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  • By: D'Anthony Jackson

Words of Wisdom from Seven Industry Leaders

A few months ago millennials from universities across the country joined together with one goal, to change the conversation about our generation. While shifting the dialogue with industry leaders we have gained valuable advice in the process.

We’ve all heard stereotypes about millennials, from laziness to entitlement. My peers and I recognize the extent of untruthfulness and are taking opportunities to transition false perceptions of millennials to those of exemplary work ethic, innovation, creativity and more accurate associations.

We know that these are not true for all millennials and we want to turn those stereotypes into “they are hard workers,” “they are innovators,” and “they are creators.”

Although I’ve taken many insights from more than a dozen conversations, I’ve shared some of my favorite words of wisdom that can be applied in personal and professional settings.

1. “When you start out, you probably are putting a deeper investment into career, but that doesn’t mean that you have to let the other things go. [Referring to family, friends, & personal life] It doesn’t happen by accident so you have to carefully manage your relationships with your family, friends, and your relationships with your community. Whether that is played out by volunteerism or however you’re engaged on whatever level that is.”

Paula Kerger

Chief Executive Officer of PBS

2. “School is about you and not about us. It’s about you discovering your interests and passions and pursuing them. Then having a chance to grow and get exposed to new thinking, your peers and their way of thinking. Also, learning how to learn and learn how to work in teams, engage with each other, respect diversity, and get the best results.”

Matt Egol,

Chief Digital Strategy Lead at Price Water House Coopers

3. “I try to encourage people to experiment with their life and try new things so their creativity won’t be stifled, but we work with a lot of people who have been doing things the same way a long time. In my opinion, if you really believe in something, whether it’s an idea or something about yourself, I think you really have to go for it, and convince people that it makes sense. If you get a no, figure out the best way to get a yes.”

Fred Cook,

Chief Executive Officer of Golin

4. “Pay attention to detail. What I find is, a lot of people can’t write like they used to. We live in this world of short, more abrupt email messages and texting. The art of writing has been some what lost unfortunately.”

Bill Duggan

Group Executive VP of Association of National Advertisers

5. “While sending your resume is important, relationships are probably the driver in helping you get in the door. In addition to sending resumes, the extent of you knowing someone in the industry is very important. Also, applying for internships and being open is very important. A hard balancing act is knowing what you want to do a little early in your career.”

Kiko Washington,

Executive VP of Worldwide Human Resources at Warner Bros Entertainment

6. “Be wise and recruit the firm, rather than wait for the firm to recruit you. Perhaps you did that when you were looking for the right college or university to attend. The same thought process applies. If you do your homework and you get to know what a company is all about, you get an appreciation for the leadership and the kind of people and talent that it has.”

Andy Polansky

Chief Executive Officer of Weber Shandwick

7. “Now it’s a lot easier than it was when I was in my twenties starting straight out of college. I just never thought of myself of a female or not. It was just bring it. Bring your best ideas and really bring them forward. My biggest advice would be to follow your passion because if you’re really into something it gives you a lot of confidence. Confidence is something that you cannot underwrite and you can’t underestimate. Your passion for something and your confidence is what’s going to make you successful.”

Jackie Hernandez

Chief Marketing Officer of NBC Universal Hispanic Group

What industry leaders and mentors have impacted your life through insightful words of wisdom?

Continue the conversation using the hashtag #MillennialCom.”

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