By Brianna Gerard, Alumni Coordinator
When I asked Grade School alumni Eric Fischer to tell me about his career, his eyes lit up with excitement. “When you study Economics, and you're a researcher, [you] have the opportunity and the privilege to take the best from academic literature and what we see in the world, and actually apply it for the benefit of monetary policy and financial stability for our district and nation." Eric has pride in doing work as a public servant that makes an impact on people's lives.
As a financial economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (the “SF Fed”), Eric works on projects related to interest rate modeling, scenarios for the Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test, and monetary policy. He graduated from the grade school in 1994 and attended University High School. After studying at Georgetown University for undergrad, Eric earned his MA in Economics from University of San Francisco, and his PhD in Economics from University of California, Santa Cruz.
Eric works on teams with people across multiple disciplinary backgrounds. His boss calls him the "swiss army knife" of the group for his ability to handle any challenge, a life skill Eric attributes to his early education. "Something we learn at Waldorf is to be constantly challenged in many subjects like music, athletics and academics. We're not challenged in a competitive way, but in a cooperative way. The interpersonal relationship component to the learning means you have fun by playing with other kids and being creative with blocks, or shovels, [...] and you just learn to play with other people," Eric said. "That's important in the working world. Having the skill set of being creative and working with other people is really important."
Outside of work, Eric enjoys participating in sports and staying active, particularly triathlons. A violinist, he avidly enjoys the symphony, as well as hikes and visiting museums. Until his recent resignation, Eric was the Treasurer of the Georgetown Club and on its executive committee. "I think it's really important to give back to the places that have given me so much," he said. Eric resigned as Treasurer to teach a course on money banking and financial markets at University of San Francisco in Fall 2020.
While we sat outside the Grade School campus, Eric asked if the wood shop was still in the same garage; some of his hobbies directly come from his experiences in these classrooms. "There were so many different classes that fostered creativity, like woodworking and music," Eric said while reminiscing. His favorite memories include experiences that brought him and his classmates closer to nature. "We were learning because we wanted to learn the material. You were actually thrown into every experience."
Eric recalls his parents' story about taking him to the Kindergarten's open house, and when it was time to go, Eric didn't want to leave. When reaching that far back in his memory, Eric remembers sensations such as colors, smells, the feel of a smooth wooden toy, puppets, and story time. "Waldorf education is a real gift," Eric said. "Having the opportunity, especially in the younger years, to just be a kid and experience the world is something that I wish every kid could have." In his own words, Waldorf education made Eric a more rounded person, someone able to tackle highly technical and quantitative work while also having a keen sense of curiosity for the world and its people.
- Alumni Profiles