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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Harris, Drake University

New City and New Memories

I was given the opportunity to join the National Millennial and Gen Z Community (NMGZ) on their trip to San Francisco, California. My experience was truly remarkable, as I met several incredible companies and made connections that will last a lifetime.

The warm welcome I received from the NMGZ Community instantly made me feel comfortable and accepted. It was incredibly fulfilling being around a group of like-minded individuals that are looking to build a network and learn more about a variety of industries within communications.

During our visit to San Francisco, we met with notable companies such as KQED, Google, Wells Fargo, and UM Media Agency. The companies offered unique experiences that encouraged critical thinking and collaboration. I enjoyed each presentation as I was able to gain a better understanding of each company’s culture and the goals that they hope to achieve in the near future.

My favorite part of the trip was meeting with Diane and Patrick Bentley, the Co-Founders of Bentley's Napa Valley Coffee. The task we were given before we arrived in Napa Valley was to create branding ideas for their company and present them.

I enjoyed the process of developing a pitch deck and presenting our ideas to the Bentleys, as this is the sector of marketing that I find most interesting. My team highlighted several topics during our presentation that were well received. We addressed the need for brand consistency, consumer engagement via social media, and the incorporation of more visual elements to catch the eye of consumers.

I enjoyed having dinner with the Bentleys later that evening. That night was truly memorable, as it was a genuine pleasure speaking with them about their company’s growth and their vision for the future.

Additionally, I enjoyed participating in the Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup Challenge. Working in teams, we prepared two dishes using mystery ingredients and a Campbell product. All our dishes were evaluated by professional chefs and the best dish was selected based on taste, presentation, and creativity.

This experience was a great team-building activity that helped bring me closer to my fellow NMGZ scholars. In the process of preparing our dishes, my teammates and I shared many laughs; the judges and peers were captivated by our creations.

It was truly amazing being in a new city with such a lively and diverse group of individuals. I learned so much about the communications industry, while also applying design thinking strategies to our daily activities.


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