Finding the Starting Line as a PadillaCRT Intern

media relationsMinnesota winters, drinking coconut Boba Tea, Dungeons and Dragons, anything potato… Just naming a few of my love-hate relationships. Hello, my name is Alayna Xiong and I am a summer intern here at PadillaCRT in the Minneapolis location. I recently graduated from high school and will attend Saint Catherine University in the Twin Cities this fall. While I am still navigating my future career path, I will likely major in English and/or Business.

I was given this incredible internship through a non-profit organization called The BrandLab. The BrandLab is a program founded here in the Greater Twin Cities that provides diverse high school students who are interested in business and marketing the opportunity to learn and get hands on experience. The organization’s hope is to bring diversity into the world of business while at the same time guiding students as they grow into young adults.

Programs like BrandLab are vital to the community because they provide real-life experience at a young age. Not only are we getting an unforgettable experience, but for many of us, this is our first experience networking. It takes a lot to get into the doors of a PR firm or corporation, and this program only enhances our leadership skills as many of us prepare for college.

I happen to be at the very end of the Millennial Age and two big encounters Millennials are faced with, other than being utterly obsessed with social media, are individuality and “technical difficulties.” They seem similar and yet they’re two different things. No longer at the stage in life where we compare ourselves to media expectations and try to please everyone, we are stuck trying to differentiate ourselves from those around us.

This is the age where we are forced to make in-depth evaluations of ourselves and claim something from this world and name it: lifestyle. All generations have gone through this stage of technical difficulties, but never before has it been such a difficult task.

Not only do we have no clue where our life is going, we don’t know where the starting line is. I have a theory (I am most likely not the first one to say this) that the only reason why Millennials have trouble finding everything at this stage is because who we are has not yet been born. What we are searching for has not yet been created and it’s waiting for us to discover and claim it.

As cliché as that sounds, I don’t think the world knows what is in store with Millennials. There are new things to explore and technology to enhance. I bet it smells like cotton candy but tastes like vinegar. It will most likely excite us, all the while scaring us.

Teens and Social Media Everyone is always telling us to make a decision about what we want to major in or what we want to do when we grow up. Be patient with us Millennials. Sure, we may not be able to live without our smartphones or tablets, but have you ever thought that perhaps it has the power to enhance our dreams and imaginations? That itself is a totally different topic. But all in all, Millennials may just come storming into the business industry with exciting new jobs, working with some of you one day.

My experience at PadillaCRT has taught me to be brave. I have learned to appreciate my gender and ethnicity much more than I did in the beginning. Not very many Hmong individuals and women at that, get to have this experience.  Honestly, I felt like a ninja because to me individuals in PR are like ninjas in the background making magic. I never imagined myself in this situation and I am so thankful that I had this opportunity. From all the meetings I sat through and research projects I took part in, I think Public Relations is somewhere I would like to be.

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