Just like the fast-paced stock business in which she works, Kathryn Fischer is always on the go.
Fischer, who began working on a trading desk before advancing into a broker position, is now the operations manager at RJO Futures, overseeing a division of about 40 traders. Now, five years into her position, she not only watches markets and analyzes them, but also works to help board clients in a quicker and more efficient way.
Depending on what’s going on in the market, some of Fischer’s days can be more hectic than others. She’s busiest when regulations come out of the government, creating newsletters and emails to make sure information is disseminated.
Fischer’s day usually starts around 7 a.m. when the markets open, and most days she’s out by 4:30 p.m.; some days can be nonstop, though, with international business.
Fischer, who obtained both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Eastern, didn’t initially know she would be immersed in this career path. Originally a marketing major, she switched after an internship in the Department of Economics opened her eyes to what the economics major had to offer.
It’s the best decision she could have made for her career, she said.
“It made me see that economics is in everything from buying a simple thing as table salt to a government decision on taxing,” she said.
Even though she didn’t know she would be involved in economics, she was much more sure about her decision to attend EIU and was never a stranger to the school. With two sisters and two cousins who also attended Eastern, she always had someone to count on to give her pointers about whatever she needed.
Fischer could also count on the support of her instructors. While economics is male-dominated field, she said her professors at Eastern gave her the training and education necessary to be successful and confident. She also shares a story about the death of a cousin during the school year; Fischer became distracted, but her teachers recognized she was struggling and stepped up to help her.
“They took an interest in my studies to make sure that didn’t fail,” she said.
Now that she’s gone, Fischer wants to lend her own helping hand to current students; every year, she works with the university to bring economics undergraduates and graduate students to shadow her work and get ideas of what they can do with their degrees.
Fischer wants to see students succeed. That’s a mindset directly related to her time at Eastern, because EIU was not only a community where education mattered, but where teachers cared.