Lainie Morris ’21 provides crucial support to workers during pandemic

  • By cvbizz
  • November 20, 2020
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During her interview with a global marketing company that fields as many as 100 internship applications for three positions each semester, Lainie Morris ’21 delivered a crucial answer.

“My first question to every single person is, ‘Tell me what you know about empathy,’” says Russell Watts, vice president of Strategic Marking International, adding that he isn’t looking for a candidate to simply define the word. “It’s the people who say, ‘I love that you asked that question!’” he says.

Morris was one of those people, who then told Watts:  “’Here’s what empathy means to me,’” before giving him her personal explanation.

Turns out, the global supply chain — of all things — needed that quality, that depth of responsiveness, because many of SMI’s clients abruptly found themselves forced to use a sales channel they hadn’t needed: e-commerce.

“Then, you know what?” says Watts. “We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and all of our clients are actually doing what they’ve never done before. An example: There’s a chemical manufacturer, and now all of a sudden everybody needs cleaning chemicals.”

Enter Morris, who spent three months last summer working remotely from her home in Orlando, Florida, for Watts’ Charleston, South Carolina, firm.

Initially, she helped 20-some SMI clients build their social media presence. Then she launched into creating online sales outlets. Through most of June and July, she methodically created Excel spreadsheets of manufacturers’ products. Next, she uploaded those to sell through Amazon and Shopify.

“Everything that she touched, she finished

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