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Ethics Matters

Q2 2020

Colleges and universities around the globe have transited their students off campus to online learning platforms in efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19. StudentCPT chapters are staying engaged while utilizing technology, despite being unable to meet
in person.

Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University StudentCPT members recently tuned into a virtual meeting. Old and new officers completed a fun facts sheet, which was then turned into a fun Get to Know You Kahoot game with the chapter members. Members also established chapter goals for the upcoming school year.

Florida State University
CPT President, Alfonzo Alexander, recently spoke to Florida State University StudentCPT members along with two business classes via Zoom. During his presentation, Alexander shared personal experiences of how he overcame ethical dilemmas early on in his career. He also discussed how to manage chaos during challenging times.

2020 Ethics in Action Video Competition
Each year, the NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) encourages college students to creatively demonstrate why ethical leadership is important in business. This year, 117 videos were received from 33 schools, signifying a record-breaking response! Let’s give a round of applause for our 2020 Ethics in Action Video Competition winners. Special thanks to the Dean Institute for Corporate Governance and Integrity for sponsoring this year’s competition.

Short Film Category (1-3 Minutes)
First Place:
Tax Preparer Dilemma, Austin Community College

Runner Up – It’s a tie!:
A Clean Conscious, Texas Woman’s University

Toxic Behavior in the Workplace, University of New Mexico

Commercial Category
(59 Seconds or Less)
First Place:
Dilemma, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Runner Up:
Generation Collaboration, University of New Mexico

Viewer’s Choice Short Film (1-3 Minutes)
First Place:
Ethical Decision Making While Working From Home, Carroll University

Runner Up:
Ethical Dilemmas, Georgia Gwinnett College

Viewer’s Choice Commercial
(59 Seconds or Less)
First Place:
Best Ethical Decision Making During a Pandemic at Work, Georgia Gwinnett College

Runner Up:
Problems at Your Workplace, Georgia Gwinnett College

LEAD WITH INTEGRITY: The Thrill of Victory

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Ethics Matters

Q2 2020

My early childhood was in the pre-cable television days. During that time, I always enjoyed watching the Wild World of Sports. One of my favorite parts was the start of the show. Each episode began with a phrase describing the “thrill of victory” and the “agony of defeat.” I always loved the personal experience of the thrill of victory.

As we experience this difficult time with COVID-19, many are feeling the agony of defeat in various ways. I am motivated to encourage you to drive toward your thrill of victory. Your thrill of victory can be achieved by moving through your response
to adversity.

It is safe to say that we have all faced some level of adversity of late. It is completely natural for us to have an initially negative response; usually fear, anger or both; to adverse situations. However, once we get past that initial reaction, we increase the possibility to convert that negative situation into a positive outcome. That’s right, we
can control how quickly we move from the agony of defeat to the thrill of victory.

It is not always simple to make the transition, because there is an additional phase that slows us down. This phase is filled with uncertainty and often shakes our confidence. During this phase, we have to coach and advise ourselves. During this phase, we must remember the road to success is rarely easy, but it is always worth the journey, if we endure.

Enduring the difficult time takes us to the thrill of victory. I challenge you to move from the initial negative response, to hurdle over the uncertain feelings and reconnect with the original purpose for your journey. This movement is attainable, and it will lead you to the “thrill of victory!

Why Giving Matters

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Ethics Matters

Q2 2020

Life has been challenging for our students adjusting to new ways of learning and staying connected. Our professionals have been impacted as well from businesses restructuring, facing workforce reductions, and even worse, having to shut down.

The question is how do we move forward from here?

The NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) was created with the mission of championing the public trust by advancing ethical leadership in business, institutions and organizations.
In times like this, our mission couldn’t be more important.

Throughout this pandemic, we have continued to support our students and professionals, and we will continue to do so in the weeks and months ahead as we continue to recover. Your continued support of our efforts to promote and advance ethics is not only appreciated, but needed now more than ever.

Make your contribution today by visiting www.thecpt.org/donations.

You can also contribute by mailing a check to:
NASBA Center for the Public Trust
P.O. Box 306272,
Nashville, TN 37230

Good News: Companies Vow to Continue Paying Employees During COVID-19 Outbreak

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Ethics Matters

Q2 2020

On March 18, President Donald Trump signed the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” into law. According to
npr.org, this allocated roughly $8 billion for coronavirus prevention, preparation and response efforts, including guidelines for paid sick leave, free testing and expanded unemployment benefits. Millions of Americans face financial uncertainty as COVID-19 health concerns rage on in
the U.S.

However, numerous companies have committed to paying their employees. Among these companies include Abercrombie and Fitch, Apple, Crocs, GAP, Lululemon, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Sephora, just to name a few.

Macy’s, a well-known retail chain, announced in a press release that it would temporarily close stores under its brand, including all Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bluemercury, Macy’s Backstage, Bloomingdales the Outlet and Market by Macy’s stores. According to the release, Macy’s, Inc. will provide benefits and compensation to its impacted workforce. “We will work with government and health officials to assess when we will reopen our stores and safely bring our colleagues back to work,” said Jeff Gennette, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s, Inc.

As families around the world continue to stay abreast of new information almost daily, and with concerns that the pandemic will continue into the months ahead, homes across America have newfound worries. With the help of the companies previously listed, and many not on the list, corporations are reinforcing what many already know – that a company is only as great as its employees and we must take care of each other. Even in uncertain times, you can do the right thing and help a relative, employee, neighbor, stranger or friend. Remember, we must continue to care for one another.

The Lasting Impact of the Coronavirus

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Ethics Matters

Q2 2020

The last several months have been challenging for everyone. From education to employment, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted so many aspects of our daily lives that go far beyond just how we interact with each other.

In times like these, ethics can be a concern. It has been so encouraging to witness so many businesses step up to support their employees, the communities they serve, and those impacted by this pandemic. We have seen measures implemented immediately to try and prevent individuals and businesses from taking advantage of the fears that have come with this pandemic. Also, we have seen businesses and individuals commit to provide funding to fill the income gap for hourly and tip workers impacted.

The NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) has had to adjust how we engage with colleges and our StudentCPT chapters. Within the past month, we have seen increased interest in our Ethical Leadership Training Program from various professionals considering activities for employees working from home. We have also encountered cancelled conferences and speaking engagements with students and professionals around the country. All of this while balancing different working arrangements ourselves.

Nonetheless, the pandemic has had positive outcomes when we go beyond our own inconveniences. Businesses and universities have now tested their continuity planning and made adjustments, as needed, to ensure minimal bearing on customers. Technology like Zoom Meetings has been proven to be an effective means to conduct meetings, lead presentations and host online learning, even for elementary school children.

The lasting impact of the coronavirus pandemic is likely to continue for months and even years to come. As many of us adjust to our new normal, the CPT encourages you to explore new ways of doing business and building them into your strategies moving forward.

Great Ways to Recharge

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Has this time of uncertainty made you feel stressed? Are you having trouble keeping calm and so called carrying on? We understand that you may have questions about the economic forecast around the COVID-19 pandemic and may be making adjustments to your work schedule and location, daily tasks and budget. Well, there is good news. For one, you are not alone. Many of us feel anxious, tired, stressed and/or confused. The other good news is that there are ways to curb these feelings.

So many of us subject our minds to continuous work, rarely taking any time for rest and rejuvenation. But the best way to rest is to get some sleep. You may have heard this a few times, but it bares repeating. If you are feeling stressed and find that your mind continues to race, ask yourself how much sleep you have gotten and if you need to begin getting more rest?

If rest is not the issue, perhaps now is a good time to try new breathing exercises, such as yoga and meditation. These practices can help to steady the mind and make you feel recharged. In fact, meditation is a simple practice available to all, which can reduce stress, increase calmness and clarity and promote happiness.

Did you know that creative thinking can help you refresh, recharge and bolster your ideas in all professional or personal domains? Use this time at home to find new ways to be creative. Try knitting, puzzles, painting, crafting, scrapbooking, woodworking or something else that appeals to your sense of individual interests. Having this time to yourself, to let your mind wonder and think about things outside of work, can be extremely beneficial.

Finally, as we all practice social distancing, now may be a great time to begin a new exercise regiment. Go for a run around your neighborhood, an open park or greenway nearby. Enjoy the warmer weather and sunshine, as you focus on yourself and your well-being.

Have you discovered other ways to feel recharged? Share them with us!

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

Transitioning Careers: Planning for Your Next Job During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Were you planning to change jobs before the Covid-19 crisis began? Were you ready for the next step in your career? The good news is that you will still be able to move forward in your career and find an opportunity that aligns with your career goals, however, it may look a little different in this new world. The key is to be patient while employers figure out what is best for their company and staff and what their talent needs may be at this time. Although the corporate landscape has changed, everyone is hopeful that the new normal will be manageable and include more positives than previously available.

One way to prepare for your career transition is to become comfortable networking online. In-person networking events and interviews may be on-hold for quite some time. Do not allow this to set you back. Seek out virtual events online that you may attend, webinars and other online gatherings where you can speak with like-minded professionals. If you have social media accounts, be sure to join groups that connect you with individuals in your preferred industry or profession. Once you’ve joined those groups, be sure to add to the conversation. Post relevant articles and offer your insights to the dialogue taking place. This is sure to garner the attention of the right people in your groups and help strengthen your professional network.

Once you have updated your resume and researched common interview questions, you will be ready to practice participating in a real-time interview. Due to social distancing, you may not be interviewing in-person for some time. Instead, employers may be using online video tools to meet with you instead. The good news is that chances are you have already been using video tools during quarantine. Now is your chance to utilize those skills to prepare for your next role. Enlist a friend to use your video communication tool of choice to practice mock interviews. Use this time to practice speaking into the camera, adjust camera angles and lighting and determine what is the best spot to conduct the interview.  If at home, be sure that you are sitting somewhere that is free of distractions.

Should a recruiter contact you during this unprecedented time, do not rush into an opportunity you do not feel comfortable taking. This is new territory for many, if not all, of us. If you currently have a job and are looking for something new, proceed with extreme caution. Make sure you have done your research on the company and that the recruiter has done the proper research on your skillsets as well. If the position is not the right fit, it is OK to wait for one that is. If you are currently unemployed, be sure to ask the recruiters all the questions you may have about the position, before moving forward. For example, “Why do you believe this position is the right fit for me?” and “Would I need to relocate in the future?” Do not be shy during this process. Remember, with preparation and patience, the right job for you awaits!

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

College to Career

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According to CNBC, for the 2019–2020 academic year, there will be a total of 3,898,000 college graduates in the United States. If you are one of the members of the class of 2020, congratulations! You have accomplished a lot and you should be very proud of yourself. Although the world has changed quite a bit, and what you imagined for your graduation is likely not going to be,  do not worry – things will return to normal, hopefully, one day soon. In the meantime, as you prepare for your career in the business world, there are many things you must keep in mind.

You may be considering which path you would like to take. The good news is that there are many available options, and it is important to do your research. From accounting to finance to marketing or even healthcare, there are so many opportunities to pursue. To hear from some professionals that have found success, visit NASBA’s Today’s CPA page.

Although, you have completed your formal education, it is important to note that you should continue learning. Beyond required certifications and continuing education courses for some career paths, it is important to to stay abreast of emerging trends, technologies and skills  as much as possible. Use this time at home to develop skills that will help you in your work. Find free online webinars or online courses to further your professional knowledge and skill sets.

You may also want to use this time to learn the skills that you will use most often in the workplace, as offices are sure to reopen soon. For example, how to conduct yourself during a meeting. While we work from home, of course, meetings are virtual. This does not mean that there are not do’s and don’ts to be aware of. There are many things that you will want to avoid and some things you will want to make sure to you are cognizant of. You will want to focus on the location you have chosen for the meeting. If at home, be sure that you are not sitting somewhere that is full of distractions to your teammates, such as a messy bedroom or a room with a lot of wall décor. In addition, be sure that wherever you choose to attend the virtual meeting, keeps the noise level at a minimum.

As you start this journey, you are sure to learn much more. The workforce is excited to welcome new grads and the NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT)is excited to see what you all will achieve.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

Grocery Stores Adapt Hours for Senior Citizens and the Vulnerable

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Most of us have heard the sweet quote from Mister Rogers, where he said, When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” These days, this couldn’t ring truer. The Coronavirus has impacted the world’s population and there continues to be a lot of unknown. However, there are always those that can be seen helping, and their actions are not going unnoticed.

In particular, many retailers, including Walmart, Target, Publix and Walgreens, are dedicating the first hour after they open to the senior citizens and the vulnerable. Understandably, the general public has many concerns during the COVID-19 outbreak and want to keep their homes stocked with everyday essentials. However, this leaves the vulnerable and elderly at a disadvantage, as they may not be able to buy what they need before it is sold out or shop during busy hours. Therefore, it is admirable to see businesses make the necessary changes to accommodate multiple segments of their most customer base.  These companies are assisting those most susceptible of contracting severe cases of COVID-19 to shop more comfortably.

During these days of concern, changing information and new protocols, we must do what we can to take care of one another. It is not only during the good times that we must focus on helping a neighbor, caring for the elderly or checking-in on family and friends. We must continue this custom in both good times and bad. Thank you to the number of retailers and businesses who have shown kindness in these turbulent times.  

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

Tips for Pursing Productivity While Working from Home

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In recent weeks, companies around the globe have shifted employees to virtual platforms in efforts to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Apple, Google, Chevron and Salesforce are among the numerous organizations putting their employees and client’s safety first.

In 2017, it was estimated that 8 million Americans work from home on occasion. However; for many American workers, teleworking is unchartered territory. Check out these tips to maximize your workday:

Set Your Workspace Up for Success

Does setting the mood for your workday include listening to music? You’re not alone. In a study conducted by Robert Half, 71% of workers say listening to music makes them more productive. Other ways to set the mood include starting your morning off by lighting a candle; scents of eucalyptus are said to improve focus. Are you a coffee lover? Brew a fresh pot before opening up your laptop. The smell of coffee can make you alert even before taking your first sip. 

Take Your Work Outside

Take advantage of warming springtime temperatures! Being outside for just 20 minutes a day can boost your immune system, lower stress levels and increase productivity.

Stick to a Schedule, then Treat Yourself

According to a study out of the University of California Irvine, it takes on average 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on task after being distracted. Silencing your cell phone and removing email notifications are just a few ways to eliminate the most common distractions.

A friend of mine who works from home regularly likes to set her kitchen timer for 30 minutes as she tries to knock out as much as possible within that defined window of time. Once the timer buzzes, she treats herself by checking her phone, stretching or listening to a favorite song.

Plan a virtual coffee break with a coworker (or happy hour if it’s after 5:00 pm). Make breaks a family affair, whip up a fun and silly snack. Check out YouTube for virtual exercise classes.

Keep Business as Usual

In most cases, your fellow employees are working from home just like you although their distractions may look a little different than yours. Send calendar invites just like you would if you were in a traditional office setting, even if it is just for a catch-up phone call. This allows your coworkers to properly prep for the call and eliminate unnecessary background noises. Are your kiddos home from school? Time recommends these indoor activities to keep children occupied while parents work from home.

Utilize technology to keep coworkers accountable for project tasks. Smartsheet, Basecamp, Slack and Wrike are great project management tools to keep business going as usual.

What keeps you pursing productivity throughout the workday? We would love to hear from you! Email us your tips at info@thecpt.org.

Ashley Metivier
Student Programs Manager