The Evolution of Work

Syms Leadership Program Holds Sterling Event at Deloitte

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, the Sy Syms Business Honors and Entrepreneurial Leadership Program sponsored a panel discussion on the “The Evolution of Work: Disruptions, Competencies, Independence.” Hosted by Deloitte at their offices in 30 Rockefeller Plaza, approximately 150 men and women had the opportunity to interact with four dynamic entrepreneurs: Moshe Bellows, co-founder of Envoy America; Melanie Shapsis, director of real estate acquisitions at Domio; David Schatsky, managing director of trend-sensing and tech scouting programs at Deloitte; and Lazier Kornwasser, a professor at Sy Syms, a YU Trustee and President and COO of Carecentrix, who moderated the discussion. The event focused primarily on how to prepare oneself for a work world that, though being disrupted by technologies like artificial intelligence, offers immense opportunities for success and satisfaction.

Panel participant. Left to right: Laizer Kornwasser, David Schatsky, Melanie Shapsis and Moshe Bellows
(l-r): Laizer Kornwasser, David Schatsky, Melanie Shapsis and Moshe Bellows

Each speaker emphasized the crucial importance of cultivating a curiosity about everything and making efforts to constantly broaden one’s intellectual horizons and technological skills beyond the requirements of the current job. Shapsis suggested that, as students, “you should take on outside projects to build your knowledge base,” citing her own example of pursuing a thesis with a professor not in her major because she wanted to find the answer to a question that was important to her. Schatsky concurred, adding that “critical thinking is rooted in curiosity, and curiosity is satisfied by always questioning accepted propositions.” Bellows also reminded the audience that they live in New York City and that it’s important to make use of the city’s rich opportunities for learning.

The students also wanted to know about such mundane but important quality-of-life matters as how the panelists found time to nurture their spirits through reading and other activities, to which Bellows answered, “Think of Shabbos. Think about making a sacred time for yourself, because self-care is as important as anything else you will do.” Schatsky added that paying attention to the work environment is equally important so that they didn’t find themselves falling into the trap of “believing that working is equivalent to living.” Bellows pointed out that it is not about finding time for the hobbies but understanding that “your hobbies make you a better worker: remember that some of the best ideas come in the shower because you are disconnected from the stress of the job.”

The discussion ended with a short but potent to-do list: be honest with yourself, know that everything you do is an interview for which you must be prepared, and don’t feel entitled: earn your place.