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IMG_9133 chicago millennial consultant & expert

An American Millennial in Brazil

In September, I had the pleasure of being one of CONAREC’s International Keynote Speakers at the 15th Annual Congress held in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  This was my first international work trip as well as my first trip to South America. Besides my speaking engagement, I also wanted to make the most of my time there. While I had only had 48 hours in Brazil, I felt like it was 48 hours well spent.

Here are some highlights from my experience.

  • Learning about Millennials in Brazil. Since I was speaking on Millennial mindset and knowing not all Millennials are created equal, I first had to learn about Brazilian Millennials. Many of the basic trends of Millennials in the USA and Brazil are similar. However, the Brazilian Culture differs, which ultimately is reflected in the difference between Brazilian Millennials vs. American Millennials.  For example, Millennials in Brazil want their organization’s manager to serve as a role model for them. Whereas, Millennials in the USA want a manager who empowers their employees. 

 

  • Getting a Visa. Several of the wonderful people at the Chicago Brazil Consulate and I developed a lovely friendship. (I had to make several visits in order to finalize my Business Visa.) I now have a great appreciation for the patience of those employees. I’ve been told you have one chance to make a positive impression. Your countrymen at the Chicago Brazil Consulate made a great first impression on me about your great country.

 

  • Flying to Brazil. To get to Sao Paulo, we flew Aero Mexico from Chicago, to Mexico City, to Sao Paulo. As we made our way farther south, I loved hearing how the languages and people began to change. Having taken Spanish classes in high school and college, I went from completely understanding the flight attendants in Chicago, to somewhat understanding the flight attendants in Mexico City, to not at all understanding flight attendants in Sao Paulo. Chicago is a “melting pot” city. Yet, it did not prepare me for the language difference of Brazil.

 

  • Arriving in Sau Paulo. Once my cousin, who traveled with me, and I arrived we made our way to the TransAmerica hotel where the 15th Annual CONAREC Congress was being held. The drive to the airport was an adventure. I was amazed at all of the motorcycles and how the rules of the road seemingly didn’t apply to them. They zipped past us, hanging on tightly to their bikes. Once settled at the hotel, we went to Feijoada do Bolinha for their famous Feijoada. It was wonderful! These two Americans were delighted to have such delicious and local food. Sao Paulo food is full of flavor, color, and textures. I loved discovering the Brazilian cuisine.

 

  • Speaking at the CONAREC Congress. The CONAREC Congress was an incredible speaking engagement, and also a wonderful experience. This Congress was unlike one you would find in the states. Everything was grand. Speaking in the main theatre in front of 1,200 people was an amazing experience. Those who did not speak English wore headphones. A translator translated English to Portuguese for them. Working with a translator was a new experience for me.  As a presenter I had to try and bridge the translation gap. The attendees were kind and gracious and I loved sharing my Millennial insights with them.

 

  • Serving on Panel Discussion at CONAREC Congress. With the CEOs of Pepsi Co Brazil and Whirlpool Brazil, the tables turned when I served on a panel with them. These two leaders spoke about the incredible things they are doing to keep their companies fresh and multi-generation friendly. I wore headphones so a translator would translate Portuguese questions back to me in English. What a gift she was!

 

  • Exploring Sao Paulo. After the Congress, my cousin and I used our remaining time to explore the great city of Sao Paulo, thanks to our wonderful driver and our Translation Apps. We ate Pao de Queijo, bought Havaianas flip flops, walked around different malls, and  saw sights all around the city.  My biggest take-away was how large Sao Paulo is. We drove through the city for an hour and it still seemed that we were in the heart of the city.  The size of Sao Paulo was something I had never experienced in any of my U.S. and International travels.

 

  • Flying home to Chicago. With sad hearts but full stomachs, we boarded our flight back first to Mexico City and then to Chicago. I felt like a new person. I had fallen in love with the city and people of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

 

I had a fantastic trip.  Millennials love to travel and adventure.  Sao Paulo, you have fed my heart and soul. I look forward to my next trip to Brazil! Obrigada!    

-Amelie

This Millennial’s First Podcast

 

Last month while in South Carolina for work, I had the pleasure of meeting Creating Space owner, Wes Knight and his business partner, Lo Myrick.

PodcastPhoto-2 chicago millennial consultant & expert

After chatting about our respective jobs, it was clear we had much in common about interacting with people and our passion for our work. Wes invited me to be a guest on his podcast. Here are a few thoughts from my first podcast experience:

  • Good questions. In interviewing, whether written or verbal, good questions are key. Wes did a great job asking me both easy and challenging questions. This showed me that the interviewer’s skill of asking questions is vital to the overall theme of the interview.

 

  • Passion. Passion is a great connecter! I immediately saw how Wes and Lo’s passion for their work seems to be a driving factor in everything they do. Saying “yes” to sharing your mission, vision, and passion for your work helps bridge gaps to create and build new friendships and ideas.

 

  • Technology. Technology has drastically changed interviewing. It was amazing how simple it was to connect and record this podcast while halfway across the country from one another. Moments like this make me truly appreciate the technological advances my generation takes as the norm. A few simple clicks helped memorialize our conversation.

 

  • Authenticity. Being someone who always prefers the art of the spoken word, I really enjoyed the freedom that came with our conversation. The more we shared, the deeper and more truthful the conversation became.

 

  • Our stories. We all have a story. This is something I continuously go back to, but in working with my podcast and listening to others, it becomes even more apparent. Each one of us has a story and voice that is reflected in who we are. Sharing those stories brings people together. It diminishes walls and builds community.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my first podcast experience. Feel free to listen to our conversation by clicking the picture below. Hope you enjoy!

-Amelie

Amelie-Karam-300x300 chicago millennial consultant & expert

Millennial Mindset- We All Have A Story

We All Have A Story

What event or “story” has changed the way Americans live? In December 2016, the Pew Research Center conducted a study that asked over 2,000 people (from various generations) which top 10 national events had impacted their lives.

Each generation- the Silent Generation (ages 72-89), Baby Boomers (53-71), Generation X (37-52), and Millennials (20-36)- had a list comprised of different happenings throughout the respective generation’s lifetime. Coincidentally, the most life-altering event experienced by each generation was September 11th. The tragic events of that day united our country, those both young and old. This event and “story” shaped us.

We all have a story. Each one of us has had unique experiences that shaped us into who we are today. These experiences range from medical issues/events, divorce, abuse, loss of a loved one, and so much more. Each experience leaves a mark on a life like a scratch on a record. (Non Baby Boomers- think CD.) No matter how hard you try to go back to the time before the scratch happened, you can’t. It is permanent; the record is changed. Understanding these changes is pivotal in relationship building.

Millennials (20-36 year olds) are big fans of “the story.” We are a generation that is connected through social media and instant news, which makes things feel much more personalized. We crave community and personalization in the workplace. We seek the connection in everything we do. To help connect with your Millennials, create a work environment with open communication. By sharing events that shaped you and asking your coworkers what shaped them, you are opening the door to a workplace of better understanding and stronger relationships.

Your Millennial colleagues want to be connected. Workplace relationships built on understanding and open communication will help create a positive environment where Millennials will want to invest time and energy. Life is all about relationships. Take the time to tell your story and listen to your coworkers’ stories. We all want to be heard. We all have a story.

What is a millennial?

Millennials, also known as Generation Y or the Net Generation, are the demographic cohort that directly follows Generation X.

What, exactly, is the Millennial generation?

The term Millennials is usually considered to apply to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. The precise delineation varies from one source to another, however. Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of the 1991 book Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069, are often credited with coining the term. Howe and Strauss define the Millennial cohort as consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004.

Other proposed dates for Millennials:

  • According to Iconoclast, a consumer research firm, the first Millennials were born in 1978.
  • Newsweek magazine reported that the Millennial generation was born between 1977 and 1994.
  • In separate articles, the New York Times pegged the Millennials at 1976-1990 and 1978-1998.
  • A Time magazine article placed the Millennials at 1980-2000.

Overall, the earliest proposed birthdate for Millennials is 1976 and the latest 2004. Given that a familial generation in developed nations lies somewhere between 25 and 30 years, we might reasonably consider those the start and end points.

There is a great deal of variation from one individual to another within any generational cohort. Nevertheless, the particular environment for any generation affects those individuals in ways that are observable as broad tendencies. This definition of the term discusses those reported tendencies for Millennials in the workplace, Millennials and technology, Millennials and culture.

A snapshot of Millennials, according to their press:

Millennials grew up in an electronics-filled and increasingly online and socially-networked world. They are the generation that has received the most marketing attention. As the most ethnically diverse generation, Millennials tend to be tolerant of difference. Having been raised under the mantra “follow your dreams” and being told they were special, they tend to be confident. While largely a positive trait, the Millennial generation’s confidence has been argued to spill over into the realms of entitlement and narcissism.  They are often seen as slightly more optimistic about the future of America than other generations — despite the fact that they are the first generation since the Silent Generation that is expected to be less economically successful than their parents.

One reported result of Millennial optimism is entering into adulthood with unrealistic expectations, which sometimes leads to disillusionment. Many early Millennials went through post-secondary education only to find themselves employed in unrelated fields or underemployed and job hopping more frequently than previous generations. Their expectations may have resulted from the very encouraging, involved and almost ever-present group of parents that became known as helicopter parents.

Understanding the Millennial Mindset

Check out a recent radio interview with Technori Live:

http://wgnradio.com/2017/02/14/millennial-specialist-amelie-karam-understanding-the-millennial-mindset/

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