Meet a USAC Member: Michael Hollified
What department do you work in and what is your job title?
I am a Relationship Manager in the Client Services Department of Vanderbilt University Information Technology (VUIT).
How long have you been a Vanderbilt employee?
I have been at Vanderbilt for 15 years.
What has been your career journey to lead you to where you are today?
I started at the Vanderbilt Medical Center in 2008 as a Computer Systems Administrator in the Perioperative Informatics and Computing Department. We supported the computers and devices of all the Charge Nurses in the OR, as well as all of Anesthesiology. In 2014, I moved over to the University side as a Senior Support Technician in VUIT. I supported the computers and devices of the faculty, staff, and students at The Owen Graduate School of Management as well as the Divinity School. In 2016, I was hired as a Relationship Manager, and I finally found my dream job, which was a “people-person” job in the IT world!
What do you enjoy most about Vanderbilt? (i.e. missions, benefits, views of sustainability, community, etc.)?
In my current and past information technology roles, I consider it an honor to assist the faculty, and staff in providing excellent education of world-changers, and the output of world-changing research!
How long have you been a part of USAC and how has it impacted you?
I started in the fall of late 2020 filling a vacancy in Group 5 (VUIT). I appreciate all the work that has come from USAC for the staff’s benefit (whether they have gotten credit for it or not). I count it a privilege to represent my peers on the council. The monthly meetings are very informative, and I have been able to build friendships with people all over the university.
What is the greatest bit of advice a parent or mentor has given you?
A motivational speaker (and an acquaintance of mine) wrote this in one of his newsletters. When I want to whine or complain, these words come to my mind:
“You chose the life that you have right now. Your choices have all led you to be exactly where you are at this very moment. While there certainly are uncontrollable parts about life, the reality is that the majority of your life is the direct result of the decisions you have or haven’t made.
Because your choices ultimately accumulate to create the trajectory of your life, you have no one to thank or blame but yourself.
So stop complaining. Stop whining. Do you really think that no one else is going through what you’re going through? Do you really think you have it more difficult than everyone around you?”
What is one important skill every person should have?
I think it is patience. (And I am still working on this one.) My favorite habit of Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits,” is the fifth one, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” When I’ve practiced this habit, it has served me well in both my professional and personal life.
What is the best perk you have ever had at a job?
Before coming to Vanderbilt, I was a route salesman for Lewis Bakeries (Bunny Bread). On my bread route in Franklin, I serviced four Sonic Restaurants and every one of them would allow me to eat whatever I wanted from their store (for free). I spaced the stops out so I could eat breakfast at one, snack at the middle two, and have a late lunch at my last stop!
Do you feel like you have a good work/life balance?
At this point in my life, I feel like I do have a good work/life balance. Yet, if there is ever a question about it, I will always lean to the “life” side rather than the “work” side.
What do you enjoy doing to relieve stress?
I enjoy watching television shows with my wife. I also enjoy writing, which is very therapeutic for me.
Are you more productive at night or in the morning? Do you think it is possible to change and get used to a new schedule?
I am more productive in the mornings. When I was younger, I could stay up later, but I wasn’t that productive.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a standup comedian. Several years ago, I took some comedy classes at Zanies and for our graduation each student got a 3-minute set on their stage.
If you could visit any country with no budget, where would you visit?
I would like to visit Australia. I am not sure how I feel about the 24-hour flight it takes to actually get there. LOL!
What is your favorite type of music?
I love the Blues. I tell people, “It feeds my soul.” It has a strong presence in many of the other genres.
What has been your favorite vacation you have ever been on?
I can’t narrow it down to a favorite. My wife and I have been on a couple of cruises, and we’ve also been to a couple of all-inclusive resorts. If I had to choose, I’d pick our first cruise in the Bahamas.
What are you most proud of in your life thus far?
That’s a tough one. It’s funny. I can give you 1000 regrets, but thinking of one thing I’m proud of is more difficult. I am proud to be the father of two adults who are wonderful human beings. They care about other people and have a heart for the world.
Name two things you consider yourself to be good at?
Eating, and watching television.
What is your favorite outdoor activity?
I like to play golf. I’m not very good at it, but I love being out on the course hacking away at the ball!
What is something on your bucket list?
I would like to take a Mediterranean Cruise with my wife.
What skill or talent would you most like to learn?
I would like to learn Karate. I would not want to learn it just for self-defense, I just love this disciplined art form. (And I also like to watch Karate Movies!)
If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?
I would LOVE to insert that hour into my sleep, so I could get an extra hour of sleep each night. Even if it just added to me getting up one hour earlier, that would be fine with me as well, giving me an earlier start each day.