Written by: Kevin Trana
As an outreach and engagement manager for the U.S. Government Relations team at McDonald’s Corporation, John LoPorto spoke to the Fall 2020 Global Leaders about the networking aspects of his current role along with his previous experience.
The CHLI Advisory Council Member describes his job as very social and heavily based on the connections he establishes on behalf of McDonald’s.
Given the importance of networking in his day-to-day, I asked John how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted his ability to connect with important individuals, including influential Congressmembers.
He explained the clear pros and cons of the sudden shift to online. The pros include decreased time wasted when setting up events and the cons were the lessened quality of connection as compared to a one-on-one physical interaction.
With the presidential election occurring soon, John and his team are preparing for a potential change in government. He delved into what McDonald’s strategy would be if the Democratic nominee Vice-President Joe Biden won and how the company would adapt.
Given Biden’s negative stance on business models like McDonald’s, John emphasized the importance of leveraging the positive traits of the company such as support for the Dream Act, which aligns with Biden’s political stances. This demonstrates to the new administration that McDonald’s is a positive corporate player and should keep their current business model.
One aspect of John’s academic journey I and several other Global Leaders found fascinating was his completion of a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics.
John stressed the importance of taking chances, especially those we feel are too far-fetched. There is always a chance an opportunity will land. This is what John describes as what happened to him when he was accepted into graduate school in the United Kingdom.
The most interesting and beneficial piece of advice John gave is to work on being good storytellers. Soft skills such as communicating effectively, and portraying confidence go a long way. Skills he said are the key to his success.
He also told us to find a cause we are passionate about to create our niche. Personally, I am passionate about immigration law given my exposure to immigrant struggles during my time volunteering in my community.
With my work at Nueva Vida, an addiction rehabilitation center mostly catering to the Latino community, I am often exposed to tragic stories of deportation or split families.
Immigrants are taken advantage of by a system meant to protect the most vulnerable in our society, and one of the most common abuses is inefficient legal representation. Many of the immigrants I work with would rather choose no legal representation due to the horror stories they hear of lawyers taking advantage of others in similar situations.
As a lawyer, I believe I can help be a part of the solution by focusing on my intended niche. By planning to focus more time and resources on this topic, I will use John’s advice to convert it into my specialty.