We are told Millennials are a generation who lack ambition -- they wear hoodies (if and when they go into the office), check Twitter, and go home early. I beg to differ. Not all of the students in my Career Boot Camp were Millennials - some participants were returning to the workforce or changing careers - but all showed up on a summer's day eager to learn about building their resume, interviewing, networking and branding. Getting to know them gave me confidence about our future workforce.... they rocked it!
During the time I spent with Boot Camp students I heard many stories about their paths to college. Some immigrated to the USA as children. They learned English as they were assimilating into an American school, often while their families were facing financial hardship. Many are still committed to helping their parents pay rent or even survive bankruptcy, working full time while they go to school.
One student I spoke with has a nearly one hour commute each way, via pubic transportation. One survived cancer and decided to go back to school in nursing to give back. Another waited for surgery (pre-Obama care) because the family did not have health insurance -- and lost her job while she was recovering. What did she do? Started looking for another position, even while she was on crutches!
Were they angry, bitter, afraid? No! They embody the word persist. They are diligent, determined, and, to keep with the alliteration, delightful -- they laugh a lot (and I'm not that funny!)
They were thirsty for knowledge about how to connect with the workplace, and willing to take on whatever task I suggested would prepare them. They were eager to speak with employers and willing to show up for a networking interview if it might lead to a job opportunity.
And most of all, as you can see from the pictures of their "Brand You! Sculpture," the students know who they are, and want they want to accomplish in the world.
And what about you? If you have a chance, next time you are at a drug or variety store, pick up some Play-doh. Take a few minutes to design your own brand sculpture. Don't think too much about the outcome, just let your left brain have fun shaping your three-dimensional brand identity. When you finish stand back and take a look. What does your sculpture, and your left brain, tell you about yourself?
Many thanks to the students, and Julia, Arielle, Molly K, Donna, and Granville and those who led this class from within (you know who you are) ... I couldn't have done it without you!
P.S. Sorry I only had room for representative sculptures, they were all unique, creative, and powerful representations of motivated, talented future professionals.