Week 5:
A Daily Timeline

Massey Fellow in Development & Civic Empowerment

The Obama Foundation | Chicago, Illinois

February 17, 2019

This week, I’d like to lay out a schedule that shows my typical work day. Of course there are always variations, but this is my average Monday.

I leave my apartment by 8:20 to walk to work. Each day, I pass the small plaque that commemorates President and Mrs. Obama’s first date, at the nearby Baskin Robbins. It’s a small demonstration of the roots of the Obamas in the South Side, and it’s totally gush-worthy.

This is the plaque commemorating the first date.

I like to arrive a little early each day to ensure plenty of time for my coffee and daily clips assignment. But no matter how early I arrive, or how late I stay, my supervisor, Mario, will always be there before and after me. He is dedicated and thoughtful, and I am so appreciative of his support throughout this experience.

On Mondays we have all-staff meetings. These include an overview of the week ahead, new staff introductions, updates on old business and introductions of new business. It’s a nice space to see the entire staff across cities.

A small collection of stickers on a wall of the first floor.

After the all-staff meeting, I sit down to compile the daily clips, in collaboration with my D.C. counterpart Kaylon. She and I are finding new ways to improve our daily news clips. Each day, we compile news related to fundraising and foundations across the globe, and send them out to our team in a digestible manner. Sometimes it takes significant sifting to find news just related to development, but the daily ritual allows me time to read and explore the news each morning.

After the clips are sent out to the team, I typically work on long term projects that have no real deadline. Unless a team member has requested my help with a pressing project, I spend this time uploading documents and information to Salesforce, creating folders of compiled information for future interns, or updating contact input sheets, to name a few projects. It’s a nice way to ease into the week, because it doesn’t require significant thought, but the work is worthwhile and useful.

In the afternoon, we have our Development team meeting which offers team specific updates, and also allows time for other departments to present their current projects. This cross-departmental time smooths the connections of collaboration with different teams, and I enjoy hearing about the work of other departments. These meetings also give me a chance to hear about projects that I could potentially support. I like this engagement each week.

This is one of the abstract murals in the office.

After the team meeting, I check in with the Corporate and Foundation Relations Senior Associate, Dana. She is currently maintaining an entire team by herself, which is crazy impressive, and it allows me plenty of space to offer support. She and I talk through potential projects, and small tasks I can complete. Her work is extremely strategic, and sits at the intersection between the front-line team and the strategy and operations team.

Typically, the rest of my Monday is spent working through various projects, until I go home and prepare dinner. The variation of my work is most appealing, and I’m thrilled to be so active in a team that really supports every other department.

Elizabeth Mombello '19

Elizabeth is a sociology and Spanish major from Overland Park, Kansas.