Tanisha A. Sykes is a personal finance writer and editor for USA Today.
We caught up with Tanisha A. Sykes, contributing careers and finance writer for USA Today and former senior editor of Personal Finance and Careers at Essence Magazine. *
Tanisha has spent 20 years as a multimedia journalist, and her experience as an Editorial Director has allowed her to “churn one idea into 100.” She’s also a mom, wife, and striving minimalist. *
READ more about Tanisha and how she works in our first blog series titled What’s on My Desk.
1. Is that a Bluetooth? Who is the first person that comes to mind when you’re working on a story/article?
Actually, my husband just ordered us a set of new landlines for our home because our cell reception sucks! That Bluetooth-like item is a wireless headset so when I need to move about my quaint Cape Cod home, I can do so hands-free.
My editor. My first thought is always, “What did the assignment letter say?” I like to get it right the first time so I really pay attention to what’s required to make the story come to life. Beyond that, I send a massive email to experts, authors, public relations firms, and trusted sources to see if they know of a subject or expert who would be a good fit for the story.
2. Nice piggy-bank! (We love the OnePitch yellow!) What are you saving up for? Is there a unique story behind it?
Thanks! I’m a money expert, so I’m always saving for something. My husband and I mostly use that piggy bank to do fun things with our two kids. We drop in our extra change at the end of the day. Once the bank is full, we use the cash to go on an adventure. Now that the weather is breaking, we are planning a day trip to do go-kart racing. Can’t wait!
3. You have some fun things on your desk to personalize it. Mind telling us the story behind the only photo you have? Who is in the photo with you? Where was it taken? What are you guys celebrating?
That’s a photo of me and my Mom! Love her to pieces. We were cruising aboard The Spirit of Philadelphia celebrating my aunt’s graduation from college with her Master’s degree. I come from a huge family (30 people and counting), so it was a big day for us.
4. Desk decor is pretty important, would you agree? Tell us about the books you have on your desk. (Read them often? What are they?)
Desk dècor is very important, although these days, I try to keep my desk pretty minimalistic. I think better without the clutter. I’m a student of my craft, so most of the books are related to small business, personal finance, or empowerment.
5. What is one item on your desk, (besides your laptop), that you must have to keep you sane during your workday?
My cell! Just got a new Samsung Galaxy 9+ and the GIFs alone are worth the $840 price tag. #Hilarious
6. Is there a reason you use an Android/PC instead of Mac/Apple?
Yep, money. As a bootstrapping entrepreneur, the MAC was out of my budget. But my business is growing so I think there’s an “apple” in my future.