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  • Justin Decastro

The Power of Diversity

Coming from a Cuban background, I believe that diversity is key. What better way to showcase my diversity than through a community that embodies the exact meaning of diversity itself. The National Millennial Community (NMC) is a group of millennials from all over the U.S. that hold many different backgrounds, political views, religious beliefs, values and morals. Each one of us has something unique to offer to the world, making this community a powerful, diverse force. We recently took a trip to Chicago and were fortunate enough to meet with executives from McDonald's, Leo Burnett, Ketchum, Golin, and many more.

I am a second-generation Cuban American. Growing up, I was always very interested in my Cuban culture because it is a part of who I am, what makes me different, and what makes me diverse. As I grew older, I realized the power of diversity and how important it really is to showcase and incorporate it into every experience we create. I was unsure of what to expect going into this trip— of course I was excited to meet the executives of these companies, but I never imagined I would create a lasting bond with the members of NMC. We were able to connect on many different levels and had the opportunity to share our varying opinions with one another. Visiting these companies with a diverse group of millennials was very eye-opening. I learned that companies really do care about what we, as millennials, have to say. Millennials are the future of these companies, and in some cases, are the main consumers of their products. This being the case, I think it is important that companies understand what we are looking for and desire.

During this trip, I was given insight into all areas of the marketing field, as well as how each area operates. There was one quote from McDonald’s that really resonated with me: “Diversity IS Inclusion”. I think it is essential for everyone to embrace diversity and respect other’s opinions. This creates an open dialogue that can help all businesses grow and obtain a better grasp of differing ideas. It was amazing to observe how every day is a new adventure in agency life. This sparked my enthusiasm because I love having the ability to learn and work with different clients to expand my knowledge. When given the ability to actually visit these firms, you are able to learn so much more than what you learn in a classroom. I was able to observe what they do on a day-to-day basis and this reaffirmed my commitment to pursue a career in marketing.

Overall, this trip was an amazing learning experience. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many millennials are making a real difference in the workforce. It was very satisfying to see that companies are actively seeking millennials' opinions and creating a more diverse culture within their companies. Although I did not know exactly what to expect from this trip, Chicago and the NMC far exceeded my expectations and gave me new insights on the power of diversity in the business world.

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