Meet a USAC Member: Tara Williams
What department do you work in and what is your job title?
I work in the Office of Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) as the Chief of Staff.
How long have you been a Vanderbilt employee?
I have been at Vanderbilt for 14 years.
What has been your career journey to led you to where you are today?
I started my career at VU as an AAI in African American and Diaspora Studies. I then moved to a Program Coordinator in the Office of the Chancellor (Nick Zeppos) and from there to EDI. I have held 3 roles in this office: Executive Assistant, Administrative Manager and my current role, Chief of Staff.
What do you enjoy most about Vanderbilt?
Vanderbilt has many things that I enjoy. The benefits are very good; specifically the tuition benefit. I obtained 2 degrees (bachelor’s and a master’s) while employed at VU. I have also put 3 children through college. I lost my son tragically in 2018 and the life insurance benefit was a blessing I never knew I would need. And of course, it’s the people for me. I love our Beloved Community!
What is the best perk you have ever had at a job?
The flexibility to adjust my hours and location of work in order to manage work/life balance well.
Do you feel like you have a good work/life balance?
Currently, I feel a little out of balance, but am working to recalibrate so that I do have a good work/life balance.
What is one important skill every person should have?
Perseverance! We are created to make it; to survive. You can do it! Just keep going!
What do you enjoy doing to relieve stress?
I love spending time with my grandson, Santana. He is my stress reliever!!!
What is the greatest bit of advice a parent or mentor gave you?
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 way more productive at night. No, it is why I dislike strongly daylight savings time. Let’s set it one way and keep it that way!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I have no clue!
What is your favorite type of music?
Christian/Gospel for sure but if it has a beat I’m there. I likely won’t know the lyrics, though.
If you could visit any country with no budget, where would you visit?
What has been your favorite vacation you have ever been on?
I love Tampa!
What are you most proud of in your life so far?
What is your favorite outdoor activity?
Sitting at the Beach
Name two things you consider yourself to be good at?
Relationship building and pastoring
What is something on your bucket list?
What is a skill or talent you would like to learn?
I wish I were a singer!
If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?
Can I save it? I would definitely save it!