Saturday, February 18, 2012

Do You Have the Guts To Be Successful?

Hi Everybody,

Yep, it’s a bonus post this weekend.  It has little to to about photography but a lot to do with tenaciousness, guts and glory.

Maybe this should be reserved for one of my Business Day Thursday posts, but I'm running it this weekend.  The reason will be obvious by the end of the post.

Do You Have the Guts To Be Successful?

NYCSeven years ago while in New York, I heard a 15 year old visitor to the city comment that one day she was going to move to New York and make this exciting city her own.  Throughout those ensuing years I kept an eye on that young lady who, BTW, has the "eye of the tiger" and usually accomplishes what see sets her mind to.

After finishing high school she decided to not head right into a major college but instead spend a year at a local community college so she could "bank" a few more dollars for that move to NYC she promised herself four years earlier.  After that year going to school and working at Best Buy nearly full time, she had reached the point both in her planning and in her bank account that she felt it was time to make the move to the BIG city.

At age 20 she cut all purse strings with her parents - remember that "eye of the tiger" part of her personality - she wanted to make the move to New York completely on her own.  In 2008 she packed her bags, moved to New York finding herself an apartment in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn.

Ivanka TrumpShe also landed herself a fairly good job and a digital retoucher at Fred Marcus Studios, the premier photography studio in Manhattan.  Fred Marcus studio is known for doing most of the top celebrity events in the city including Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka whose wedding took place October 24, 2009. In fact, the young lady to whom I refer was instrumental in completing much of the digital enhancement for the bride and groom's wedding album.

After she moved to the city, she felt is was going to take about a year to get settled and check out all the educational options in and around the city before she continued with her schooling in the city.  After visiting several universities, she was intent on attending Pace University concentrating her studies in marketing at one of the leading business schools in the country, the Lubin School of Business. 

PACE UTuition at Pace was rounding out at the "nose bleed" amount of $43,000/yr. Now this young lady's parents had set aside more than enough savings in a college trust fund to finance her college costs at any number of good universities, but it was coming up way short on the funds needed to finance studies at Pace.

Undeterred our NYC heroine set her mind about raising the necessary funds to meet the tuition requirements of Pace University.  About 9 months later she had managed to raise nearly $35,000/yearly in grants and loans to offset most of the university tuition.  Her trust fund would be able to cover housing expenses and carry her the rest of the way in her tuition needs.  Off to Pace she went.

Animoto1During these past two and a half years she has left Fred Marcus Studios for an internship at Animoto, one of the fastest growing and most popular web sites for photographers in New York.  After completing her internship at the end of summer 2009, Animoto asked her to stay on as a part time employee working in their marketing department on special initiatives as she worked towards finishing her degree. 

Her schedule was extremely tight both at school and at work but somehow she dug deep each semester for the strength and fortitude she needed to make it through the school year and all the final exams.  In spite of the hard work and very long hours, she was happy to oblige the web company and continues to work for that same company today.

From the conversations we've had over these last few years, she has been "burning the candle at both ends" in order to complete her school duties and keep up with the demands of her job responsibilities. But she did it!

On Thursday of this past week, I received an email from this young lady which read, "There it is" and with it attached a photograph of the following document. 

That document - her Bachelor Of Arts Degree from Pace University and Magna Cum Laude!

Liz diploma

Liz and MeThe name of the young lady, my daughter, Elizabeth Ziser.

Way to go Liz, you sure made your dad one proud father.  And to the rest of the world, I say clear the way because Elizabeth Ziser has the "eye of the tiger" and she is coming your way.

So, do you have the guts to be successful? I know someone who does and I'm thrilled to be her Dad!



  1. Congrats on all the achievements!

    I can speak from experience, although I cannot step into her shoes, I know what its like to balance being in grad school, making art, teaching, working a tech job, and trying to keep some semblance of a photography business together. There are not easy things and her effort will be reflected in her success. All that your daughter accomplished is a lot for anyone and she is rightfully applauded! Congratulations to your daughter, Miss Ziser, you sure seem like a proud papa!

    All the best-

  2. Oh, wow, what a wonderful story and what an amazing young lady. I can see why you're so proud. Congratulations, Liz, and congratulations, Dad!

  3. Congratulations to Elizabeth! Hard work and determination really pay off in this world. I'm sure Elizabeth will make you even prouder in years to come. Well done... to all concerned!

  4. Congratulaltions David!!

    Congratulations Liz!!!

    A proud dad indeed!

  5. Great work Elizabeth! As a proud alumnus of the Pace University Lubin School of Business MBA program (class of 2002), it is no small feat completing a degree in that institution. The professors are very demanding and the competition among the students for those grades is especially tough. What a terrific accomplishment.

  6. Great write up David. You should be very proud. Congratulations Elizabeth!

  7. What an inspiration, congratulations!!!

  8. My Congatulations to Liz and you guys for such a wonderful achievement...I am sure everyone is proud. I can attest to the fact that Pace is a wonderful school having graduated cum laude (just missed Magna by 2 hundreds of a point)from the Lubin School of Business in 1980 with a BBA in Accounting...graduating as Liz did is no small achievement....oh BTW when I started in 1976 the tuition was $75/credit and my parents were mad because they raised it $10/credit from the year before...LOL!...

    Again all of the best to Liz!

    Best regards,
    Anthony R.Romano
    Ziser Master Class Graduate F/2011

  9. Congratulations Elizabeth. Thank you David for writing such a beautiful post. I am going to share it with my own daughter, who I am very proud of. She is a freshman at Manhattan college with lots of goals for herself and a love for the big exciting city.

  10. Congratulations to both of you. Her dedication and your support make a winning combination. I wish her all the best, and know that you will experience much more pride in the years ahead! Thank you for sharing with us.

  11. Oh BTW...I didn't see the loop lighting pattern in the picture of you and Liz!.....LOL


  12. I am so proud of Elizabeth, but I always knew she was going to do what ever she set her mind to. She was a very determined little girl as well. Very nice David!
    I am so proud of Elizabeth!!!!
    Nikki (Lockridge)Lund - Nanny!!

  13. Inspirational! Huge congratulations to Liz,and to her proud Dad. Aloha from a Ziser Master Class graduate (Oct 2009).

  14. Wonderful story and alot to be proud of David. Congratulations Elizabeth!
    Todd Boone