Honors Student Helps Change Conversations About Millennials and Generation Z Across Nation
For the past two semesters, William has been a part of the National Millennial Community and Generation Z (NMGZ). As a subcommittee of Kent State’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA Kent), there are currently three students who serve on the Kent State chapter. Kent State student Mia Cadle was the first and only member when William joined. To give background about the organization, William shared, “NMGZ was created to change the conversation about the Millennial and Gen Z generations, both of which were subject to unflattering stereotypes related to the workforce. The group was created by Bill Imada, Chairman and Chief Connectivity Officer of IW Group, Inc., a minority-owned and operated advertising, marketing, and communications agency focusing on the growing multicultural markets. Seven universities and IW Group banded together in 2016 to start this change. NMGZ has grown to 44 colleges and universities in over 40 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam.”
With there being a small group of members, each plays a pivotal role in the chapter. In examining his experience and his roles, William shared a few, saying, “My role is to attend our meetings with upper executives of various businesses and corporations to answer questions and provide the perspective of a person from Generation Z. As a member, I am expected to take comprehensive notes on each meeting, as well as writing a blog post for NMGZ every year. Each school that participates in NMGZ represents the state the school is located in. When our members meet with executives around the world in person or on our monthly video calls, we represent all of Ohio. We are telling the story of Ohio Generation Z. We are helping to change that conversation about us and help ourselves and global companies understand what we want from products, services, and careers.”
As a student organization, there are multiple resources available to help grow and support the groups. One example of an organization helping another is Undergraduate Student Government (USG). Serving as the voice of the undergraduate student body, there are many opportunities to get involved and get help. William shared how USG boosted NMGZ when they needed it, “They have been extremely helpful in allocating funding to allow our members to attend conferences around the country. Mia Cadle was able to travel to Boston with NMGZ in October of 2021 and recently I was able to travel to San Francisco with NMGZ. USG was extremely helpful in securing funding for the hotel and flights for these incredible opportunities.” Alongside funding, the advisors of the group have been a great resource. From the School of Media and Journalism (MDJ), Professor Stefanie Moore and Associate Professor Luke Armour have been crucial to NMGZ and its existence at Kent State, as they work with alum Chris Baldwin.
Looking back at his favorite memories, William shared, “My favorite memory with NMGZ was traveling to San Francisco in April 2022 with 32 other members of the Community from 21 states across the United States. In San Francisco, we attended various meetings ranging from community-based businesses such as The Vine 99.3 FM in Napa to globally recognized corporations such as Google and Wells Fargo. Within this experience, I was able to grow personally but also professionally by seeing and hearing many of the paths that other professionals and my peers have taken.”
Moving forward with the group, leaving a legacy is a goal, especially if you plan on being involved for multiple years. Reflecting on what he hopes to accomplish, William stated, “My goal when I graduate from Kent State University in May of 2024 is to leave behind the Kent State chapter of NMGZ with the opportunity to succeed, have a clear plan for the future and increase the exposure of the organization around Kent State. NMGZ is an incredible opportunity that has allowed me, as a first-year student, to travel across the country and meet with globally known corporations and executives. The group has allowed me to speak with them and make a genuine impact.”
PHOTO CAPTION #1: College students preparing for a National Millennial Community and Generation Z discussion (Honors College student William Dakin seated far right).
PHOTO CAPTION #2: Head shot of freshman Honors College student William Dakin with city backdrop.
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