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University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics

By Lerner College September 15, 2020

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. Tom Horne, UD Class of 1988 and managing director and COO of Chase Card Services, sat down with Lerner to discuss lessons learned during the coronavirus pandemic, advice for their fellow Blue Hens and more.

Q: How have you and your company responded to the coronavirus pandemic?

Horne: JPMorgan Chase is there for its customers, clients and communities in good and bad times. The COVID-19 pandemic is one of those extraordinary times – with both economic and health consequences – and we were prepared with our resources, expertise, capital and data to help.

We quickly got 180K employees working from home, kept our operating centers and as many branches as prudent active, provided relief to our consumer and business customers and supported local and national relief efforts. Through all of this, we put our employees and customer’s health and safety first, and continue to do so.

Q: What are the greatest lessons that you’ve learned during this crisis?

Horne: There are many, but a few of the most prominent for me are: (1) there is no substitute for teamwork and a disciplined, well-run operation; (2) we can do things faster than we thought possible; and (3)  challenging times both build and reveal character, making it the perfect time to identify the hidden gems on your team!

Q: What pieces of advice do you have for fellow businesspeople?

Horne: If you are a leader, first and foremost, you must care for and about the people on your team. Repeatedly demonstrate that and they will accomplish anything!

Q: What is your favorite memory from your time at UD?

Horne: The lifelong relationships that I built.

Q: What pieces of advice would you give to current UD students?

Horne: Work hard, meet as many people as possible, be a good human being and Carpe’ Diem!

Q: What does it mean to you to be a Lifelong Lerner?

Horne: We are shaped by the accumulation of our individual experiences, and my time as a Lerner student played a very important part in that for me. Continuing to serve the Lerner College, whether on the Dean’s Advisory Board or as a Student Mentor, is simply a way of giving back and bringing things full circle.