Staff Spotlight – Neha Agrawal

Prior to March of 2020, you might find Neha Agrawal, Portfolio Manager for Foundational Technology Services (FTS), walking the halls of 25 Science Park, visiting with many of her 90 team members, and delivering tasty treats and good cheer. For Neha, relationship management is a vital aspect of her professional role within FTS and her personal connection with her colleagues. These days, while the in-person gatherings seem a distant memory, Neha continues to find ways to connect and spread joy. In her words, “I’m filled with optimism and gratitude today. I am thankful to each one of my colleagues for their support and mentorship throughout the years. I hope we all stay connected, happy, safe, and healthy.”

We recently spoke with Neha to learn about her role at Yale, how the pandemic has impacted her work, and what she enjoys in her spare time. Here’s what she had to say!

Tell us about your current role and how you got started at Yale.
I am a Portfolio Manager for the Foundational Technology Services group, which includes core IT infrastructure services. I ensure that the FTS annual operating and capital portfolio is healthy and overall aligned with ITS strategic goals. Relationship management is the most crucial aspect of my work. I work closely with the ITS business office, Yale professional schools, and medical and research departments to institutionalize financial transparency of the IT services we offer. In addition, I am currently leading as the program manager for the ITS recommendations stated in the 21 Century Policing report, partnering with Public Safety, specifically, that require IT support, involvement, and process engagement.

I joined Yale as a consultant in 2010 as part of Shared Services. From there, I moved to Academic Administration, where I started creating portfolio models for ITS. Such models proved beneficial, and soon enough, I was recognized by the leadership team. This led to an offer of a full-time job in 2014 as a portfolio manager for Infrastructure Services (currently known as FTS). Since then, I have been learning and growing as part of FTS.

I have a master’s degree in Business Administration in Finance. Before joining Yale, I worked for few years in the banking and healthcare industries, both in India and Boston. That diverse experience helped shape my career goals and aspirations.

How has the COVID pandemic impacted your work?
Although the past months have been challenging, we have all learned to adapt and reconnect. My day-to-day work is on spreadsheets, so I am fortunate in that I can easily do my work from home.  I am thankful that I was able to pick up my office monitor to avoid eye strain. Besides that, good sunlight by my window and hot tea are all I need to ensure our portfolio is healthy.

How are you thriving in this new dynamic?
We all are taking on roles and responsibilities well beyond what we normally carry during these extraordinary times. One thing I make sure to do for myself is exercise daily. I enjoy it, and I’m convinced that being healthy and fit has increased my resilience and enabled me to better cope with the new normal. I’m eating healthier. My husband and I learned to make bread at home. Cooking together is something we haven’t done since our son was born almost 10 years ago.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love to spend time crafting—it is the perfect year-round creative outlet for me. Besides that, when the weather permits, I enjoy biking and hiking. In the winter, I like to spend time knitting and playing sudoku with my son.