Staff Spotlight: Tiffany Tam
Welcome to Staff Spotlight, where we give the members of #RyersonSA the opportunity to discuss everything from their own approach to the industry to their favourite literature. Swing by to get to know your colleagues a little bit better.
Position: Accounting Assistant (To Be: Guest Accommodation Facilitator)
Department: Student Housing & Residence Life
What’s the first thing you do when you come into the office?
I say good morning to the lovely desk staff as soon as I enter the residence. Once I head to my office, I open up my e-mail to catch up on all the overnight happenings and then generate my to-do list based on those.
In your view what makes Ryerson unique?
Definitely the location! Unlike other universities where communities build around them, Ryerson builds and merges into our existing communities. Ryerson also stands out among the crowds with all the unique programs that are offered here.
What is something that you wish more people knew about your position?
With this relatively new position here in housing, a surprising fact that many on campus are unaware of is that, unlike for them, when they experience downtime during the summer months, the summer months are actually the busiest time of the year for me and all those involved in room rentals. We (Housing) transform two of our residences into hostels and rent out our rooms to the public including and not limited to conference groups, school groups, and individuals. In addition to the accounting aspect that I am responsible for, I am also involved in operations which include the front desk and housekeeping.
What made you to decide to work in Student Affairs? If you hadn’t chosen SA, what would you be doing right now?
I didn’t choose to work in Student Affairs; rather it seemed like a natural progression. I have always been so attached to residences.
Prior to Ryerson, I went to a boarding school in Hamilton. While I was there, I was the residence council president who was heavily involved in organizing residence activities to assist residents in adjusting to their lives away from home. As soon as I started my studies at Ryerson, although I did not get a chance to live in the residence, I quickly made a group of friends who happened to be living in the residences at the time. Since then, I never left. I started my journey as a part time summer hostel front desk staff here and then it turned into an opportunity upon graduation.
Where is your favourite place to be outside of work?
My favorite place in Toronto is definitely the Trinity Bellwoods Park. It brings peace to the busy city. I enjoy spending my afternoons there with some snacks while rejuvenating my mind.
What’s your favourite book?
I enjoy cooking and my current favourite book reflects this as it is a cookbook. The book is “Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking.” It turns the most basic ingredients into a dish that gives the “wow” factor at home. Not to mention, it covers all your meals from breakfast to desserts and walks you through with basic skills such as poaching an egg to baking pastries.
What’s your top App?
Based on the previous question, it is not surprising that one of my favourite apps is “Yelp.” I am a foodie that enjoys trying out the newest and hypest food in town and Yelp is a great tool to use. Other foodies rate, write reviews, and post photos of the food and service from a restaurant which provides me with sneak peak of what’s expected and will help me pick the best place to try!
Name the individual(s) who have made the greatest impact in your career?
I always believe that my mum has made the greatest impact on not only my career but myself as a person as well. I would not have become who I am without her support and guidance. She truly shaped who I am by showing me the meaning of courage, strength, and determination. She raised me alone with true pride.
What’s something about you that people are always surprised to learn?
I am into horror makeup. Biggest event of Halloween for me is the annual zombie walk.
What’s your favourite spot on campus?
The Student Learning Center beach level and the night time Lake Devo!
In what ways have you found Student Affairs to differ from your previous work experiences?
It provides so much support to staff both personally and professionally.
What is something you are doing to increase the impact of Student Affairs at Ryerson?
I believe that focusing on what I do is the best form of contribution as it is part of Student Affairs and promotes all the different services that we provide. I also volunteer at events organized by Student Affairs for our students.
When I started working in Student Affairs I wish I had known:
Or even before becoming a student, I wish I had known that there are so many services offered by Student Affairs.
If you’d like to be featured in a Staff Spotlight, please contact Lucas Gobert at LGobert@Ryerson.ca.