• Peter Rockholm

An Old Dog Can Still Learn New Tricks



If I could sum up my experience in Portland in one sentence, I would say this: an old dog can still learn some new tricks and make some new friends. Thanks to Mr. Bill Imada and the rest of the National Millenial and Gen. Z community, Portland will forever hold a special place in my heart. In a few days, I was blessed with the opportunity to break barriers, engage in some amazing conversations, and most importantly, make some new friends.


My hesitations about joining the NMC trip to Portland stemmed from my age difference compared to the other attendees. I had graduated the past summer and felt like my efforts would have been better spent on finding a job. A chance encounter in Hawaii changed my perspective.


After meeting and working with Bill on his recent trip to Hawaii, I realized that he draws you in like gravity. Once you’re there, you’re stuck. That’s the type of impact he has on you. He challenges you to look at things through a different lens, inspires you to achieve new heights, and to simply be better. I hope to one day be a leader like Bill and inspire others the way that he inspires me.


Keep Portland Weird, the slogan of the city’s tourism campaign, is a perfect reflection of my time in the city. Our group was made up of people from across the country, who had just met. We should not have been able to function as a group so quickly. But somewhere within the space of a few hours, we meshed and gelled as a group. It was impossible to tell if we’d known each other for a few hours or a few years. This resulted in a weird, unforgettable experience that will forever hold a special place in my heart.


Through this trip, I learned that no matter how old you are, you’re never too old to learn something new. If you’re willing to listen and learn, there are some amazing people in the world that can open your eyes to how big the world is! The NMC Community is the perfect medium to do so. I am excited to see what the future holds for my fellow students and the impact that they will have on the world. It only took a few days for them to impact my life. I can only imagine what we all will do in a lifetime.


I think every student, instructor, and business leader owes it to themselves to attend, host, or be a part of a National Millenial and Gen. Z event. It only took a few days, but I can irrefutably say the NMC community changed my life.


So thank you to Bill and everyone who I befriended in Portland! I hope that our paths cross in the future. Thank you to Professor Itoga for highly encouraging me to join the NMC Community. Lastly, thank you to everyone that attended the NMC Portland trip for teaching me that this old dog can still learn some new tricks.


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