Rising Through the Ranks: Developing a Newly Blossoming Career During a Pandemic

PTC 20 Awards

Our world came to a screeching halt in mid-March. Businesses scrambled to make accommodations for entire workforces that shifted to remote work. Schools were shuttered. Travel was banned. In short, the world as we knew it changed drastically in the blink of an eye.

At NJFX, our business development model relies on building relationships, attending industry conferences and speaking on expert panels around the world. But that all changed earlier this year. While leisure travel is important to maintaining sectors of the economy, even more important is business travel that is crucial to developing and maintaining relationships between companies.

Late last year, Sarah Kurtz joined the NJFX team as Business Development Manager. Sarah has led NJFX’s enterprise efforts by providing awareness of unique interconnectivity options and the global reach at the Cable Landing Station campus. To that end, she began traveling extensively to introduce NJFX and its capabilities and offerings to the marketplace. In a few short months, those travel efforts were forced to end.

Now, executives at NJFX and many other companies and industries are re-evaluating how to conduct all business remotely. For NJFX, this transition was challenging but not impossible. Because the services that NJFX provides are part of the infrastructure that is powering the world’s newly remote workforce, some of the efforts were naturally enhanced. Being a digital native who easily adapts to ever-changing technology, Sarah was able to embrace a new way of building virtual relationships. At a time in Sarah’s career when learning the ins and outs of business development are key, she has had to shift building those relationships over a computer screen. Fortunately, the initial face-to-face meetings set Sarah up for success in the current environment.

Weeks of lockdowns turned into months, and NJFX had to make a decision about our annual internship opportunities. In May, NJFX welcomed Amanda Kadunce to the team as NJFX’s first 100% virtual intern. Amanda also rose to the challenge, learning important business and marketing skills while safely working from home over 200 miles away.

As the economy changes course, we will continue to see different trends emerge. Careers that were attractive pre-pandemic may not be as enticing today. Many kids in high school and post secondary schools are shifting their focus to jobs that withstand economic uncertainty. But one thing we have learned is that the ‘new’ economy definitely includes jobs within our industry. The data and voice connections that NJFX’s ecosystem powers have been keeping all of us online and connected. We look forward to a day when we can return to meeting face-to-face. Until then, we are remaining ever-vigilant in helping our subsea and telecom customers fortify their networks with more capacity, resilience and diversity. It’s the human connection and training up the next generation within the telecom industry that pulls us all forward to even greater things ahead.

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