We’ve all heard the millennial stereotypes.
Sheltered. Entitled. Addicted to their phones.
According to UNCG senior Jade Murphy, they’re inaccurate characterizations. Myths that she – along with college students across the country – is working to debunk.
Murphy is one of four UNCG students who is part of the National Millennial Community, a group of young thinkers who are changing the conversation about their generation and challenging misconceptions.
Founded in 2015, the group connects corporate, governmental and nonprofit executives with college students via conference calls and in-person meetings. These unique interactions allow for millennials to serve as “reverse-mentors” for top executives who are eager to bridge the generation gap. At the same time, millennials have an opportunity to network with and learn from seasoned professionals.
Currently, the community has 27 university partners. UNCG joined last fall as the only North Carolina university.
Since joining, Murphy has participated in numerous “think-tank conversations,” as well as trips to Atlanta and Los Angeles. For the information systems major, the experience has helped her growth both personally and professionally.
“I’m an introvert, so sometimes it’s difficult for me to step out of my shell and make connections,” she said. “Being part of the community has opened me up. I now have the confidence to speak up and voice my opinion.”
Murphy’s recent visit to Los Angeles included meetings with executives of PUMA, Nestlé USA, Walt Disney Imagineering and Warner Bros. Not only did she have the opportunity to network with industry veterans, but she also formed strong relationships with her peers.
“Knowing that I have connections all over the United States is great,” she said. “We’re like one big family.”
Lizzy Tahsuda, manager of career and professional development in the Bryan School of Business and Economics, serves as an adviser for UNCG’s student participants. Over the past six months, Tahsuda has witnessed firsthand the value of the National Millennial Community.
“Our members have the chance to travel to major metropolitan cities to meet with potential employers, learn about specific companies and industries, and have open dialogue about topics such as generational differences, diversity and inclusion, and career advice,” she said. “It’s not just a resume builder – participation opens the door for amazing opportunities for years to come.”
In April, the Bryan School will once again open the application process for students interested in participating. The school is looking for students with high levels of professionalism and initiative, as well as exceptional communication skills.
As for Murphy, she’s focused on graduating in May and then beginning her career with JPMorgan Chase & Co. as an analyst in the company’s two-year Technology Analyst Program.
And with her newfound confidence and professional connections across the country, Murphy’s more prepared than ever for the next chapter.
“I’ve learned a lot about the dynamics of the corporate world, what is expected and how to transition to the workforce,” she said. “I’m ready to get some hands-on experience and really enjoy what I’m doing.”
Originally published at https://newsandfeatures.uncg.edu/debunking-millennial-myths/ on February 22, 2017.
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University of North Carolina at Greensboro Communications.
Photography provided by Jade Murphy.