Tell us more about your role at Fischer Homes since you joined the company.
I graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2016 and started my career with Fischer homes in January 2017 as a Field Manager. In this role, my main responsibilities were managing the construction of our homes and more importantly, providing a customer experience that exceeded expectations. It was very rewarding to be in charge of building homes. Even now when I drive by communities, I point out homes to my wife, Anne, saying, “I built that home”. It's something that I am extremely proud of, but also thankful I had the opportunity and responsibility of providing a family with their home. The lasting memory is seeing customers’ sheer joy on move-in day, knowing you helped made their dream a reality.
In 2020, you were given the opportunity to grow your career in a different role within Fischer Homes as a Sales Counselor. Tell us about that.
These two jobs are on quite opposite ends of the spectrum. One being operations-oriented, and the other being sales-oriented. This transition didn’t materialize overnight. I was approached by my mentor, and market president Jason Finch to develop a plan on what I wanted to learn and do next. We both agreed that sales would challenge me the most, and I would learn an essential segment of the business. He was also slightly biased, as he was a new home sales superstar back in the day! Although he is a Tennessee fan, which shows some questionable judgment on his part, he was correct, sales would challenge me most. I have been blessed, and very fortunate that Fischer Homes, and the business leaders within it have allowed me to work in two very different roles. It has provided challenges and resulted in career growth. But most importantly it has provided me with purpose-driven work.
How do you add value to the mission of the company?
First I have to say that I am a very small part of a large, and growing company. To build an exceptional customer experience. It takes every department, from land development to architecture, to sales, marketing, and HR. Not one department or employee is more important than the other, and all must work in unison to execute our mission statement flawlessly. How I add value to the company, with the mission statement in mind, can be best summed up by a phrase that echos through Fischer Homes: “Promise only what you can deliver, and deliver what you promise.”
What originally motivated you to pursue your MBA degree at Gatton?
A big motivator was one more year - a sort of victory lap as a Wildcat - and a free trip to Europe at the end of it! All jokes aside, as an engineering student I approached problems in black and white. The answers were finite and either wrong or right. Getting my MBA changed the way I approach problems. Business decisions rarely only affect one department. A decision made by architecture or engineering will likely affect marketing, and sales as well. Understanding how all these pieces fit together, and affect one another was a key driver in wanting to get my MBA, and getting it at Gatton was a no-brainer. Being paired with companies who had real problems affecting their business was a priceless experience.
How was the interview process at Fischer Homes for you?
The interview process was straightforward, streamlined, but also challenging in the best way. I discovered Fischer Homes at our engineering career fair. I met key personnel in human resources and representatives that were in the role I was interviewing for. I was also able to speak with profit center leaders, who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the career fairs. The interviews themselves had a mix of the above personnel, with a combination of behavioral-based questions, and competency-based questions. Fischer asked the tough questions, which I appreciated, but also answered the challenging questions I had in return. I remember it was extremely important for me to find a company that had opportunities for growth and could point to specific examples of individuals that were able to excel in different roles within the company.
What advice would you give your fellow classmates as they look for post-graduate employment?
That’s a tough one. I’ll try to keep it concise. Find the right company that shares your values and is committed to growing your career. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, still don’t, but luckily, I’m with a company who’s helping me figure it out as I go. And finally, your degrees will get you the interview and probably the job. But after that, wipe the slate clean and start fresh. You’re not going to become CEO in a day, so dive into the weeds, and be willing to fail and learn from it!