Sarah Fisher: Learning to take risks and challenge yourself

MISO recently recognized our ten-year employees and invited Sarah Fisher, manager of service and access management support, to share her journey to MISO and her experiences working here.

An unexpected call from a recruiter piqued my interest. At that time, I was working for a member company and I wasn’t looking for another opportunity. However, I knew that in the energy industry MISO was known as a leader and I loved their worthwhile mission. I was young, eager, ambitious, and ready to challenge myself professionally, so I decided to pick up the phone.

I was a bit nervous thinking about the possibility of moving out of state, going to a place that was new, and being away from all my family and friends.  Am I ready for that? Clearly, I was putting the cart before the horse, thinking all of these “what if” scenarios before I even got the position. If anyone knows me they know that I have the ability to overanalyze any situation. Some weeks later I flew in for an interview, got the position as an operations analyst working on the real-time applications support team and shortly after I was working where I feel like my life began – both personally and professionally.

Have you ever had that moment when you know that you are exactly where you are meant to be at the exact moment you’re supposed to be there?  I felt like MISO was that missing puzzle piece for me, and all the decisions that I had made in my life led to my work at MISO.  This is where I met my husband, the love of my life, and have raised two children.  Where I’ve worked on the most tedious and challenging projects, where I’ve made friendships to last a lifetime and where I have developed myself technically and personally.

I’ve been challenged at MISO more than I ever imagined I would be. While working on the Real Time support team I was challenged to manage an upgrade that appeared to be more advanced than what I was capable of.  I was outside of my comfort zone but that was the project I needed to build my confidence and see that I was valuable to MISO.

Six years later, I decided I wanted to support our business-critical applications and I took a position as a senior application support analyst.   I was so excited, until two months into the position my boss announced he was leaving and by the way, we need to upgrade our software from version 5.0 to 8.3. Really?!? I know that most of us can relate to this experience. Though it seemed scary at the time, I’m constantly impressed with how my co-workers rally together and take whatever opportunity presents itself head on and end up with a successful outcome. I’d like to say that it’s because of how well I planned, but actually, it was because of the team. People are and will always be our greatest asset.

While working at MISO, I was able to witness the raw talent people possess during an offsite conference called Summit.  I attribute my path to leadership to Summit because it was through that effort I was able to present the ideas of my brilliant colleagues to the IT division. I remember my now-boss, texting me after and said, “You nailed it, sister.” He went on to say he never thought of me in leadership until the day he saw me give that presentation.   Just a simple text made me start thinking and I began to analyze whether or not I was ready for leadership.

I don’t know how to do anything halfway so once I decide to do something, I jump and I’m all in. I saw a manager position open and I took a leap of faith and applied. I didn’t get the job at the time but elicited feedback from the interview panel on what I could improve on to be prepared for the next opportunity. Five months later that opportunity came along and I got the job.

Each of these projects and roles have been a tremendous opportunity. I just had to trust myself and listen to my mentors.  My most valued mentor here at MISO taught me that failing didn’t equate failure, it just meant you have another shot at getting it right.

I’ve never met a more dedicated group of people than the ones that I’ve met working here.  We are all so committed and strive to take outstanding care of our customers because we believe in and consider ourselves one with MISO.  I feel I have been extremely fortunate to have found my home and am so thankful that I answered the call that began my journey to MISO.

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