Business faculty sees opportunity for new graduates on the other side of the pandemic

Through the College’s shift to remote teaching and learning this semester, School of Business Lecturer Chris Napolitano ’05 (Management) ’08g (Business Administration) has been helping his students find the positives in this experience, by emphasizing how proficiency with tools such as WebEx and Zoom can help put them ahead of other job applicants after graduation.

“There’s the potential for an economic boom to follow the pandemic,” said Napolitano. “Many business owners will be seeking recent graduates with exactly this kind of experience to strike while the iron is hot.”

In adapting his spring courses to an online format, Napolitano, a specialist in business management and entrepreneurship, has sought ways to incorporate instruction about the tools that make long-distance collaboration possible. His students have become adept at using web-based communication platforms to engage one another outside the traditional classroom setting, setting them up for success as the business landscape changes.

Their ingenuity was on full display at the virtual spring 2020 Business Plan Contest, co-coordinated by Napolitano and adjunct Johnny LeHane. The live event was unmarred by the switch to an online format, as more than 20 students working in six teams made successful pitches before the panel of judges.

“This virtual event proves how adaptable our students can be by overcoming not only the change in delivery of our course material but also working in teams remotely to create viable business plans,” said Napolitano. “This is proof that when life throws you curves, you build resilience and experience by facing them head on. I’m confident that our students who stick with it and demonstrate their persistence will bring these important skills to their future careers.”

A New Paltz resident and native, Napolitano is also a two-time SUNY New Paltz alumnus, who worked for many years in the banking industry at TD Bank and Wachovia in Kingston, New York, before returning to teach at the College.

“Time stands still for no one,” he said. “Even in the face of uncertainty, our students are learning valuable business tools that will put them ahead of the curve when this is all over.”

Visit the SUNY New Paltz School of Business online to learn more about programs and opportunities for students and professionals.