The 1984 revival of Jeopardy! known as America’s favorite quiz show, first aired with Alex Trebek in 1984. My grandparents loved the show. From 7:30-8:00pm every weekday night, they sat down to battle it out and see who could correctly answer the most questions. It is a game show that attracts the young and older. But it is more than a game show. We have come to fully believe Alex Trebek, a beloved television icon, was in our living room for the entirety of the show. Sadly, he passed in November 2020 after filming his final episodes two weeks earlier. His loss was felt throughout the television industry and across the country and globe.
Staying with the entertainment mantra “the show must go on” everyone was eager to see who would be anointed the new host. Well, we learned, but perhaps not surprisingly, these would be big shoes to fill and guests hosts included former champ, Ken Jennings, news anchors like Katie Couric, Bill Whitaker and Anderson Cooper to prominent TV figures like Joe Buck or Dr. Oz and even NFL Green Bay Packers Quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.
Just a short time ago, Mike Richards, longtime producer of the show, quit his newly appointed role as Jeopardy! game show host after nine days and it was announced today that he will be leaving the show entirely. Evidently, Mr. Richards had made some inappropriate comments in the past. As a young professional, eagerly awaiting to enter the work force, there are some important lessons here. Today, we live in a society where all eyes are watching, and ears are listening. What we say and do matters, now and for the rest of our lives. My generation has a responsibility and opportunity to ensure the work force (and beyond) promotes on merit, not color or gender. That discrimination is unacceptable. I look forward to a positively evolving world.
My internship this summer allowed me to focus on a form of investment research, ESG investing, which embraces “companies that act well, do well”. ESG stands for Environment, Social and Governance— or as I call it, smart rules for running a smart business. As an example, I have learned corporate boards diversified among color and gender will tend to have lower employee turnover, strengthening competitive advantages, increased customer loyalty and brand value. And from a shareholder’s perspective its noteworthy that companies who emphasize ESG practices tend to see their stock price suffer less during market downturns and during periods of sharp, negative market volatility.
As young people in the business world, our reputation is something that we can mold and develop. I plan on choosing smart role models and making conscience decisions to do the right thing. And as an International Business major I want to find an employer that shares these beliefs.
Alex Trebek had a stellar reputation. He was a hard worker who led a successful career in front of millions of people on the television every weekday. Okay, maybe they filmed five episodes a day and he only worked about 40 days a year, but you get the point – People loved to watch him and appreciated his quick humor, silly antics, and the love of his job.
Borrowing from Alex Trebek I would humbly say…. And the answer is…be aware of how you are living your life because people are watching and listening.
Would Alex be a good mentor? Absolutely!
Author: Caroline McManus