Tanya Lauscher

Interview with Mentor Leslie Holland, Alaska Bureau of Land Management, Deputy State Director, Support Services

by Leadership Fellows Protégé Tanya Lauscher

The College of Business and Public Policy's Tom Case Leadership Fellows Program pairs high-performing CBPP students with a mentor in the Anchorage business community, giving students the opportunity to learn about real-world leadership from local business leaders. To begin the program, each student protégé interviewed their new mentor.

Today’s featured protégé/mentor interview is Tanya Lauscher, and her mentor Leslie Holland, Alaska Bureau of Land Management, Deputy State Director, Support Services.

1 Where is your mentor from? Why did they decide to pursue a career in Alaska?  
Leslie moved to Alaska from New Orleans, LA in 2009. Prior to moving here, she never lived anywhere north of Interstate 10.

Participation in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mentorship program precipitated her move to Alaska. One of her mentees in the program worked in Alaska and sent Leslie the job announcement for the USGS Administrative Officer position in Anchorage. She did not apply right away. It was not until the position was announced a second time, that she applied and chose to make the move to Alaska.

2 Where did your mentor go to college? What did they study in college? 
Leslie received her Bachelors of Arts degree with an emphasis in Communication Drama from the University of New Orleans. She always wanted a career in advertising. Her experience as a manager in retail and at an arcade led her to work as a supervisor within the federal government.

3 Did your mentor have anyone they relied on for mentorship/solid career advice? If yes, what is the most important leadership advice they shared with you? 
All of Leslie’s managers respected, trusted, supported, encouraged, and provided her with time to take training to help develop her skills. They saw potential in her and found ways to encourage her to continually grow and learn. One of the most exciting projects that she worked on was Leadership Lafayette. Her manager allowed her to work with the local community leaders for a year, to develop programs to build a better community.

The one thing that all her managers’ instilled in her was to look for opportunities to continue to grow and learn.

4 It is important and beneficial for CBPP and Anchorage’s business community to collaborate and invest in the next generation of leaders. What does your mentor believe should be conveyed to our next generation of leaders?
Remember to take into consideration generational differences and diversity. Learn to understand, respect and value the advice provided by established professionals within the organization or field. Many of these professionals have been there, done that, and lived through it. Their insights can help expand the younger generations of leaders’ expectations of not only the organization but also the world.

5 Is there anything else your mentor would like to add?
Leslie is thrilled she was asked to participate. She believes in the structured mentoring program and glad that she can contribute to the program.

Leslie Holland
Mentor Leslie Holland with Protégé Tanya Lauscher.