The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many businesses and countless lives. While no one should wish to lead through a crisis, we should all be prepared when adversity presents itself. My company, Lands’ End, was impacted immediately in the first week of March 2020. Online demand was severely reduced, store traffic fell off as everyone stayed home, and we quickly began to worry about our cash on hand.
The drive to my parents’ hotel following my Smeal graduation ceremony was a slow, bumper-to-bumper ride through campus. I remember thinking about the many possibilities my future in New York offered, while desperately holding onto whatever remained of my college experience.