Dear Class of 2020

To all graduating seniors looking for career opportunities, be patient, and focus on learning. As a member of the Class of 2008, the economic climate post-graduation was depressed with the real estate and financial sector contributing to most of the decline. International trade, as well as the auto industry, were also shocked into submission. I mention this economic crisis, not to compare it to our current economic climate, but instead, to say that this is not a unique time to find a job (although certainly a very unique time to live). Economic downturns, disruptive technologies, and bizarre innovations have consistently propelled our economy, opened new opportunities for some businesses while creating difficult challenges for others. Post-graduation, it is important to take a step back, observe the industries/companies that are flourishing, and determine a path that promotes growth, intellectual curiosity and opens you up to life-long relationships.

To understand my perspective, it is important to understand my path. Post-graduation, I had the opportunity to attend Case Western Reserve University and obtained my master’s in business administration. Denison University gave me a skillset underappreciated at the time but certainly appreciated now. It was the skillset of “how to think critically and how to solve problems”. Case Western Reserve helped me specialize in finance and accounting to prepare me for a life in business. I reference this because if you have an opportunity to expand your education/credentials, this is a great time to take advantage of those opportunities. If not, that’s ok as well. After I graduated, I profiled growth industries and two came to the top of the list; Healthcare and Technology. I took a staff consultant job at a small boutique healthcare consulting start-up in Hudson, Ohio and the rest is history.

Job opportunities are all around us. Amazon added thousands of jobs just a week ago. Chronic diseases are still extremely prevalent and although a number of healthcare firms are focused on creating solutions for COVID-19, healthcare pharmacy companies are hiring in their research & development departments to solve issues that will be around way after we find a vaccine for this deadly virus. Fitness companies are pivoting to virtual platforms and demand has never been higher for home gym equipment. I certainly empathize that these may not be the opportunities you want, but I challenge you to focus on certain parts of the job. For example; growth potential, ability to develop meaningful relationships, opportunities to present and communicate to leaders of organizations. All of these have the same common denominators; expand your learning capacity in your 20s. The money will come later!

I wish all of you the best of luck and please do not hesitate to reach out. I will always make myself available to chat. I hope all of you are taking advantage of spending time with family, while we all have time. Stay safe and keep smiling.

 Matt Fadel ’08, Senior Director at Sg2