The National Millennial Community (NMC), a progressive and diverse group of millennials that works to dispel negative stereotypes about the generation and represents the 80 million young people in this country, recently held tank-style discussions on topics related to the success of today’s multicultural millennials.
The community’s members present diversity in ethnicity, geographic location, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion and more. The National Millennial Community created these mobile think tanks in an effort to understand what networking, personal branding and searching for jobs means for all millennials, factoring in the unique challenges facing that generation.
Precious Angel Smith, one of the program participants, said that she’s working to dispel the negative stereotypes that millennials don’t understand the importance of working hard and that they’re too obsessed with technology to engage with the world around them.
Smith said that it can be hard searching for jobs and networking as a Black millennial.
“Being Black sets me apart as it is, then when you add the fact that I’m a woman and a millennial, that’s when things get sticky,” said Smith. “Because of those three attributes, I constantly find myself having to go the extra mile and surpass the expectations that have been predetermined for me.”
Smith continued: “I’ve learned that in this world, being a Black millennial will never be easy, I will have to continue to work three times as hard as [White men]. However, one thing I will never do is jeopardize my morals and values in an attempt to be accepted in the workforce.”
Xavier Robertson said that sometimes millennials are stereotyped for lacking a strong work ethic.
“This is a misunderstanding,” said Robertson. “It’s not that we don’t like to work, it’s that we like to do work that matters and for people that care.”
Robertson continued: “We want to make an impact and we want to be respected. Millennials want to be challenged and inspired on a daily basis, so that we can maximize our potential.”
During the Seattle trip, vehicles were provided to the millennials to use as a mobile working space. The 4G LTE Wi-Fi within the vehicle allowed the teams (up to seven devices) to connect to the Internet, research necessary information and collaborate on their findings. The vehicles were equipped with a printer, coffee machine and other office gadgets that were plugged into the 12-volt outlet in the rear seats. Once each team arrived at their destination, the front passenger seat folded down, providing a completely flat working desk for laptops, tablets or writing.
Following the think tanks, the National Millennial Community participants traveled to a central location and crafted a tool kit designed to help their peers find jobs and network more effectively.
Smith said that as a member of the National Millennial Community, she has benefitted in ways that she could have never imagined. Smith said that she has not only traveled to different states to share different perspectives as a millennial, she has also had the opportunity to meet CEOs and owners of major corporations.
Robertson agreed that the experiences provided through the National Millennial Community are life-changing.
“The National Millennial Community is an awesome group of diverse individuals working to inform people about the misconceptions about millennials,” said Robertson. “This community not only assembles millennials from around the country to talk about these issues, but we also had the opportunity to talk face to face with the leaders of influential brands in the United States.”
Robertson continued: “We are able to have a direct impact on the conversation about us. Very few times are there opportunities where you can sit down and have conversations that can impact the world and through NMC, we can do that.”