One of the great rewards that emerge from the intentional and sacrificial practice of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during Lent is the clarity and perspective we gain on our lives, especially our priorities.
For most aspiring businessmen climbing the corporate ladder today, it might appear to make sense to sacrifice family time to further their career. But for Christendom alum, Jacob Meza, his decision to put his faith and family above his career led to his advancement as a corporate director for one of the area’s largest healthcare systems.
“I was upfront in the interview process that if they were looking for someone who would put their job first, potentially working 70 plus hours a week, I wasn’t their candidate,” Jacob recalled. “It was a non-negotiable deal for me that, aside from special projects, I needed to be home for dinner with my family and be present to my four children. I told them I would give them a 100% dedication to get the job done, but that long hours could not interfere with my family. Needless to say, it resonated, they respected my priorities, and they hired me.”
Six years into the job, Jacob now directs all of the healthcare system’s outpatient urgent care and occupation health operations. His division serves over 70,000 patients a year while employing more than 100 people. Jacob is directly responsible for ensuring outpatient clinic growth, hiring quality physicians, and keeping operations financially viable. In spite of all this growing responsibility, Jacob has stayed true to his values.
And his commitment has not been unnoticed. “98 percent of the time, I’m home for dinner during the week,” Jacob shared. “At work, every person on my staff knows that my faith and my family come first. It’s very counter-cultural to live out the Catholic faith in a secular world. It’s counter-cultural to have a picture of the Holy Family on my desk or have four children in my early 30s or to admire my wife who stays home to raise and educate our children. But I think we’re called to swim upstream, it makes us stronger.”
“Christendom provided me with a solid foundation, it taught me not just what, but how, to think,” Jacob expressed. “To this day, my Logic class with Dr. Cuddeback continues to influence how I negotiate contracts or distinguish between arguments made out of passion versus sound logic.” It was this logic that helped him remove the option of contraception from the urgent cares within the healthcare system. Jacob was able to show that the urgent care physicians do not provide the follow-up care required by contraceptive prescriptions and thus, it would be bad practice to continue making contraceptives available, creating risk to patients. The facilities no longer offer contraception. Jacob credits his education and unique formation at Christendom College as one of the main reasons he is who he is today.
“My time at Christendom not only provided me with the education I needed to thrive in my career, but it also immersed me in a very sacramental and faithful Catholic community that showed me I wasn’t the only one aspiring to love and follow our Lord.”
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