The following is an excerpt from "Faces of Fisher", a series published within the Fisher Today alumni magazine.
A Day at the Office
Originally from Waltham, Massachusetts, Jennifer Ives Lee ’05 came to Fisher as a working artist. While still in high school she was a cartoonist for the Emmy-award-winning HBO cartoon show “Dr. Katz Professional Therapist,” which aired on Comedy Central from 1995–1999. She attended Fisher, living in the 112 Beacon Street residences while earning her Associate’s in Fashion Merchandising, then as a commuter and evening student while earning her Bachelor’s in Management. She also attended Butera School of Art, a private commercial art school purchased by Fisher College in 2011.
Landing in D.C.
“After graduating I wanted to move to our nation’s capital. I responded to a recruiter hiring for a firm that specialized in high security government agencies. The role was a blended entry-level position that had duties such as admin, accounting, and doing whatever was needed for the fast-paced environment. My parents had taught me through their example that if I did above and beyond I would have the opportunity to move up fast. They were right. Within a year, I was recruited to a new exciting position. Now I’m a Senior Consultant at MOI, Inc., which is a full-service interiors and office solutions company. I provide furniture solutions for workplace interior projects. I volunteer at the District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH), a nonprofit organization that provides safe housing and resources for victims of domestic and sexual violence. I was honored this past April with DASH’s ‘Keystone Award for Leadership in the Development of Safe Housing for Victims of Domestic Violence.’ This organization’s mission is to ensure women and children escaping abuse do not become homeless by ensuring they have a safe space to live. It is an honor to be able to transfer my skills and expertise in creating safe and comfortable workplaces to creating these same personal spaces for domestic abuse survivors.”
What was it like when you attended Fisher?
“I was a day then evening student and had to learn to balance work and life demands. I found employment with a local firm in an administrative position, which allowed me to sneak some studying in during down time. I was enrolled in online courses and weekend classes in a condensed semester, which was trying but aided in finishing faster. The time management skills and discipline learned then was great preparation and practice for the challenges of juggling work and home life now! Fisher College gave me a strong foundation and the confidence to accomplish my goals.”
I wished I Paid a Little More Attention to Macroeconomics.
“Then, I thought Macroeconomics was interesting at the time but didn’t see how it would relate to my future career. Now, I am so thankful to have a solid understanding of the working economy in a global sense. Knowledge on policies regarding employment, economic fluctuations like trade cycle, inflation, deflation are essential to my decision-making. For example, I’m working to outfit five floors of the historic Sidney Yates building for the U.S. Dept. of Forestry. Their request for a furnishings quote called for “The Buy American compliance,” which dictates that the furniture is made in the U.S., which limits our offering due to the many factories located in Canada. Luckily, my knowledge regarding the various trade agreements afforded us to request that requirement to be changed to “Trade Agreement Act compliance.” They granted this change and we now have an equal opportunity to provide solutions. Thank you, Macroeconomics Class!”
Some Words to Live By
Cultivating curiosity and creation of new passions will never stop bringing you happiness. Pay attention to what you enjoy so much that you lose track of time. Don’t be afraid to take risks and to follow what you believe will make you happy. This advice especially holds true for women. I see time and time again smart, talented women pass up opportunities for career advancement because they ‘want to master their current role before trying a new one.’ Men in the workplace don’t think this way. They take the leap and know they can learn on the job and ‘figure it out later.’ Most people in their 30s and up will tell you that they have never regretted a risk they took, only the risks not taken.”