When I attended my second FEW National Training Program (NTP) during the summer of 2023, I did not anticipate connecting with a community of professional women who would be genuinely interested in uplifting me as I sought to further my career. I have enjoyed several conferences in the past hosted by various organizations, however I never felt impacted by my attendance. I typically walked away with great refreshers of information that were not new to me, or best practices that did not necessarily fit my organization’s way of doing business.
As the Acting Senior Advisor of Recruitment and outreach at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Digital Transformation, one of my responsibilities is to attract new staff members and foster diversity. I attended FEW’s NTP to network, learn more about the challenges women were facing in the federal government as well as explore the booths of other agencies that were recruiting for new hires.
I met Stacey St. Holder, Special Assistant to the President for Mentoring, during a professional networking class. This led to an informational interview once we returned home to the Washington DC area. I discussed my current position at the FDA as well as my background in communications which includes a Master of Arts degree in Public Communication, experience in public relations at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, and providing communications services as a federal contractor. When I mentioned my interest in more fully leveraging my skillset, Ms. St. Holder offered to connect me with the National Communications Chair Ivana Miranda.
My conversation with Ms. Miranda blossomed into a beautiful and productive professional partnership. Together, we mapped out a shadowing process where I began developing weekly content for FEW’s social media pages. Ms. Miranda offered constructive feedback while I tailored the drafts. As the weeks went by, I have taken the initiative to develop even more content and offer creative recommendations. I also coordinated a guest interview and co-hosted an episode of the LEAP with FEW podcast. My experience volunteering as a marketing specialist for FEW has been very educational as I became more familiar with writing for social media platforms, staying abreast of FEW activities, and becoming better acquainted with the easily accessible resources that federal agencies produce to foster their various missions. Ms. Miranda has proven to be a tremendous teacher and supporter.
One of the things that I hoped to gain by attending the NTP was making connections with women outside of the FDA, to gain a different perspective on navigating the professional federal landscape. That goal was achieved in spades. Now that I am a FEW member and active participant, I look forward to becoming more engaged with my local chapter.
If you are looking for sign to join FEW – this is it! FEW lives up to its mission of helping women grow professionally in a real and meaningful way. For more information about FEW membership, contact membershipVP@few.org.
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Five Fun Facts about Tiffany:
- She’s a native New Orleanian and graduate of Louisiana State University.
- She enjoys volunteering and giving back, whether facilitating college success and career planning classes or mentoring a public-school student.
- Tiffany loves to travel abroad and seeks to learn about the history and local culture of the places she visits.
- She’s a certified project manager and trained facilitator who loves strategizing and planning.
- An article she wrote for Urban Sentinel magazine about learning from difficult situations was published in the December 22/January 2023 issue.