This blog post was written by Dawson Mann, a senior studying business administration with a minor in political science.
In the fall of 2019, Associated Students of Business (ASB) sent two representatives to the National Millennial/Gen Z Community conference in Atlanta. Club advisor Amanda White and I joined dozens of students from other universities to tour various corporations and non-profit organizations and talk with executives. The primary goal of these visits was to promote the interests of the community and work to dispel negative stereotypes regarding millennials and Gen Z.
After a grueling 12 hours of travel, our program kicked off with a taste of Atlanta at the famous Mary Mac’s Teahouse, where we were joined by highly regarded professionals of various careers associated with National Millennial/Gen Z Community organizer Bill Imada. We then began the advocacy and networking efforts with a visit to the American Cancer Society, where we participated in a focus group to help inform their outreach efforts to younger professionals. We then proceeded to visit public relations firm Porter Novelli, which helped guide the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and a number of other notable causes.
To explore the city, we were broken up into teams for a downtown scavenger hunt through Centennial Olympic Park. Not only did this serve as a fun team-building exercise, we were also able to experience the rich historical culture of Atlanta firsthand. We ended our second night with a wonderful dinner at Truva Kitchen Turkish Cuisine, where we were visited by many special guests – including the enigmatic and inspirational Kim Raeha, CEO of the Millennials Chamber of Commerce.
On our third day, we traveled to the international headquarters for the Coca-Cola company. It was at Coca-Cola that I experienced the high point of my travels in the form of a presentation by Felicia Wasson, Director of Community and Stakeholder Relations. Felicia explained how Coca-Cola made diversity and inclusion a core aspect of their company culture. We examined examples of Coca-Cola’s diverse corporate governance systems and reviewed their attempts to make celebration of diversity more than just a marketing scheme but a meaningful statement. We followed up our meeting at Coca-Cola with a series of focus groups at 10分11选5计划 Depot’s headquarters, where we were asked to make meaningful contributions to understanding customer interactions with the 10分11选5计划 Depot website. For our final group dinner, we enjoyed a nearly 15-course dinner at Char Korean BBQ.
Our trip ended with one last expedition to the World of Coca-Cola museum, where we sampled soft drink offerings from around the globe. I was partial to the bitter citrus drink Beverly, which had few fans and was even called “horrendous” by Coca-Cola’s leadership. We spent our last night exploring the city on our own and were left in awe by the sprawling city landscape.
I am extremely honored and humbled to have been asked by ASB to partake in this wonderful experience. National Millennial/Gen Z Community conferences are a fantastic display of community and a great opportunity for networking and advocacy for our generations. I am enormously grateful to SOM, ASB, Bill Imada and the whole of the National Millennial/Gen Z Community for the opportunity to represent our school at such an inspiring conference.