Growing up, Lisa Fischer helped her parents on their pumpkin farm, but hoped to study engineering in college after graduating from La Porte High School in La Porte, Indiana.
Plans change: After a high school summer engineering camp, Fischer decided that career wasn’t her thing at all. “It was helpful, if anything, to not waste time in college on something I didn’t want to do.”
Next step: Her high school chemistry teacher suggested that pharmacy might be a good fit. Fischer checked with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s “Hot Jobs” list and saw that the outlook for pharmacists was good. Another teacher suggested she consider Butler University for its small size and pharmacy program.
So far, so good: Her pharmacy degree is a six-year program, and, as an independent university, Butler was a more expensive option. Fischer has paid for her education through a combination of federal student grants, her 21st Century Scholar award, and scholarships she received from a local hospital and her county community foundation. The extra cost is worth it, she says. “I love the small school feel of Butler, and the other good thing about Butler is that it has a lot of name recognition for my major. It’s been a good fit for me, too, because relationships with professors have been so great. I’ve been able to work on research projects, too.”
Looking ahead: Fischer is a fan of northern Indiana beaches, which means that returning to La Porte or nearby Michigan City are options after she graduates in 2019. She’s also looking forward to finally working in her field. “Pharmacy is more than just the pharmacist you see working at Walgreens. There are so many directions you can go, in research, industry, and clinical positions in hospitals.”
Advice: “Don’t be afraid to get involved right out of the gate, because freshman year is probably when your course load is lightest. When I was in high school, I was in the band and I was afraid that in college, I’d have to drop music entirely. At Butler, I got to be in the drum line. It was really fun to meet people and play in a different section of the band.”
Bonus organization tip: “Write everything down. I had a dry-erase board that I was obsessed with keeping, and everything was color-coded, like tests in red, assignments blue. Over the years, my organization has shifted, but I still keep sticky notes at my desk with a running list of things to do.”