At Home with Elizabeth Carey

 Elizabeth CareyElizabeth Carey is an associate professor in the College of Business. Thanks to COVID-19, this term is looking much different than she (or anyone) could have predicted. But, between juggling Zoom and Skype calls for multiple classes and caring for her children and two dogs, she still found time to give us an inside look at what her quarantine life has been like.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge of transitioning to teaching online?

Carey: I've been lucky since I have taught online before, and have designed courses for our Online program, so I understand that content, weekly course expectations and learning objectives have to be crystal clear. Actually, I have been working remotely since 1999 with Grey Advertising/NYC and some other San Francisco-based ad agencies. When I tell my students that I have worked on every type of virtual work collaboration employee program and have had to learn all of them, they can’t believe it was even possible to work remotely in 1999. But, despite no Google Docs, Dropbox, Slack, Basecamp and sketchy VPN in the 90’s, the fax machine got a lot of action!


Elizabeth Carey and Jim Plattner

Q: What has been your favorite hobby/activity to stay busy?

Carey: Well, running live classes on Blackboard Collaborate, having Zoom guest speaker series across three classes, and keeping up with grading leaves very little time for any hobbies, and I don’t think there is a single faculty member who has a hard time keeping busy. But, cooking and walking my two Australian Labradoodles are my top activities, mainly because it is so important to move around while working, learning, or teaching remotely. Sitting is the new smoking, and I tell my students all the time not to stay in their bedrooms for too long. Getting dressed is important, too.  


two dogs and a boy cutting apples

Q: Favorite show you've binge-watched?

Carey: Ozark, season 3, all caught up. I’m a huge fan of the entire cast. Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, the characters, the stories — it is really one of the best mini-series I’ve ever watched.

Q: Favorite quarantine snacks?

Carey: Anything healthy from Trader Joe’s. Sweet potato gluten-free crackers with Brie cheese or lemon hummus. Quinoa chips with their roasted tomato salsa...

Some other favorites are featured here in a giant basket I put in my daughter’s room when she was quarantined in her room upon her arrival from Madrid on March 14. That was awful and stressful, and we had to assume she had the virus. She only left her room to use the bathroom for 14 days — it was tough. Meal delivery service was a new skill I learned for her quarantine!


Q: What advice have you given students about how to handle this pandemic?

Carey: Great question! I try to tailor my message differently for upperclassmen vs. first-years and sophomores.

For juniors and seniors, my message is about empathy, hope and adaptability. I teach a lot of students from the College of Hospitality Management, and my message to them is that I’m sorry their industry is being hit so hard, but it was thriving before this health crisis and it will recover, although it might take longer than we anticipate. Look for ways to adapt your skills during this time. You may have wanted to be a tour operator for a sustainable travel company or a front of house manager at a leading restaurant chain. Now, you may have to adapt, seek out some certifications and look at digital and social positions for companies like Trip Advisor, Expedia, or other travel companies that have a strong social presence. All students have free access to LinkedIn Learning through our fabulous library resources. They can access hundreds of leading certifications in video, social, graphic design, digital, sales, marketing, etc. It might be hard to find the time, but I would resist a Netflix binge and take advantage of LinkedIn Learning. Our librarians are extremely helpful in getting students registered for this professional training database.

And for the underclassmen, work on your resume, your LinkedIn account and lining up a part-time summer internship, for little to no pay. Businesses big and small need help, but they might not be able to pay you this summer. Be open to non-paid. Make appointments with our awesome Career Services team who can show you Handshake, how to search for internships, review internships for course credit, and recommend other support like interview skills and resume writing. Take the experience wherever you can get it during the summer!

Banner photo courtesy of Sincerely Media via Unsplash.