5 Things I’ve Learned While Working at LIFT

By Rajan Mitiku Negassa on February 4, 2017

Categories: First Person Perspective, Real Stories


Although it’s only been around six months since I started my fellowship, I’ve learned so much about LIFT, our staff and the nonprofit world! Here are my top five:

  1. Ask questions. The work LIFT does is sophisticated and multi-layered and to be successful as a LIFTer, it’s important to understand the details. So I quickly learned to ask questions and so far, I’ve found that it’s the best way to learn.
  2. Be Flexible. Since starting my fellowship, I’ve gotten the opportunity to work on different types of assignments with different teams. Being flexible has helped me put my best foot forward and tackle anything that comes my way.
  3. The value of diversity in the workplace. Given the uncertainly of the last few months – at times tense and scary – a sense of hope has felt important. I’ve found that hope in seeing the diversity at LIFT, and in the renewed dedication to working with members who may feel at risk or impacted by new policy changes.
  4. Teamwork makes the dream work. I know this is one of those clichés people just say to say, but I’ve truly found that collaboration is key to successes at LIFT. As a development fellow, I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with every department to complete a variety of tasks. And those tasks wouldn’t have been anywhere near the quality they are now without the help of the different teams. Go team!
  5. Listen. At LIFT, we have the chance to work with people from all types of backgrounds. It is an honor to hear journeys and why staff and volunteers continue to pour so much love and hard work into everything they do. It is even more inspiring to hear our members’ stories and see the impact of our work – it keeps me motivated!

Though the above five points are some of the most important things I’ve learned so far, it’s only fair to share that I continue to learn something new every day and get inspired to do what I can for my community alongside my colleagues. And I’m even more excited to see what the next six months of my fellowship will bring!

About the Author

Rajan Mitiku Negassa

At LIFT, Rajan will be collaborating with the national and regional development teams to proactively identify donor prospects and strategies for engaging those prospects. She will also support coordination of LIFT events. Rajan LIFTs because she personally understands the challenges low-income families face. She recently graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. Read More