Millennial View: Bridging the Gap with David Harry Stewart

By: Trevor Gormley

David Harry Stewart, the founding partner of the company AGEIST, truly brings life to the saying “a picture is worth one thousand words”. I met David through Millennial View’s partnership with Catherine O’Connell to bring together people from all walks of life with a hyper-focus on age. David and I were paired together for this campaign. I was interested and puzzled when I found out that I would be talking with a photographer. Not only do I know nothing about photography but I struggle to keep my finger out of the way when taking a picture on my iPhone. After getting to know David, I learned that he is more than just a talented photographer.  He is also a talented listener, speaker and storyteller who cares deeply about people and his generation. 

Before David and I spoke, I discovered that he recently did a feature on Maye Musk, mother of one of my favorite influencers – Elon Musk. I was hooked. The initial peak into the profile, led to me perusing through nearly all his previous work. His work was fascinating, and I became more eager to chat with him.

Our call started off rather confusing. Neither one of us knew completely the goal of the campaign and how we fit, but we knew that for Catherine, it would be important to develop content that could provide value. After the initial and awkward, “hi, nice to meet you,” the conversation began to flow with powerful chatter about the changing world around us, and I learned about the immense value David adds in his work and how his success catapulted him into his current position.

AGEIST’s tag line is in tiny print under its main logo on its website: “live fast die old”. However, as a young millennial in my twenties, I struggle to relate to this message, and David filled me in to why. He told me there are many things that you just can’t know until you reached my age. Though reluctant at first, I must admit, he is right.  Our outlooks on the world change over the course of our lives.  At any given age, there are different things we deem as important, meaningful or stressful. When I look back on my life in high school and college, things that seemed paramount at the time are only a small fraction of things that truly matter to me now.

Experiences, inarguably, shape the way we see the world. David is extremely talented at providing a platform for individuals to tell their stories in a powerful way and share how they arrived at their outlook on life today. I remember going through his profiles and wondering how he could get that sort of insightful information out of people.  His answer was simple: provide a comfortable environment and just ask questions they have probably never been asked before. He recalled multiple instances when he was interviewing someone and they remarked, “Wow, I have no idea. No one has ever asked me that before.”

After my conversation with David, I had many key takeaways.  Below are just a couple.

1.       Ask good, thoughtful questions.

2.       Listen intensely.

Both points above are qualities many people struggle with today.  It seems in the rush of life, it can be difficult to take the time to genuinely get to know someone. However, meaningful relationships and valuable insight to life begin with these two important aspects – asking and listening.

This campaign, Bridging the Gap, is more powerful than meets the eye. People like David create content and information valuable to people from all walks of life – young and old. Furthermore, he doesn’t pretend to be an all-knowing man that has a solution to fix everyone’s problems. Rather, he approachesa problem logically and provides guidance to an answer based on that person’s thoughts. David creates the “ask” that allows information to come organically from the heart. What he and his team are doing truly bridges the gap around age and I am excited to continue to build a relationship around this mission.

Millennial Perspective: Tennessee Politics in Focus

By: Whitney Smith 


Last week, the federal government came much closer than usual to Tennessee's conservative politics when President Trump was in town. Whether you were left out cold with the rest of the President's supporters who couldn't make it into the auditorium or headed downtown for a good old-fashioned protest, chances are a little extra government changed your routine. Luckily, we all got to catch the highlights on twitter.


This week, you can be prepared for business as usual when the 110th Tennessee General Assembly meets for another week of budget hearings, committee meetings, and floor sessions. Although most of the legislators are at least 40 (and then some), they still have plenty on the docket this week affecting millennials.


So take a break from grieving the loss of your busted bracket and get ready to focus on what’s ahead. Here are a few areas to keep your young eyes open for in Tennessee politics this week:


Innovation and Technology:

In very innovative news, this week both chambers' transportation committees will hear testimony on two bills dealing with the legalization of autonomous vehicles on public roads and allowing vehicles to operate without a driver present. These bills comes only months after Nashville was among the five cities worldwide added to the Bloomberg Aspen Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles. These bills passing through committees is not just a game changer for the disabled and elderly, but also a step towards innovation for autonomous vehicles and a milestone for the state's tech industry.


Human Rights:

Senator Mark Green's (read: Secretary Green read: Governor Green) bill codifying punishment for sanctuary cities by withholding state funding will begin to make its way through state and local government committee this week. This political move was introduced the day after President Trump signed an executive order with a similar message from a federal level. Despite the polarizing rhetoric playing out through the media in recent months regarding refugees, a Brookings Institution poll found that 59% of Americans support admitting refugees from the Middle East. Comparatively, 68% of millennials support the idea.


One of the five Democratic senators — and one of the six female senators — is sponsoring "Tennessee Pay Equality Act" set to be heard in committees in both chambers. The bill updates the current law that allows for wage differences between employees of different genders "based on a seniority system, a merit system, a system that measures earnings by quality or quantity of production, or any other reasonable differential that is based on a factor other than sex." While there are several facets of this legislation, the focus of this bill would restrict the "other reasonable differentials" to concrete factors such as training, experience and education. Nielsen's polling explored how millennial women are more optimistic about closing the wage gap in their lifetime than previous generations of women. This move in Tennessee brings millennial women one step closer to achieving equality by putting stricter regulations on workplace discrimination.


Unlike the "Natural Marriage Defense Act," Tennessee has some legislation in judiciary committee this week with the intent of making it easier to get married. The bill would allow a member of the armed forces deployed to another country to apply for a marriage license in Tennessee. As the bill was originally introduced, the serviceperson would have a stunt double stand in for them during the marriage ceremony. The bill has now been amended to allow marriage ceremonies over video chat, no stand in's necessary. Although the bill's sponsor assumed the military members seeking marriage would be a "he" each time he referenced the member in previous committees, that wasn't the issue at hand... Tune into committee this week to see if the sexist language makes a reappearance.


4 Millennial Myths to Forget Pt.2

Author: Blake Hodges

5. Millennials only care about themselves

I've heard it all before:

     -“millennials only think about themselves” 

     -“millennials are the self-obsessed selfie generation.” I can understand where these stereotypes stem from. With the internet full of selfies and self-promotional statuses, this stereotype is understandable. As much as millennials may want everyone to look at their faces, they are also looking out for the common good. 

     -90% of millennials will switch brands when they find a company that supports a cause              they believe in. 

     -66% of millennials are willing to pay for sustainable brands. 

Thus, millennials seek out companies that produce sustainable products. This shows how millennials only want to put their money behind companies that will make the world a better place for future generations. Furthermore, millennials want to support companies monetarily that support causes. Therefore, the “self-obsessed selfie generation” seems to care a lot about supporting companies that help out the present populace and the future generations to come. 



6. Millennials don't care about politics


 Leading up to the 2016 election, Facebook news feeds were full of articles saying something along the lines of “millennials could rock the election but will they vote?” This was a valid question. This was the first time the entire millennial group could all vote in the presidential election. In fact, millennials now make up an equal piece of the electorate as Gen X. In the end, 24 million millennials voted in 2016. While millennials came out in fewer numbers than Gen X, the signs are there for political involvement. In fact, as demographics age, more of them vote. So forget the myth that millennials “can’t even” when it comes to politics. There are 24 million reasons to see otherwise. 



7. Millennials are lazy


"They don't want to do it the right way." Millennials have grown up with apps flooding their phones, and technology continuously advancing to where things are alway getting easier. Google "how to hack (insert anything)" and you will find a plethora of articles showing how to do something quicker or better. Now, take this "we can do things quicker" mindset and apply it to the workforce. Millennials are constantly striving to find more efficient ways to work, and this can be perceived as laziness or an unwillingness to put in the time. In fact, the tendency to getting things done quicker to be lazy can't be that bad when Bill Gates recognizes it, "I choose a lazy person to do a hard job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it." Thus, millennials aren't lazy, they're efficient. 



8. Millennials want a "Share Economy" 


     Some really unique companies have gained prominence over the past few years, and a great deal of their success comes from the millennials. Airbnb’s growth was up 89% in July of this year and most of that success was driven by their millennial customers. Furthermore, at least half of millennials have used Uber before and are the largest demographic to utilize the ride sharing app. These factors have lead the internet to publish a plethora of articles talking about millennials creating the “share economy”. Analysts claim that millennials may want to share things indefinitely and might never purchase a car. Why buy a car you have to maintenance when you can summon one on command? We shouldn't get ahead of ourselves, though. Millennials are simply in this position because they can’t afford these big ticket items as much as the generations before them. Is it any wonder millennials have taken to these services so much? They can now have a piece of the life they can’t quite afford just yet. While these companies have enjoyed a robust customer base with the millennials, don’t expect that to hold constant forever. Once millennials can afford these items, these companies will start to see the slope of their growth curve start to trend downward. In addition to jobs, another factor here is marriage. Millennials are on pace to become the most educated generation ever and this comes with a cost. Since the majority of this group have put off marriage as they pursue their degrees, the rise of these share apps make even more sense. Summoning a random stranger to drive you isn’t that bad if you are by yourself or with your friends, but do you see millennials taking their kids in car seats to get in an Uber? Thus, millennials will not be the drivers of the “share community” forever. They are simply in a transitionary period and a few companies have jumped in at the right time to profit from this. 


Next week we shall continue this series on millennial myths. Believe me, there are a ton of myths left to dispel. 



4 Millennial Myths to Forget Pt.1

Author: Blake Hodges

Ever make a joke about how (insert here) millennials are? The internet is flooded with millennial stereotypes that simply aren't true. Thus, here are four myths that can be forgotten as we continue to debunk the most generalized generation. 


1.Millennials refuse to grow up


     Remember when everything started to fall to pieces in 2008? The economy has started to limp back to life, but the high paying jobs that would normally be available to post-college grads are not as high as they use to be. Thus, millennials are putting off large purchases like cars and homes and deferring monumental life experiences like marriage and children.  In fact, 90% of people ages 18-40 have said that the student loan debt they carry has delayed them from making some of life's biggest milestones.


“Millennials just sit in their parent's houses and do nothing.”


“They aren’t responsible.” 


I’m sick of this sentiment and would like to offer an alternative perspective. Millennials are being responsible adults by delaying these things rather than rushing into them without the jobs to support these phases of life.  Think of this description for a second,

“A person that understands the responsibility of student loans and makes financial decisions accordingly to ensure they do not take on to much.” Sounds like a responsible adult rather than an adult shrinking from responsibility.




2. Millennials have no loyalty


     The generation that never sticks around a job for long. The generation that can’t make plans or keep to a schedule. Every day a new way of saying “Millennials have no loyalty” passes through my inbox. However, a new study has reported that 50.5% of millennials claim to be extremely loyal to their brands. In fact, millennials were found to rank the highest out of all the age demographics when it came to brand loyalty. If a millennial loves your brand, they will share your message via social, post about their experience with your company, and rave to their friends about “this place/thing they have to try”. If a millennial doesn’t love your company, don’t expect to see them again. Forget the noise that tries to claim millennials have zero loyalty and instead focus on ways to earn their loyalty. 




3. Millennials want trophies for everything


     Millennials get instant feedback on everything they do. Turn in a test? Grade within a few days. Post a photo online? “Likes” coming in within in minutes or even seconds. Millennials want to know how they are doing and thus they want feedback on if they should keep course or adjust their sails. The business world wants to say millennials all want a trophy for every assignment done. Don’t let this crazed millennial generalization fool you. Millennials don’t think they should get a trophy for sending an email. Instead, they seek guidance and insight so they can continuously improve. And remember, millennials weren't the ones passing out the participation trophies at soccer games. That was Gen X & the Baby Boomers. So who is really to blame for this myth existing? 




4. Millennials are killing brick and mortar stores


     The A.T. Kearney Omnichannel Shopping Preferences Study firm gathered data from 2,500 shoppers from every demographic in the market: Gen-Z, Gen-Y, Gen-X, Baby Boomers, and senior citizens. While many consumers enjoy the ease of purchasing online, retail stores are far from going extinct. 94% of participants preferred going to a physical store over purchasing on Amazon or Ebay. With 94% of retail sales still coming from brick and mortar stores, it is clear millennials are far from “killing retail”. This should come as no surprise. Millennials seek experiences and brick and mortar stores still win overwhelmingly in that area compared to online experiences. This competition advantage will be tough for online companies to compete with and should give pause to the accusation that millennials will kill brick and mortar stores. 


Next week we shall continue this series on millennial myths. Believe me, there are a ton of myths left to dispel. 




Behind the Lens: A Millennial View on the Election

Author: Jason Puhr

The day of reckoning has almost arrived. Election day, 2016. The day either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will (likely) take to the White House as the new President of the United States of America. It’s been a long, tiring election season. I’ve covered a Hillary Clinton rally at 6 in the morning. At a Donald Trump rally, I was personally escorted out of a building by the U.S. Secret Service. I’ve met old, white men who have been Republicans since birth, and they are voting for Clinton. I’ve met young, black men who voted for President Barack Obama, and they are voting for Trump.

As a reporter I have seen the many highs and many lows of our country during the past year, and let me tell you something; there are some really great people in our country. There are people who are educated. Who are informed. Who know what their candidate stands for and know why they stand with him/her. But, for every great person there’s another who cares more about each candidate's dirty laundry than they do policy, intent, or plans for our nation.

When I say this to people I’m told that if I / my station would cover those topics, then they would be informed. The media glorifies the garbage, they say. They exacerbate the truth, they say.

The problem here though, lies not in the media or the coverage. (Most of the time.)

It lies in the consumer and the source.

If you're reading this article you probably get News online. You also probably get at least some of your news from social media. In a 2016 study by the Pew Research Foundation (1) a survey found that 62% of adult Americans get news on Social Media. Can you believe that! Six out of 10 American adults get news on social media. That’s a huge percentage! But, can social media news always be trusted? Many times, yes. But not always.

As a reporter, I have one big question for anyone getting their news mostly from social media: Did you read beyond the headline?

Headlines are great, and great stations employ people just to write headlines. In the TV world’s case, it’s teases; but headlines don’t tell you the whole story. They give you a snippet. A glimpse. Enough to grab your attention, and sometimes form your opinion.

The headline reading HILLARY CLINTON EMAIL CASE REOPENED gets your attention. But, did you read the article to see why? Did you see it started with an investigation into former Congressman Anthony Weiner? Weiner recently separated from top Clinton aide Huma Abedin

because of a sexting scandal. Abedin sent emails that were questioned and later cleared.

Yes, the truth is that the email case was reopened, but there’s more to it. Headlines on social media lead to shares and likes and comments, but not always information. Have you ever shared an article on your Facebook wall before reading it? If you have, you’re not alone.

Donald Trump in particular has filled social media with crazy quotes and noise all election season. Has it done him more harm than good? We’ll see soon. But, he’s definitely grabbed attention.

The flip side to this is why do News organizations cover these things? Why do we tell you every time a new email is found? Why do we tell you every time Trump says something racist? Or threatens nuclear warfare? Or gets rejected by a baby?

We do so because we exist to compete for your attention, and you eat up all the headlines. Investigative reporting takes time. Time to do and time to read. But a headline, that takes just a second of your time.  I often refer to my nitch in News as the “doom and gloom” beat. I’m the morning reporter, and almost every morning I cover a fire, or a car crash or a deadly shooting. At every story I ask someone, the police chief, the neighbor, anyone, what would you like us to cover more often? Every time I hear one of two answers: Investigative pieces or Personal stories.

So, I do those stories. I find them. I write them. I report them. I post them.

The response is about 2 likes on facebook and no retweets on twitter.

On the other hand, if I post a live update from a scene titled “4 people shot, 1 killed,” it will get shared 12 times and viewed more than 1000 times.

Before election day, make sure you’re informed. Don’t get consumed by the gossip, the anger or the opinions. Find the facts from a credible source. National Public Radio is a great, reliable one. And, they’ve broken down what both candidates stand for on major issues.



As far as your news goes, you can change what you see. It all starts with you and what news you consume. It continues with me and what news I cover. But the industry will continue to give you what you want and what you click on. Every click is monitored. Every view is documented.

The days of “If it bleeds, it leads” can go away. Death and destruction don’t have to control your news casts. That dominated the 70’s and the 80’s and the 90’s. But a new age of journalism is upon us. Younger reporters are flooding into the field. We don’t want to tell you those stories, but we will if you do.


  1. Gottfried, Jeffrey, and Elisa Shearer. "News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016." Pew Research Centers Journalism Project RSS. N.p., 2016. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.


About the Author: Jason Puhr is a millennial TV Reporter / Journalist for FOX 45 news and ABC 22 news in Dayton, Ohio. He attended Ball State University from 2011 to 2015 where he graduated Cume Laude with a double major in Telecommunications and Journalism, and an honors college diploma. In college he worked as a reporter and board operator for Indiana Public Radio, a National Public Radio affiliate station. He also lettered as a member of the Ball State Football Team.

3 Reasons Millennials Will Abandon Your Company

Author: Blake Hodges

1. Lack Feedback

There are a couple of factors that have gone into driving millennials to the be type of people who depend and expect a steady stream of feedback. First, this is the generation that is use to receiving grades with their score and critiques at the click of a button. If they took a test that morning in college, there is a good chance they had all the feedback on that grade uploaded to their college’s educational hub the same night. Secondly, this generation’s soul is fueled by the constant chatter of their cell phones. If they are going to be going out with friends that night, plans can be made in an instant via text. There is no need to set things up long in advance when the entire friend group can correspond in the group message rapidly. Millennials want feedback 50% more often than other employees. Does your organization have a system in place to ensure they are receiving this?

Conclusion: Millennials have always had quick feedback on the quality of their work and expect rapid communication. Thus, feedback on their performance must be given regularly rather than quarterly. This is an immense benefit to businesses if they will realize they have a workforce ready for direction and constructive criticism.


2. Lack of Leadership Development

Millennials were conditioned to believe that leadership skills were the greatest thing they could possibly develop. Want to get into a good college and get a good job? Better join some extracurricular clubs in high school to ensure your college resume is filled with leadership experience! With 71% of millennials planning to leave their job in the next two years because of their leadership skills being underdeveloped, it is clear that the training to become leaders hasn’t left the millennial mindset.

Conclusion: Companies have to find a way to give millennials leadership opportunities early on to ensure employee retention.



3. Lack of Flexibility

The broad phases of the economy have brought us to an interesting position. With the industrial age, everyone needed to show up to work to ensure products were being made. These jobs were called the “blue collar” jobs and the next phase came with the “white collar” jobs. After more and more jobs started to develop where people worked in offices on their computers, the same rigid schedule stayed in place but the work was on a computer rather than a production line. The millennials now want to be the “no collar” generation. They can unplug their laptops from the company, wear a tee-shirt, and work from home just as easily as they could in the office. With 75% of millennial employees wanting to work from home more, it is clear that the rigid 9-5 that build the economy is now hampering it.

Conclusion: Companies should strive to find some activities that millennials can accomplish outside of the office. 


Accounting for Generational Change

Author: John tougher

Akin to many generations before, people are not well voiced on the Millennial and all that comes with them. When the word Millennial is brought up, there is a sense of fear that is often aligned with it. Fear of the unknown if you may. Companies across the globe are scrambling to come to terms with this new generation and how to understand them. We do know that Millennials are different to other generations and that they are not one for conforming or settling into a job and being satisfied. The millennial view runs from conforming and complacency. They are an incredibly driven generation that see no ceiling to their limit and no boundaries to their influence on bettering the world. There appears to be a strong opposition to corporate America ideals amongst this generation, who do not want to be a mere cog in the wheel of the beast.


     They want to write their own script where previous generations were simply following the beaten path. In corporate America, men and women are forced to sit in offices, working from 9 to 5 at a job they hate, just so they can afford to have items they don’t even have the time to enjoy. What is different about Millennials is that they value time over money, which is why so many of us follow entrepreneurial dreams. Passion and purpose over security and salary. We hope to find a career in line with our own passion. But is there any job Millennials might accept where they are okay being part of the system?


            I think the answer to that question is yes; the accounting industry. Wait, hear me out! Accounting is stereotypically a dull and boring career for people who are good with numbers. Number crunchers, pencil pushers and so on and so forth. While those who are left-brainers and mathletes do often gravitate toward accounting, there are a lot of people who don’t give it the chance it deserves. When I decided to choose accounting as my major I did so for one reason and one reason alone. Job security. Moving here from Ireland I had no idea what the future had in store for me. Whether it would be get my degree and go back to Ireland or stay in the US I knew that accounting would be a strong base. Accounting is the language businesses speak. A study of accounting teaches you how to understand the company’s financial statements. As an 18 year old kid moving halfway across the world I had no limit to my dreams. I would often think about starting my own business. What better way to learn how to run a business than by studying how different industries, companies, states and nations operate in that domain? It wasn’t until my junior year that I began to see what types of jobs were in the accounting field besides pushing buttons on a calculator for hours on end. I attended various networking events at my university where accounting firms came to recruit the students. Yes you read that correct, recruit you. One of the biggest concerns college graduates have had over the past five years is getting a job within the first year after college. That means for accounting majors there is no spamming resumes to every firm in the country to no avail. No hopeless job searching through websites to find a position with a huge job description that has no real attraction other than to conform to the beast and become a cog. If you choose accounting, however, you know you have a job before you hit senior year. Accounting firms go after all accounting majors, offering well-paying internships across the country. Nearly every large accounting firm guarantees a raise and promotion every year (as long as you put the work in). That's right; you’re moving up the ladder and watching your salary go up every year.


             I may sound like one of those pop up advertisements but this is what I am seeing. Millennials value growth and job progression. For most industries in order for a Millennial to achieve this growth as quick as they desire they have to constantly change companies. This is not the case with Accounting. The timeline of promotions allows the Millennial to grow organically in the company. That is why there is such an emphasis on how companies worldwide entice Millennials. I attend these networking events and see how successful some people are at the age of 30, making good money and having some of the best benefits that come with working for huge accounting companies.


            Suddenly, this boring career path seems to have a little more to offer. But it gets better. Public accounting has always been a field with a high turnover rate. Many employees put in their time to gain the required experience, and then leave to join a company with a more stable environment. This career tactic is very useful, as outgoing public accountants are treated like war heroes by accountant-hungry companies, for all their “noble work” performed. However, with the rise of Generation-Y in the workforce, accounting firms are changing their ways to become more Millennial-friendly. They’ve realized that, in the long run, it’s more beneficial to hold onto current talent than to constantly recruit new talent. With all the positive changes being made to retain employees, it’s never been a better time to be in the industry. The Baby Boomer and Generation-X bosses are seeing Millennials put their social lives in front of their work lives, regardless of the cost. To combat this mindset, accounting firms have been doing everything they can to satisfy employees, by creating a culture that supports the Millennial mindset. Companies have offered frozen yogurt machines, coffee machines, ping-pong tables, free food and various happy hour events to show employees they are appreciated for the time they spend at work. While accounting does have a busy season that entails a couple of months of very long hours, the rest of the year is much more relaxed. Firms are aiming to make employees enjoy being at the company. National accounting firm, Grant Thornton, actually just announced unlimited vacation days for its employees (talk about summer break).


            There are so many other great benefits when it comes to accounting. One of these is the fact the accounting industry is one that doesn't really get damaged by any economic crisis. As a matter of fact, the AICPA has recently come out and said jobs and salaries in accounting have gone up, and are continuously better than the national average.. While I wish I could live that way now, I know the lifestyle is available to me if I work hard and continue on my current path. I do work a lot, and it's not the job children wish for growing up (I still want to be an entertainer). But it’s the job that can help you get what you want from life. I still manage to have fun with the job, be creative, write articles, hang out with friends and work on personal endeavors.  As much as accounting stereotypes make the job seem negative, when you take a second look, you might see it’s the one industry Millennials might actually be okay with.

Millennial Higher Education and Employment

Author: James O'Connell  

Because millennials will represent approximately 40% of the workforce by 2020 there has been a recent upsurge in research regarding what exactly millennials want during employment. Millennials stepping into the world of work are products of the recent shift that higher education has taken over the last 40 years or so. While for centuries before this shift, higher education institutions focused on civic engagement, critical thinking, and the progression of a democratic society, the primary function is now to supply the economy with an employable workforce. Professor Ronnie Munck summarised this change as a “reduction of the student search for knowledge and enlightenment to a set of narrow job-related skills”. This reconstruction of higher education has impacted the millennial profoundly.

          There is now an unprecedented pressure on young people to choose a degree, not necessarily because they want to further their knowledge in a specific area, but rather to improve their chances of employment post-graduation. A large amount of millennials enter higher education to get a ‘good’ (A.K.A. well-paying job), and pick a particular degree because of their ‘95% post-graduate employment rate”. Recent statistics from Ireland highlight the affect such an emphasis on employment can have on adolescents. According to data from the Higher Education Authority (HEA), a total of 6,414 students — equating to 16% of all first-year student numbers — quit their college courses in 2014.[1]

            Interestingly, most of the abandoned courses are in sectors like science and technology, which are being championed by the Government and employer groups to meet the skills shortage in the Irish economy. I don’t think this is a coincidence. While an increasing number of this generation want a job they enjoy, where they feel they are making a difference, the financial stress often overrides this preference when it comes to picking a third level course. (Many American students/graduates are faced with tens of thousands of dollars of debt inevitably hindering their ability to make an objective decision.) This pressure does not necessarily end in ‘drop-outs’ as Brendan Baker, chairman of AHECS (Association of Higher Education of Careers Services) noted, “many students complete their journey through higher education, but regret their degree choice. Over 20% graduate with no clear idea of what they want to do career-wise.” Not knowing what your career will entail is OK, being pressured into a course you did not want to do is not. As Katherine Brooks highlighted in her book You Majored in What? your particular major/degree does not define your career prospects. Being a post-graduate can be a difficult time as you ponder your next move but I am grateful that financial pressure did not sway my decision when deciding my degree/major.


            Due to the emergence of the ‘knowledge economy’ the Arts and Humanities have been neglected by countries across the world in favour of more ‘profitable’ areas of study such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). A course like mine gave me the opportunity to learn about a variety of topics. I was unsure of what I wanted to work as entering this course and I still am, but EMCS allowed me to learn a lot about myself and the world I live in, which I believe is priceless. It is important, now more than ever for millennials to think critically, empathise with people throughout society, and to seek to improve aspects of human life not openly linked with economic prosperity. In the words of philosopher Martha Nussbaum, “human beings need MEANING, understanding and perspective as well as jobs”. While it would be regressive to shun a strong connection between education and industry, I believe the link should not be inextricable. There is now a blurred line between education and training which disproportionately benefits companies rather than the student. Henry Giroux states “Rather than enlarge the moral imagination and critical capacities of students, too many universities are now wedded to producing would-be hedge fund managers, depoliticized students and creating modes of education that promote a "technically trained docility." After all, higher education should teach values that can be applied in the workforce and other areas of life, not either or.


            Focusing on higher education from a purely economic perspective can have a worrying social and psychological impact on the millennial. Anthropologist David Graeber declared that “huge swaths of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they believe to be unnecessary. The millennial view would find this life to be miserable. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.” The younger generations seem to be taking note of this disillusionment amongst the present workforce as recent research in the UK showed that 62% of people surveyed born between 1981 and 1996 want to work for a company that makes a positive impact.[2] This is encouraging, but it is unlikely that these high numbers will fulfill their aspiration unless higher education’s economic focus is re-evaluated and businesses begin to seriously take note of growing ethical demands from consumers and employers alike. As consultant Simon Cohen states “creating a culture and environment which has values that are meaningful and aligned with those of staff, people are more motivated to work for you and will bend over backwards for things that they believe in.”[3]


            Higher education should “provide the kind of broad intellectual and personal development that enables graduates to thrive in a world that is constantly changing”[4]. The vast majority of millennials will be changing jobs regularly. Higher education now, more than ever, needs to diversify its content and objectives. The results of the 2016 Global Attitudes Toward Work Report show more Irish people are dissatisfied with their job (51.2%) than those who are “extremely or moderately satisfied” (48.8%). [5] A 2014 report by the Conference Board in the U.S had similar findings. [6] - “Nearly three decades ago, 61.1% of workers said they liked their jobs. That number has slid over time, reaching an all-time low in 2010 following the Great Recession, when only 42.6% of workers said they were satisfied in their jobs.” A world wide scale report by Gallup found that only 13% of workers feel engaged by their work with 63% of workers describing themselves as ‘not engaged’ with their current employment. These disturbing figures show a large number of people have ended up in jobs they do not enjoy, I believe this number can substantially drop if students/young millennials are given every chance to decide freely on their career path. As David Graeber has reflected, student loans and heavy financial burdens are “destroying the imagination of the youth”. The current state of higher education across the majority of the western world is placing heavy weight on the youngest, most energetic, creative and joyous people in society.


     There is an interesting relationship between the millennial, higher education and the workforce at present. I would encourage young people to utilize this link in a way which best suits them. Personally, while a large salary is of course very attractive, I first and foremost want a job I enjoy, a job where I am respected, a job where I feel like I am making a positive difference. In this economic climate, this ‘ideal job’ will probably change regularly but knowing you made the decision yourself is vital. Martha C. Nussbaum summarises “thirsty for national profit, nations, and their systems of education, are heedlessly discarding skills that are needed to keep democracies alive. If this trend continues, nations all over the world will soon be producing generations of useful machines, rather than complete citizens who can think for themselves.” Higher education’s link with employment is important but it should not dictate your learning experience. Put bluntly in his book, Why Education is Useless, Daniel Cotton proclaimed “if education only serves the purpose of employability, it simply makes us into chumps and someone else’s chumps at that”.[7] Millennials have opportunities that the previous generation could only have dreamed of, they only have to seize upon them.

[1] http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/alarming-drop-out-rates-at-third-level-institutions-381946.html


[2] https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/may/05/millennials-employment-employers-values-ethics-jobs



The Battle of the Brands

Author: Blake Hodges 

Our parents and grandparents saw the commercial battle between Coco Cola and Pepsi. Our generation has seen a similar battle but with different combatants and more of them. A few months ago we saw an obnoxious amount of commercials with animated spheres rolling down a slide with Verizon initially claiming they were God’s gift to the cellular world. This was followed by a response from the other phone companies and this is only one of many battles between phone carriers. However, one phone company is finally realizing how to utilize their advertising.


            It’s 2016 and Sprint has finally turned their sails with the wind rather than against it. Sprint has shaken up the ad game with their recent run of ads with Paul Marcarelli. Paul use to bat for the Verizon team, yet he is now knocking home runs continuously for Sprint.


            Many people would think that the flip-flop of the cellular game’s most well known catch phrase from one carrier to another would be enough of a shock. I’ll tip my marketing hat to Sprint for this savvy move, but stealing Paul from the Verizon team is not the genius of this ad. The brilliance of this ad is steamed from the admission by Paul that Sprint isn’t better than Verizon.


            Go back in your mind and think about cellular ads that weren’t the most recent Sprint ads. If you think through every ad you’ve seen, I can guarantee you something. Every single cellular ad says this phrase in one form or another at some point in the commercial: “We are the best network.”


            This line isn’t uttered in this commercial though. Instead Paul says, “guess what, it’s 2016, and every network is great. In fact, Sprint’s reliability is now within 1% of Verizon.” This line of pure transparency grabbed my attention and millennials’ attention around the nation. Fortune reports that 43% of millennials rank authenticity over content. The millennial view has spent so many years listening to false, outlandish claims that this moment of honesty caught their attention.  Needless to say, millennials value honesty from a brand and a company admitting they are not the best network is the definition of authenticity. However, Sprint is better in price and millennials are actually paying attention in this ad and giving it consideration since they were greeted with authenticity at the start of the ad.


            While one admission of being 1% lower in quality will not immediately bring a rushing flood of millennials into the doors of Sprint stores nationwide, this is a start. Watch as this campaign continues and it shall be interesting to watch how much Sprint’s sales increase over the coming months, as they are the first cellular company to stumble upon a great commercial targeted at the buyer group with the highest amount of buyer power. 

5 Companies People Need to Quit Starting

Author: Charles Peralo

Being at age 22, I sort of sit and realize I've been working in the tech/business space for what feels to be a pretty long time now. I remember at 13 starting my first project to build a generator while having an invention book where I'd draw out plans for ideas I had to do. I then started my first software project when I was 16, had my first patent filed at 17 and from Bitcoin to commodities to cities on the ocean to Internet software to news sites to real estate to inventions in bubble gum & exercise equipment “yes that's what I actually do now”, I've just seen what feels to be a lot and what I think makes me a C- list Manhattan entrepreneur & inventor. I'm an amateur veteran! 


For this, I look back at what I've seen over the years and I've really been happy to see friends that I've just gotten to know through business go out and have success. People who became millionaires… People who raised millions “sometimes totally blowing it”... People who became stars… People who had their dreams come true… People who just did things and became better people for it. However in that, there was flat out a lot of crap. 


And when I say crap, I mean absolute junk I witnessed and sometimes even partook in the development of which was a total and complete waste of time. Yet what I noticed about these ideas is they were bad ideas EVERYONE was failing at doing. Things where if you were to hangout with a bunch of people who've been in the industry for 5-10 years would likely have all of them at one part partook in something similar to this or exactly the same. 


With that, here's a possibly crummy top five list to sum up the startups which people just keep trying and never seem to get off the ground. 


5. The Community Commerce Company


For this startup, it's kind of simple. It's a beer money idea on college campuses. Go out spending a month of your life to make a crummy place for your friends to sell stuff on campus, have them pressured into selling something and in the end do $2,000 in sales making a hundred bucks in commission for the two hundred hours of work that went into it. 


With this type of project, I notice a trend of talented software types want to do what they believe is a good idea which will make money fast in the form of commerce. It is zero capital to put in, going to small communities or colleges seems to be a good market to start and most of the time having 30 friends willing to put up their XBoxes or whatever can probably prove something as a fluke concept. However, when that talented team goes to say “Hey, we can take this idea with nothing proprietary about it AT ALL and all our current users share a bathroom with us and turn it into a billion dollar business at every school”. The answer is they can't…


For this project, it's kind of simple. Nobody really gives the slightest care. There's tons of other sites to sell or buy things on which make the 48 hour wait to get it shipped totally worth it over having an awkward conversation with your friend who sold it to you. Plus, most college students are just poor and/or lazy holding no ability and/or desire to do this. In this, it's not a serious problem or a serious market.


Bad idea!!!


4. Crowdfunding Anything


Let this be the day of mourning. The mourning for thou the crowdfunding startup. Be its radiance fallen to the grace and power of kickstarter. Be the hope plunge into the darkness of indiegogo. Be its energy and love found in its eyes enter into the void of… Other crowdfunding sites? Be those things and let us mourn for the end to the crowdfunding startup bubble.


Okay, joke over… In all seriousness crowdfunding is just another idea where it's simply been done by a few great players, it doesn't need a second player and any theme or gimmick behind a new one is just some venture capital hole which will die when money is running out.



3. Anything Subscription Model Related


This is probably the one that pisses me off the most. After dollar shave club earned its founders the rights to get the shaved and smooth erotic zones of any woman or man their hearts desire, everyone who was licked for ideas tried to rip this thing off to hell. It was basically the cereal crew, the fresh plant society and just a ton of idiots in their parents basements putting bags together of stuff they got at Costco and bagging them together for money.


Simple fact is this: Nobody cares! People for the most part can just run to the store and buy most of these things and select assortments at certain dates or whatever aren't a big enough niche. It's dull and with terrible margins for the business owner with even worse pricing on the consumer.


PS-This idea can still work if you are good at packaging and have an ultra savvy social media team. However, most of the people don't and will just lie to themselves claiming so serving razors or tic tacs in crappy boxes. 


2. The Ultra Premium Food Company


This one just personally bothers me. For my own industry, I'm an inventor and am working on consumer products that I try to license “hopefully successfully” to other companies. Yet in this, I do a general run of patents and currently have two patents in exercise equipment and a patent on a new confections product I've developed. Doing those two things, I've learned the food industry moderately well and also have been very focused on health & exercising. In this, I can confirm the ultra premium food market just sucks. 


Forget for a moment the immense competition, niche markets, terrible margins, likely bull on benefits with products and the countless other issues, the real problem is just passion. I see so many people in this space who literally a year ago were working in finance or engineering and said “Hey, I'm going to start a pasta company selling something for 5x as much with a good logo!” or “I found a mushroom in the forest that's unique. Let me give it a BS branding and make it a tea that cures back problems!” or a million other pieces of nonsense. Yet it all just stems from people with no passion for the space. A space which isn't even really growing much and most players in it are just larger companies offering organic, premium or specialty options of existing markets. Even examining growth of the premium startup food market, it seems less those people succeed due to the product, but just them being a continued trend in food for startups and holding the same market share anyway.


In this… It's probably a fad and doesn't have a real market. Go invent a patentable novelty bubble gum product that'll likely be a short lived mass market fad like me!


1. The Social Networks


This is going to be the shortest one of them all. If in a conversation and someone says they work on a startup and being asked for the elevator pitch they open it going “It's a social network” begin to politely roll eyes, drown out the conversation and think of how nice it'd be to have bought Bitcoin at $1.50 such as myself or how bad it'd be to buy Facebook stock for IPO opening price and sell when it bottomed out similar to myself also. Sit back and realize this person likely has no idea what they are doing and unless they have a finished product with active users, it'll probably never be an actual thing.



Brexit & You

Author: Hunter Wright

Many of you may have been hearing about Brexit (British Exit) and wondering what the big deal is. As an American resident in Germany, I'm happy to fill you in on exactly why Brexit also impacts Americans both abroad and at home.

By the Numbers:
Brexit Referendum: 51.9% voted Leave; 48.1% voted Stay. Notable exclusions: Scotland and the City of London both voted overwhelmingly to Stay in the EU.
The European Union (EU) is a supranational block of countries that has a Single Market, the Euro €€€ is used by 19 countries, and a Schengen Zone guarantees barrier-free travel throughout the 28 Member Countries once you have entered into any one of them.

     First things first, Brexit is about the UK leaving the European Union. The EU is basically a conglomeration of European countries with one currency and a central governmental body in Brussels, Belgium. What makes this an issue for Americans is the way our world has become so interconnected and interdependent.

     The world of today is doggedly international. Integration has had many benefits for tourists and migrants alike, making traveling to and living in new place much more convenient and attractive.

     There's just one problem to this intertwined future: the British. They have decided amongst themselves that they would prefer to disintegrate from the EU and forge their own course.
Currently the UK is still a part of the EU, but their intentions are clear: they want out. The dream of every traveler, of a borderless, open world society in which to explore, just took a big setback. With Britain deciding to opt out of the EU, it's possible more European Union Countries will want to follow.

     As Americans, the idea of separate but united individual states makes sense. But for Europeans, who have different languages and cultures and histories, such a union is anything but simple. There is also the divide between rich and poor countries (compare the likes of rich countries Germany and France with poorer ones like Romania and Bulgaria). The differences eventually tally up to create a divided governing system that have very different agendas.

     The problem with predicting any future models of the UK involves the groundbreaking nature of this decision. The EU has only ever been added to. However it turns out for the UK's culture or economy, the hoped for world of integration and interchange may have to be put on hold indefinitely if separationproves to be a world-wide rather than British trend.

Value of the Millennial View Platform as Consumers

Author: Darian Nourian

In today’s world, people have a plethora of ways to express and communicate their thoughts, feelings, opinions, and synonyms thereof. Almost everyone with a computer, smart phone, tablet or even a smart watch likely knows this tremendous reality. Whether we like it or not, we have a voice, and it’s being heard and listened to by thousands of people around the globe, including some of the world’s largest companies and institutions.


We’re literally a walking (or sitting if you’re at work) piece of information and with the advent of technology, this data is able to be interpreted, analyzed and applied in order to give us, the consumer, what we ultimately want in today’s marketplace.


     We all possess a great deal of power to drive change in the marketplace. Even though that change can take time, it’s easier than ever to catalyze it – all with a little movement of our hands and fingertips.Are you unhappy with your food? Yelp about it. Are you mad your flight got delayed? Tweet about it. Are you pissed off about the way your favorite show ended? Netflix a new one and chill. The millennial view never sees a dead end with a business but rather a new chance to find a solution. 


      At the time, you may think you’re sounding like a real pessimist or ‘negative Nancy’, but this type of input and more specifically, consumer behavior, provides great value to the companies they’re being addressed at. If businesses could legally read consumers’ minds, they absolutely would, but social media, comment boards, blogs and review sites are the next best things to that, slowly but surely replacing the old-school method of word-of-mouth. In fact, one survey showed that 34 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 35 turned to social media when making purchasing decisions.


     Most importantly, we typically have the instantaneous answers to companies’ most prying question – what can we do better? This is why as millennials and for those still catching up to our generation, we possess such a great deal of influence.Think of these enterprises like new cars. They conduct research and development, put together the parts, install an engine and sell them off a lot, but after that process is complete, only we have the keys and man power to make them run.This is why many companies in the digital day and age have abandoned their grassroots and started listening to the millennial view. It’s hard to put a real number to the value of what is now known as the millennial platform, but it sure is worth something, and we’re entering a critical time.


     According to Goldman Sachs, the millennial generation, one of the largest generations in history, is about to move into its prime spending years, and we have the capacity to reshape the economy. The simple undertaking of buying and selling for companies will, in turn, be forced to transcend and evolve to those disruptions in the marketplace. As millenials, we hold on to a tremendous opportunity to remold the way in which the marketplace operates and it will surely come into fruition if we continue to utilize the platform that we’ve been fortunate enough to have right at out fingertips.



The Movie Industry's Savior: Millennials

Author: Blake Hodges

In our last post, we saw that the movie industry is dying due to studios forcing unoriginal remakes into our hometown theaters. However, cue the epic movie music because the millennials are here to turn this around.

Movie studios are about to awaken to a nightmare: their audience is shifting. Millennials will start to spend $200 billion annually in 2017. Since studios are going to have to start making movies that millennials will purchase, they are going to have to change their movie making strategy. While there are enough moviegoers to continue the slew of unoriginal remakes coming temporarily, movie studios are going to need to shift focus to the millennial demographic.

Since they will have to focus on the millennial demographic soon, they will be changing what they produce. First, they will have to halt all the remakes. Millennials demand for fresh, original content. There is a reason why traditional television is tumbling down the growth curve while Youtube continues to rise. Secondly, millennials demand for authentic, new characters. Movies have been riddled with unoriginal characters that carry the same clichés as all the others that came before them. Movie studios will now have to shift their focus.

The generation that thrives on traveling to new places won’t be okay with old movies and old character types. The future of movies comes down to one of two options. Either movie studios realize the shift in purchasing power and adjust, or they continue on with remakes that will eventually lead to cinema’s demise. 

The Movie Industry is Dismantling Itself

Author: Blake Hodges

Right this moment in America there are thousands of movie projectors firing up to show a film, yet the seats are vacant of the type of customers that will soon hold the greatest amount of purchasing power: millennials. This is a problem. First, this is a problem for movie theaters that are just now starting to jog after limping through the 2008 recession. Second, this is a problem for all of those who enjoy a quality movie. The movie industry is suffering from a crippling problem and the millennials are the only ones who can play the part of the hero in this story.


            So the question becomes: why are the people most likely to walk headfirst into a wall from looking down at their phones the only hope for saving the movie industry?


            Open a tab and go to Rotten Tomatoes right now. You’ll see five movies opening this weekend and one of those is a reboot. If only 20% of the movies opening this weekend is a reboot then what is the big deal? Glad you asked. The other four movies have received little to no advertising. Movie studios seem to believe that reboots are the way to the promise land and push them more than any other film. Furthermore, a quick look at the top box office section of Rotten Tomatoes right now would reveal and even worse predicament. Five of the current weekend’s top grossing films are sequels, two are reboots, one is based off of a video game, and one is based off of a book. If we use the math that our high school algebra teacher swore really would come in handy in the real world, we see that only one freshly written movie exists on the top ten grossing films list right now: Central Intelligence.



         This article is being published on July 21st 2016, yet I would be willing to wager that if you are reading this many weeks or months into the future the situation would be no different. Huffington post reported that more than half of the top 25 grossing films of 2014 were sequels, remakes, or reboots. All signs indicate that history will repeat itself in 2016.



            The movies are making money though! I’m sure this thought is on loop in your mind right now as the obvious rebuttal to my presented conundrum, yet I really don’t care that these movies are making money now. Focusing on the present tense is the quickest way for an industry to find itself extinct in a few years. This fact is even more true in the entertainment industry.(looking at you Blockbuster). Millennials are going to the movies less and less each year. The New York post reports that movie goers between the ages of 18 to 24 dropped from 8.7 million in 2012 down to 5.7 million in 2015. In a few years the theaters could quickly find themselves as much of a ghost town as Blockbuster Video.



            In addition to facing the problem of continuously cramming as many unoriginal movies down the pipeline as they can, the movie industry is facing a second problem: books to movies. The Harry Potter movie franchise was done well and brought in a sea of paying customers. Studio executives got wide eyed and started to make as many books into movies as possible. Sadly, the book to movie experience started to go down the easily predictable path of decline. The Twilight movies brought in a score of fans and the Hunger Games franchise was superb. While movie executives thought they were at the base of a money-making mountain, they were vastly mistaken. The book to movie conversion started at the apex of the mountain and went down rather than up. The current Divergent series and Maze runner movies are the testament to how badly movie quality has gone down in the quest to produce as many book to movie translations as possible. Once again the movie industry is hitting the same problem: unoriginality.



            The third problem dragging the movie industry under is the rise of social media stars. Millennials can pick of their phones and check out quick, fresh content from Snapchat from their favorite content producers without even getting out of their seats. While the movie industry has done everything it can to strip every drop of originality out of Hollywood as possible, the social media world has filled in the gap. When given the option of watching original content in their own home for free or trudging to the theater to pay for redone movie scripts, the choice is obvious for millennials.The millennial view seeks out fresh, explorational worlds and characters. How crazy is it that social media stars are starting to out do million dollar budget film houses? 



            The fourth and final problem the movie industry is facing is that of easy access to lower cost competitors. A Netflix and Hulu account can each be purchased for less than ten dollars a piece. An entire month of entertainment is now less than the cost of a single movie ticket. The millennial view clearly sees the value created by Hulu and Netflix as higher than than of a two hour film. With easy to access streaming that plays when you want it compared to movie screens that have concrete times of attendance, millennials are choosing the easiest path to entertainment. Any movie released now that wants to be viewed by millennials must be worth an entire month’s worth of streaming.



            If you Google “percent of millennials going to the movies” right now, a slew of articles will surface showing how millennials aren’t going to the theater. The New York Post went as far as to say that millennials are killing the movie industry. What we’ve discussed today isn’t a big discovery. The irony is that the group of consumers accused with killing the movie industry is the only group that can bring it back. And I’m not talking about bringing back the money. Any group can purchase more. The millennials are the only group that can also bring back quality to the theater because they won't be satisfied with reboots and reruns.