In this uncertain time, we look to academic and industry leaders to share their wisdom and help to guide our next steps. We reached out to some outstanding members of our esteemed community of alumni at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics to share their experiences and guidance with our larger community. Alison Houck, UD Class of 1998 and managing partner at the Rehoboth office of Faw Casson, sat down with Lerner to discuss lessons learned during the coronavirus pandemic, advice for her fellow Blue Hens and more.
Q: How have you and your company responded to the coronavirus pandemic?
Houck: We have complied with all rules set forth by the State of Delaware. We allowed staff to work at home from March through June 1. We still have remote capabilities when needed. Masks are worn when we are in common spaces in the office and meeting with clients. Hand sanitizer is on all desks and extra cleaning measures have been taken.
We have also been doing a lot of education and outreach for our communities and clients regarding funding during this time (i.e., PPP and EIDL loans) and have spent a great deal of time assisting our clients with applications for funding and strategies for continuing to make money during shutdowns.
Q: What are the greatest lessons that you’ve learned during this crisis?
Houck: I have actually learned to enjoy time at home with the family rather than being on the “go” 24/7.
Q: What pieces of advice do you have for fellow businesspeople?
Houck: Keep your head up…think positive…reach out for assistance and think of new ways to market, brand and sell.
Q: What is your favorite memory from your time at UD?
Houck: Graduation! So amazing to be surrounded by so many fellow students and to know that we all made it and are moving on to our careers!
Q: What pieces of advice would you give to current UD students?
Houck: Never give up … if you get a bad grade, pick up and work harder next time to improve and reach out to your professors, mentors and friends for help!
Q: What does it mean to you to be a Lifelong Lerner?
Houck: Never stop learning, researching, reading and educating yourself not only on your career but also on other interests outside of work.
Q: Is there anything else that you would like to share in your profile?
Houck: I have enjoyed my time as an alum giving back on the Accounting & MIS Advisory Board and also as part of the Lerner Executive Mentoring Program through the Lerner College of Business and Economics. I have a much bigger appreciation for my UD education now that I have been in the field for a number of years!