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The “M” Factor: Sharing the strengths of the millennial generation

Have you heard the one about those lazy and entitled millennials? Generational stereotypes are the basis for a great deal of humor, but they can be damaging for young professionals entering the workplace. While higher education has been focused on the millennial generation for years, many in the business community are still struggling to understand these younger employees. The Bryan School is taking an active lead in promoting dialogue with and about this generation through outreach to employers and participation in the National Millennial Community.

Employer Outreach

The Office of External Affairs in the Bryan School developed a series of “Ed Talks” to enhance relationships with local businesses. One highly-requested topic is the recruitment and retention of millennials. Lizzy Tahsuda, Manager of Career & Professional Development in the Bryan School, has researched the topic and shares her expertise on how employers can best connect with and leverage the talents of millennials.

“In just a few years, millennials are projected to make up over 50% of the global workforce. It is not only important, but necessary for employers to create strategy around this generation and recognize the value millennials have to offer,” said Tahsuda. “Research shows that millennials have unique qualifications that, if honed, can be extremely advantageous to an organization. However, employers can get wrapped up in the common stereotypes of this generation, which can deter them from seeing these skills. I encourage employers to try to understand the roots behind the labels, and learn how to work with millennials rather than against them.”

“At Graham Personnel Services, we are constantly evolving our business and practices in the best effort to ensure we are attracting top millennial talent- and keeping them,” said Gary Graham, president of Graham Personnel Services. “UNCG and Lizzy Tahsuda did a phenomenal job presenting on such a crucial topic and we look forward to a continued partnership.”

National Millennial Community

The National Millennial Community (NMC) was founded in 2015 by Bill Imada, Chairman and Chief Connectivity Officer of IW Group. He felt a need to change the conversation about the millennial generation, so he sought out high-quality students from lesser-known universities who he felt deserved a voice. The Bryan School was invited to represent the state of North Carolina.

Lasse Palomaki, first-year MBA candidate; Jim Skinner, first-year MBA candidate; and Jade Murphy, a senior pursuing a BS in Information Systems were selected to represent the Bryan School. Junior Yun Kim serves as a program alternate this year, and will become a full member of the community next year. The students have participated in calls with executives from national companies including FINRA, BuzzFeed, and Bank of America. Students also have the opportunity to participate in trips to major metropolitan areas to visit a number of major companies. The students share their insights and opinions with businesses eager to understand millennials as both employee talent and potential customers.

Senior Jade Murphy has been the most active member of the NMC. She took part in a group event in Atlanta where the millennials visited and spoke with executives from Coca-Cola, UPS Capital, Edelman, and AT&T. She also traveled to Los Angeles in late January where she visited and spoke with executives at CBS Television, Warner Brothers Pictures Entertainment, Disney/ABC Television Group, Nestlé USA, and Walt Disney Imagineering.

While visiting LA Jade Murphy participated in a video panel about ways to bring the country together.

Murphy said, “Speaking with executives who genuinely care about how we as millennials receive our information and what appeals to us was very eye opening. I believe 100% that companies can definitely benefit from some of the knowledge and talent that millennials possess. I thought that becoming a part of the National Millennial Community would help change the common stereotypes and stigmas surrounding the Millennial generation – and it has!”