Liz Lenrow Fosters Connections in a Virtual World

For Liz Lenrow, Baltimore was, and will always be, home. That’s why, after spending nearly a decade away from Maryland for graduate school and work, Liz couldn’t wait to get back to her hometown.

Today, Liz works as a client advisor at J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Baltimore. We sat down with Liz to talk about what brought her back, what advice she has for young professionals and how the pandemic has changed how she fosters connections.

You returned to Baltimore last year after some time in New York. How and why did you make the decision to come back here?

My fiancé and I loved being in Manhattan, but ultimately, we knew that we were ready to be back home and be closer to family. At the same time, I learned that J.P. Morgan was building a new office in Baltimore and expanding its business in the broader Maryland area. I thought it would be a great opportunity, both professionally and personally.

What is it about Jewish Baltimore that makes it so special?

Jewish Baltimore is knowing that whomever I reach out to, they will not hesitate to get on the phone to help me or connect me with someone who can help. It’s giving back and helping our Jewish and non-Jewish community. It’s the melting pot of Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Jews. It’s being close to your Krieger Schechter classmates 20 years later. Jewish Baltimore is home.

What kind of adjustments are you seeing in reaction to the pandemic, either professionally or in your personal life?

I’ve been amazed how resilient my partners and community have been and how well they have adapted to working virtually.  Operating in a remote environment has, in some ways, increased productivity such as not having to commute or being able to share events and messages more broadly versus just focusing locally.  That said, when the time is right, I am looking forward to being back in the office and engaging with my community face to face.

How have you stayed close with family during this time?

Since COVID began, my extended family in San Diego, Chicago, Virginia and Baltimore convenes for a Sunday Zoom call. This has allowed me to get closer with my cousins and to watch their children grow up.

Can you explain your involvement with The Associated and Jewish Baltimore?

Last year I joined The Associated’s Young Leadership Council (YLC), a development program for young adults.

One thing that we’ve learned is that in order for us to be a close-knit and effective group, we have to make personal connections. And that goes beyond our YLC group and extends to the Jewish community we live in. So, we are taking the time to plan out socially distanced events and see what kind of drives –maybe organizing a toy drive –that we can implement over the holidays.

Shifting gears, what kind of advice would you give to a young adult who is entering the workforce now, or to someone who has found themselves unemployed because of the pandemic?

One of my biggest pieces of advice is be flexible. If you’re new to the workforce, apply for as many positions at as many companies as possible. Businesses, like us, are adapting to this new normal, and some companies are struggling more than others so casting your net wide should provide a larger opportunity set. Make sure to also leverage your personal networks – your high school, college, previous internships, etc.

As for people who have recently found themselves unemployed, I would look at your skills and experiences and find what it is about your past roles that you really enjoyed doing or excelled at. Find those skills and think about what other industries and professional fields can use those skills. Just because you’re in retail doesn’t mean you have to stay in that industry – if the market isn’t hiring try to find what you love and apply it to other fields.

When the pandemic is over where is the first place you would like to go?

The inside of my parents’ house and, after that, on my honeymoon.

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