By Alyssa Bedrosian

 

We’ve all heard the millennial stereotypes. Sheltered. Entitled. Addicted to their phones.

According to Jade Murphy, they’re inaccurate characterizations. Myths that she – along with college students across the country – is working to debunk.

Murphy was one of four students in the UNCG Bryan School of Business and Economics who was 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 interactions allow 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 twenty-seven university partners; UNCG joined last fall as the only North Carolina university. Murphy participated in numerous “think-tank conversations,” as well as took trips to Atlanta and Los Angeles. For the information systems major, the experience helped her growth 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 visit to Los Angeles included meetings with executives of PUMA, Nestlé USA, Walt Disney Imagineering and Warner Bros. In addition to networking with industry veterans, 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 at the Bryan School, is an adviser for UNCG’s student participants. Over the past several months, she witnessed 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 began another 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.

Murphy, who graduated in May with an information systems degree, has begun her professional career at JPMorgan Chase & Co. as an analyst in the company’s two-year Technology Analyst Program.

“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.”

Photography courtesy of Jade Murphy

Jade Murphy, who graduated from UNCG in May, filmed a mini-talk show with other National Millennial Community members at a local TV station in Los Angeles during her senior year.