Date: February 24, 2008
About: Leslie Fischer - Class of 1994
Working Woman: Leslie Fischer
Working hard and playing hard works out well for Leslie Fischer.
At 31, Fischer has moved her way up to campus director of Vatterott College's Quincy campus after being with the school for just under six years.
The Quincy native earned the promotion in August, six months after the new 33,000-square-foot building at 36th and Locust opened.
"It's gorgeous," she said. "We love it here."
Fischer had taught for a while at the school, where she is now responsible for 25 staff members and 270 students. She'd always wanted to teach business, crediting a "great instructor" at Quincy University for her enthusiasm for the topic.
She calls herself an easygoing person who loves to laugh, play golf, spend time with her two children and get together with girlfriends.
In balancing work and a career, she said the key is to be organized. That, she said, is something she definitely is good at. Except when it comes to her closet.
"I'm a closet slob," she says with a laugh.
Describe a typical day in your job.
Each day is really different. But I would say certain things are consistent, such as: talking with the students, motivating/managing the staff, reports, e-mails, meetings.
Why should people consider Vatterott College?
We truly believe in what we do everyday, and that we are offering people the opportunity to change their lives. We offer great hands-on programs taught by fantastic instructors who are experienced in their field. We make sure that the students are having fun while they learn, and that they look forward to coming to class everyday.
What is the best thing, and the worst thing, about your job?
The best thing is seeing the joy in the students when they succeed. When they come into my office and say thank you or they're excited about a test or project. The worst thing is not being able to convince some people to believe in themselves and that they are truly worthy of having a successful career and bettering themselves.
Do you have a certain work ethic or motto that you follow?
I'm pretty easygoing, consistent, and I make sure people are accountable. I also pride myself in being upbeat and motivating for the students and staff. I have an open-door policy for everyone. But if I really had to say a motto, for me it would be, "play is power." You have to be able to have fun at your job -- and definitely be able to laugh at yourself.
To what do you attribute your success?
I am passionate about what I do and I believe in the company I work for. That in turn leads me to give 200 percent.
Have you had any mentors or a support system to get you where you are today?
My family and friends are awesome and very supportive. I also had a fantastic professor at QU, Melissa Griswold, who inspired me. She taught me that business can be fun and exciting, and women can be successful at it.
What did you like best about college?
Knowing (or more like hoping) it was all going to pay off one day. For me, any kind of further education doesn't necessarily prove you are smarter -- it proves you are disciplined to finish what you started. And to me, that's what matters.
What advice would you give people considering going back to school?
It's never too late. People need to believe in themselves, and know they are worth it and they CAN do it. Everyone deserves a chance to change their lives. Sometimes, they just need the extra support and encouragement to do so.
Complete this sentence. It is a good day when ....
My girls get up, are in a good mood, we get out the door on time, and we sing at the top of our lungs in the car. Then when I make it to work, I can be productive, while sharing a laugh with my colleagues. Then, I pick my girls up, we go home and sing at the tops of our lungs on the way there ... and the cycle continues ... that is a good day.