Portia Made-Jamison is a lifelong learner.
Name: Portia Made-Jamison
Position: Development coordinator, Advancement
Time at the Gillings School: 1.5 years
What I do at UNC Gillings (and why I love it): I support a lot of people. If you think of the Advancement Office like an engine, I’m the oil. I’m not one of the big, expensive cogs, but what I do is necessary to keep everything running smoothly.
Since taking this job, I have learned a lot about development and how donations fund the work of universities. I didn’t know anything about this field before I started here, so it keeps me interested. I also like that my tasks are varied, and I work with a great team.
Outside of work: I have so many interests. I love cars, for one thing. I don’t know how I got into the habit, but since I was young, I have been able to identify models of cars just by seeing the shape of their headlights in the dark. I always know if a police car is driving behind me!
I also love to cook and bake, and I have a husband who loves to eat and sample. I also enjoy reading – I will read anything I can get my hands on, except maybe romance novels. For the past three months, I’ve been teaching myself about marketing. Advertisements can be annoying, of course, so I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, but the psychology behind how marketing works is actually very interesting.
Something most people don’t know about me: is that I am one of three siblings, and the only one still living. When my brother passed, he left a baby son behind, and now that boy is one of five children who I call my kids. They live in South Africa, where I’m originally from, and I’m financially responsible for all of them. We speak every month on Skype. Nearly every year around Christmas, I go home and they stay with me the entire time I’m there.
If I could wake up tomorrow with one new ability: I’d want to be a master of social media. You can do so much with that skill set these days. I’ve taught myself about Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but I’d want to be an expert of all the platforms! Especially YouTube – you see people who have entire careers based on the creative things they post there. What I really love about social media is that it levels the playing field and gives everyone a voice.
To describe myself in three words, I’d say: A lifelong learner.