May 6 • 2 min read

Seven Fox alumni who graduated immediately before, during and after the 2008 financial crisis presented their experience to current students pondering the job market during a recent virtual panel. The panel was an opportunity for students who are about to set off on their careers to get advice and have their questions answered.

The one-hour panel, titled Perspectives from the 2008 Financial Crisis, included

  • Tiffany Calhoun BBA, Actuarial Science ’09; Manager, L&F Indemnity.
  • Jason DeFazio BBA, Entrepreneurship ’08; Senior Vice President, Valuation Research Corporation.
  • Bradley Hoffman BBA, International Business ’08; Senior Vice President, Macquarie Group.
  • Erik Johnson BBA, Human Resource Management ’08; Corporate HR Business Partner, Jefferson Health & Jefferson University Health System.
  • Jeremy Shafer MS, Management Information Systems ’09; Assistant Professor of Practice, Temple University.
  • Christopher Strunk BBA, Accounting: ’07; Senior Manager, Ernst & Young, LLP.
  • Amber Wynne BBA, Marketing ’08; Diversity Business Partner, Facebook Inc.

The panelists all said that in a challenging job market, staying flexible and identifying opportunities is important. Shafer said employers are more likely to hire someone who is working over someone who is not. So new graduates should consider accepting a job offer that might not be ideal but can serve as a starting point. 

“I was a finance and entrepreneurship double major and took a job in operations at Citi,” DeFazio said. “Then I moved to valuations at VRC, which was a subindustry in finance that I didn’t even know existed.” 

DeFazio is now a senior vice president at VRC.

Hoffman said new graduates need to really know their own finances as well because that will help them thrive while they are looking for a job. He also stressed the value of their current circumstances and how they transitioned to online learning. 

“Understand how to tell the story of your success and resilience,” Hoffman said. “A lot of employers are not looking for experience or GPA, but what have you learned.”

Wynne suggested taking advantage of free online learning courses as a way to continue skill-building while looking for employment. Wynne, Strunk and Hoffman all stressed that companies, including theirs, are still hiring.

To find out more about how CSPD can help students and alumni, visit their website.

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