April 18, 2019  

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School of Mass Communication and Journalism Graduate Students Co-Found National Millennial Community

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Three University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism graduate students are serving as founding members of the National Millennial Community, established in the fall of 2015. The Community is designed to change the conversation surrounding millennials by connecting executives and government leaders with student members from across the country.

D’Anthony Jackson, Chelsea Eytel and Jasmine Tate have each participated in conversations with media executives. Eytel and Jackson also completed summer internships at national agencies, which resulted directly from their executive discussions.

The group’s sponsor, Bill Imada, chairman and chief connectivity officer of the IW Group based out of Los Angeles, saw a need to broaden and change the discussion about millennials. After visiting USM last fall to conduct a session on multicultural marketing, he invited Jackson, Eytel and Tate to get involved from the ground up. Since then, they have not only networked with key influencers and executives in the industry, but connected with students and faculty members from universities nationwide.

These students have facilitated videoconference executive conversations and have also traveled to New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Brussels to meet face-to-face with executives and to foster understanding between generations.

Dr. Vanessa Murphree, a USM associate professor and National Millennial Community faculty advisor, accompanied the group over the summer during their D.C. and New York City trip. She called the trip a “two-way street strategy” that provided “incredible opportunities for our students to meet with world-class leaders.” She explained that though the students learned a great deal, the executives also wanted to learn from students and hear about their insights and perspectives.

Imada describes the USM team as “exceptional” and noted that they participate and volunteer to assist with more than their share of duties. “I encourage them to continue to push themselves to be stronger, smarter and wiser, and return to campus and push others to follow their lead.”

Jackson, a master’s student in the public relations sequence, has enjoyed leading conversations with Andy Polansky, CEO, Weber Shandwick and Honorable Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce H. Andrews. Jackson also facilitated a conversation between SHIFT Communications and the National Millennial Community at the summer summit. After getting to know Polanski, Jackson continued the conversation with him and ultimately landed himself an internship at Weber Shandwick’s New York City office.

“Through my involvement with the community, I’ve had the opportunity to do what I love the most, which is build and maintain meaningful relationships. I’ve built a network that expands across almost every state,” Jackson said.

Eytel is also a master’s student in the public relations. Like Jackson, Eytel has been involved in the community, leading a conversation with Bill Duggan, vice president, Association of National Advertisers. Her involvement with the community landed her an internship with the IW Group alongside Imada.  

During her internship she assisted the branding team with the planning and coordination of events in Las Vegas which focused specifically on Asian/Pacific Islander millennial entrepreneurs and helped coordinate the community’s inaugural summit in San Francisco.

“The most valuable lesson I learned during my internship is how to deal with different types of people, from clients to stressed-out executives and everyone in between. It can be really hard to please everyone but you have to make sure you know what the bottom line is and how to communicate that to everyone,” Eytel said.

Tate, a recent graduate of the public relations master’s program at USM, led conversations with executives including Akihiko "Kiko" Washington of Warner Brothers and Michaela Bethune of DoSomething.org.

"I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I've gained from being involved with the Community,” Tate said. “Being a member of the group has improved my ability to express my opinions and expand my professional network.”

“What's great about Chelsea, D'Anthony and Jasmine is the simple fact that they remain curious about the world. They want to experience life to the fullest and enhance what they have learned in college with real-world knowledge,” Imada said.

For more information about The National Millennial Community, please visit: http://www.nationalmillennialcommunity.com/. For information about the School of Mass Communication and Journalism, visit https://www.usm.edu/school-of-journalism-and-media-studies.