The Charger Blog

University Community Discusses How Businesses Have Responded to Impact of COVID-19

A recent virtual panel discussion brought together members of the University of New Haven’s Pompea College of Business community to discuss how the pandemic has changed the workforce and how it is expected to continue to impact how and where people work.

December 8, 2020

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of College of Business event on zoom.
Members of the University’s Pompea College of Business community discussed how the pandemic has changed the workforce.

For Emily Watkins ’24, keeping up with current trends and changes in the workplace is crucial. Because of the impact the coronavirus global pandemic has had on her own life, she was interested in learning more about how it is impacting the career opportunities she will have.

That’s why she attended a recent virtual panel discussion, titled, “How to Adapt and Stay Relevant in the Post-COVID Workforce.” She learned more about how career – and internship – opportunities have changed and may continue to do so.

“Events such as these are important opportunities for students because not only do they give us a chance to network in a world that is now largely online, but we also learn more about what is currently going on in our fields,” said Watkins, a finance major. “COVID-19 has changed many career paths. It is important to stay informed on the direction that your career is heading, especially after such a disruptive event.”

Watkins was one of many current and prospective students as well as alumni who joined the panel discussion, held via Zoom. The discussion was organized by the dean’s accounting task force, chaired by Board of Governors member Anthony Scillia ’79, which sponsors a similar in-person event each fall.

Image of Candice Deal, Ph.D., on zoom event.
Candice Deal, Ph.D., moderated the virtual panel discussion.

Candice Deal, Ph.D., assistant dean of the University’s Pompea College of Business, moderated the discussion. She wanted students to learn about the impact the pandemic has had on the business world, especially on the workforce.

“COVID has impacted the world in so many ways, and the social culture has shifted,” she said. “We have entered what a lot of people see as the new normal. Businesses are trying to use these changes to their advantage, and some of these changes may be here to stay.”

The panel, which included University of New Haven alumni, shared their own work experiences during the pandemic. Joseph Catapano ’89, vice president and chief accounting officer at Pitney Bowes, has been working from home since March, and he isn’t planning to return to the office until next summer, at the earliest.

“Maybe we underestimate what the art of the possible really is,” he said. “I don’t think anyone thought it would be possible to have 100 percent of office work done remotely.”

Image of Joseph Catapano ’89 on zoom event.
Joseph Catapano ’89 discussed his work experience during the pandemic.
‘This event was very relevant’

Panelists discussed how they adapted during the pandemic, how they balanced work and family while working from home, and how they preserved their mental health.

For Anika Saboo ’21 MBA, one of the most impactful and interesting moments of the discussion was learning about one of the benefits of working remotely – that it enabled one panelist to now see her clients on video calls, whereas she had previously only heard them over the phone.

“This event was very relevant because all the panelists talked about adaptability in such unprecedented times, which is very much needed,” she said. “Understanding the virtual world is the need of the hour. I would recommend everyone attend all such events – especially now that they are available through Zoom.”