When not working, Kevin Lisenbee can be found playing trivia at local pubs with his friends or traveling the world.
But throughout the week, 28-year-old Lisenbee works as one of the veterinarians at Northwest Animal Hospital, 4575 Chestnut St.
He handles about 15 appointments per day, performing exams, screenings, vaccinations and routine blood work.
Three years ago, Lisenbee moved to Colorado Springs from Tulsa, Okla., where he was born and raised, after receiving his doctorate’s degree in May 2014 from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla.
Lisenbee was attracted to the outdoor lifestyle found in the Pikes Peak region and had wanted to move to Colorado Springs since passing through as a child.
Lisenbee spoke with the Business Journal about his job and what he likes about working in Colorado Springs.
How did you get into veterinary medicine?
In school, I had originally been encouraged to become an engineer, as a lot of males who are good at math and science are. I found that I didn’t want to do that. I just didn’t enjoy the classes and I wanted to go to classes I looked forward to. So I just started taking those classes and as I got more and more into it, realized that working with animals was something that I really enjoy. One thing after another led to me wanting to be a veterinarian. I got into the field and found out that I love the people I got to work with.
What do you like about working in the Springs?
I feel like you get all walks of life in Colorado Springs. It gives me a lot of variety in my day. You get people from all sorts of backgrounds and places from all over the country. It makes for a new and interesting interaction every single day, because you can have somebody who’s extremely conservative … but you can also have somebody who’s an extreme liberal … and they’re all in the same city and somehow we all seem to coexist and I just think that’s awesome.
What should businesses do to retain young professionals in Colorado Springs?
Promote a work-life balance. I think that’s really important to most Millennials and it is something that’s going to provide for a healthy workplace, a healthy work environment. And, if you’ve got a really good life outside of work, then you’re going to be able to bring a much better, much higher level of dedication to your work as well. The staff and the management here have been very accommodating as far as that goes and it’s not a given in this field.
What challenges have you faced in your career?
The hardest part was being able to show people I do know what I’m talking about and I do have their animal’s best interest at heart. I’ve had to come up with ways to explain myself and discuss things with people so they feel comfortable with whatever it is we decide to do and that they trust my judgment. I kind of thought that was something that would just come with time and it’s not time — it’s actual practice and work at trying to be able to connect well with everybody in the room each time. … That was the most surprising part for me, was learning how to handle people. It’s way more about the people than it is about the animals.
How does a veterinary hospital impact the local economy?
We are able to support lots of jobs [and] we do support varying degrees of schooling. So you get people working here who have high school degrees through … doctorates. We get a lot of different kinds of people who end up working here. We also feel part of our mission is public health and helping out not just the pets themselves, but the overall community. … While a lot of people would see our community as just the people that live in it and their families, their families include pets too.
What advice would you give to other young professionals?
Work hard, play hard. I don’t think you can do one or the other. I think you have to do both. It’s how you stand out in each — if you play hard you’re going to work better, if you work hard you’re going to appreciate the play more.