When Jaimon Mcmillian ’21 (Information Systems and Supply Chain Management) and Lauren Kalo ’21 (Marketing and Entrepreneurship) secured coveted spots as Team Leaders at the close of their freshman year at UNC Greensboro, they were excited for the opportunity to develop their leadership skills. That opportunity would also launch a friendship and two exciting careers at the same multinational technology company.
As freshmen, Kalo and Mcmillian were keenly focused on accelerating their personal and professional development, making the most of every opportunity at the Bryan School of Business and Economics. The Team Leader program, part of the Bryan School Blueprint Series (additional information available on page 4), intrigued them both.
Team Leaders are sophomore-, junior-, and senior-level students who serve as peer mentors to other Bryan School students and assist industry professionals in the instruction of the Bryan School Blueprint Series. Team Leaders are responsible for creating a positive impact on the holistic well-being of the students they lead and serve while gaining practical leadership experience in a real-world setting and accelerating their personal and professional development. Winning those spots as Team Leaders also put Kalo and Mcmillian in the same orbit.
“I met Jaimon during my freshman year and immediately noticed that he was a driven, talented individual,” Kalo says.
Mcmillian remembers meeting Kalo but has a different perspective. “Lauren was a superstar from the jump. She was at the top of the leaderboard for Bryan Gold [the Bryan School undergraduate career readiness challenge] by the end of our first semester at UNCG,” Mcmillian says. “Admittedly, her fast ascension to Bryan School superstardom somewhat intimidated me as I was still trying to figure out my path at the time. Since then, we’ve definitely become friends!”
As Team Leaders for the BUS 105: Introduction to Business Skills Development course in fall 2017, their individual personalities brought value to the classroom. They were each responsible for a cohort of 50 students, helping to engage them in student organizations, encouraging them to attend events, and providing each student with weekly updates that included professional development opportunities outside of class.
“Jaimon was a natural in the classroom,” says Tyler Wiersma, assistant director of undergraduate professional development. “He created unique and engaging activities to bring our lessons to life and make the concepts understandable to students, and he also worked hard to establish a collaborative and welcoming environment for our first-year students. Students instantly gravitated to him and viewed him as a source of information and inspiration.”
Kalo’s skills complemented Mcmillian’s, according to Wiersma. “Lauren was extremely thoughtful and analytical, and she improved process-oriented items on the back end to help me and all the other Team Leaders be more efficient in our roles. Given the size of our course sections, this allowed us to provide a more comprehensive learning experience for all of our students,” he says.
After their first year as Team Leaders, Kalo and Mcmillian were promoted to Squad Leaders, providing ongoing guidance to new Team Leaders.
FOCUSING ON PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Both Kalo and Mcmillian juggled multiple responsibilities as undergraduates. Aside from serving as Team Leaders, Kalo was president of the Student Government Association, president of the North Carolina Sales Institute student business group, and part of the Chancellor’s Ambassador Program.
Mcmillian was Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity’s co-professionalism chair, campus chapter president for the Association for Information Systems, and a student data analyst.
In their junior year, their paths intertwined further as they both spoke at the NAV1GATE New Student Convocation and represented the Bryan School at the Forbes 2019 Under 30 Summit in Detroit.
“They entered college hungry to develop themselves as professionals,” Wiersma says. “Few students choose to further their professional development outside of the classroom, but Lauren and Jaimon did. They also created opportunities for their peers to grow along with them. The impact they made on the Bryan School during their time here is nothing short of remarkable.”
Now, the duo is poised to make a big impact on their first jobs after graduation. Both were recruited by Dell Technologies and have moved to Austin, Texas, to make their marks as associate inside sales representatives.
“This role excites me because it blends my interest in technology, passion for helping others, and knack for connecting with people,” Mcmillian says.
Moving to Austin doesn’t seem as daunting knowing they have each other – as well as other Bryan School alumni in the area – for support.
“When you move to a new city, it’s nice to have someone there that you have known for a while, and I truly think having Jaimon around will make Austin feel even more like home,” Kalo says.
Mcmillian agrees. “It’ll be nice to have someone to miss Bojangles with,” he laughs. “But seriously, moving across the country is a little easier when you know there’ll be at least one person who reminds you of home. One person that keeps you grounded in this big transitional moment in life.”