of the state’s leaders in the COVID-19 response and feel proud to work where I do.