• Alexmary Fayiga, University of Florida

You Don't Have to Do This Alone




My faculty advisor introduced me to the National Millennial and Gen Z Community (NMGZ) because of my performance in my Principles of Public Relations class at the University of Florida.


At the time, my goal was to determine if public relations was the right field for me. Now, however, I am studying media production, management, and technology, but I have still learned so much from being a part of NMGZ."


When I accepted the invitation to join NMGZ’s trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, I was worried I would feel left out. I haven’t completed an internship at an advertising agency, worked at a marketing firm, or started my own business. I realized, however, that just because my interests and experiences are different, doesn’t mean I can’t gain valuable insights from my fellow NMGZ members and the businesses we visited. I realized this when we had an opportunity to visit CGI Consulting, an IT solutions and business consulting service firm.


CGI did something meaningful that set them apart from other companies.


CGI took the phrase “show, don’t tell” and ran with it. With a simple request of connecting six dots with four straight lines on paper without lifting your pen or retracing, I saw how CGI valued innovators and design-thinking. Rather than talking about the CGI offerings, they gave us a task where we placed sticky notes on a wall to determine what we, GenZers and young Millennials, wanted within a company's culture.


I felt excited looking at the wall and seeing how other members related to me. For example, I’m not the only person who would love standing up and being at a treadmill desk! With these notes, we narrowed down and categorized everyone’s wishes and requests into groups and took votes to determine the group’s top priorities. After our experience, CGI listed what benefits they have and how they satisfied our needs.


At CGI, I learned valuable information I could take anywhere in the workforce. I know what I should look for in a company and what a company looks for in me. I can see myself working at a company like CGI and not feeling held back. I also felt relieved and excited learning that I’m not all that different from everyone else in the NMGZ community.


Now as much as I loved CGI, I need to give some credit to another experience that made this trip special: We’re Not Really Strangers, a card game brought by one of the members, Brendon Brown. It allowed some of us to grow closer on the last night of the trip, and I got to learn about Joshua Harris’s short film and was inspired by Merrah Harris’sdrive.


I gained meaningful friendships and companions on this trip who were going through, or have gone through, the same things as me. They offered themselves up not only as resources but as friends willing to hear each other out.


I may not know where I’ll be in two years once I graduate, but I know that wherever I go, the connections and lessons I’ve learned from this community and this trip will help me.


I want to do great things and push myself like my fellow NMGZ members. Thank you for making me feel like I can thrive in this world.


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