• Ian Ludwig, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Taking That Leap of Faith in San Francisco





This past week I had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco and represent the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the National Millennial and Gen Z Community (NMGZ).

NMGZ is a community of like-minded individuals aiming to break down stereotypes that revolve around our generation. NMGZ meets with business executives and can have open conversations with them.

This past week was the most recent venture, thirty of us came together from across the U.S. to meet with various entrepreneurs residing in San Francisco, California. We met with successful companies like KQED, Google, Wells Fargo, Back to the Roots, Bentley's Coffee, and Wine Down Media.

My favorite meeting was with the co-owner of Back to the Roots: Nikhil. Nikhil's enthusiasm for his business was evident. He started his company at the same age that I am now, which inspired me. Nikhil encouraged us not to be afraid to start new businesses and take that leap of faith. He discussed how he had taken risks to get to where he was and had failed along the way. It was encouraging to hear successful entrepreneurs share their hardships alongside their successes.

Another meeting we had the privilege of attending was Wells Fargo. We utilized design thinking to bring some new insight to their mobile banking interface during this meeting. We split off into smaller groups and were given a few questions regarding mobile banking and if it would ever fully replace in-person tellers. It was interesting to see the commonalities among my peers. We all preferred Venmo and Zelle, but we still like the in-person experience for more complicated situations. This insight was super helpful to the executives running the event, and we had some open conversations about what our generation was looking for in a bank.

Thank you to NMGZ, the businesses we met along the way, and IW group for organizing this event!





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