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Alum, LinkedIn Executive Encourages Confidence in Turbulent Economy

Published on May 18, 2020

Alum, LinkedIn Executive Encourages Confidence in Turbulent Economy

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In the past three months, COVID-19 has forced nearly 40 million Americans, more than 500,000 in Connecticut alone, to file for unemployment benefits. One in seven Americans don’t have a job and layoffs are mounting daily.

Lapia on Zoom with Eastern students.

On May 13, Anthony Lapia ’03, regional director of enterprise sales for LinkedIn Learning Solutions, joined a group of Eastern Connecticut State University students on Zoom to offer advice on how to find work in the struggling American economy.  Cliff Marrett, director of Eastern’s Center for Internships and Career Development, organized the meeting. 

Lapia said whenever there is an economic downturn, career advancement slows as well. This presents a significant challenge for the early career workforce. Lapia believes that, while students’ approach to job hunting has to be much more measured and precise, it is still the simple things that work. “Students will need experience to attain the positions to which they aspire. At this moment in time of COVID-19, I advise people to grab skills and experience anywhere you can; volunteering is an excellent way to learn the skills you need to succeed in your career. That experience will give you the confidence you need when opportunity presents itself.”

Lapia said that while shaking hands may be taboo for now due to COVID-19, students need to learn different ways to make employers take notice. That includes beefing up their knowledge of job search technology; LinkedIn is a good place to start. “LinkedIn has over 85 percent of the U.S. workforce represented as members on the platform. That allows for engagement and networking at a scale that would be very hard to replicate with traditional, in- person interaction. There will always be a place for relationship building face-to-face and we all know that COVID-19 will pass. In the meantime, use LinkedIn and other social platforms to find career opportunities.” 

In addition to building skills and finding opportunities, Lapia also told the student how to best telling their story to employers; how to be intentional about building their network; and showcasing a professional brand. “The people who wait for things to get better will not be where they want to be when things do get better. The people who are intentional while things are not great will be in the place that they want to be when things do turn around.”  

After graduating from Eastern, Lapia began his career in sales with Automatic Data Processing (ADP), focused on prospecting and acquiring new business and generating revenue. He transitioned to sales leadership in 2009 and has worked for some of the most influential companies in tech (ADP, Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing (SAP), Oracle and LinkedIn).

Lapia has built organizations with a focus on hiring, coaching and developing talent. For the past five years, he has worked at LinkedIn. He says he tremendously values his Eastern liberal arts education. “Eastern provided me with life experiences that allowed me to grow and learn well beyond the classroom. I formed relationships that have remained with me for life. I have so much pride in being an Eastern alumnus and I truly enjoy giving back.” 

“Anthony gave our students a huge lift,” said Marrett. “People around the world use LinkedIn to find internships, jobs and to build their professional network. We were happy to present him to our students during this difficult time.”

Written by Dwight Bachman