Bo Ram Yi
30, Instructor & Coordinator for Student Success and Outreach Initiatives at Old Dominion University
How do you see your generation (millennials)? How do you think older generations define millennials?
Millennials are passionate, driven and go-getters. I think we’re a generation that isn’t afraid to launch a new enterprise, volunteer for a cause or develop inventive ideas. At times, we may be viewed as over consumers of technology or frequent job hoppers. However, as with all generations I believe there are outliers.
In what ways does having younger employees add to a company’s success?
Younger employees often bring the skillset to work with newer technology and energy and passion. Millennials also like to think outside the norm and bring diverse perspectives.
What have been a few keys to your success so far?
I believe there is no substitute for hard work. It’s important that you do your best in all your endeavors. Also, be mindful of your tribe. As the saying goes, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Lastly, I would say don’t burn bridges. We reside in a very small world.
Is there anything that you would change about your generation as a whole? If so, what?
Our generation has become more active in the community, and I hope to see that continue in the near future. It’s important as a member of society to take an interest in what is taking place in the region, if not for yourself then for posterity.
What do you look for in a job/company?
I first determine if I think it’s a job I will enjoy. It’s difficult to excel if you dislike what you do. I also look for company culture and values. Ask around and see if anyone knows someone who works at the firm. Always do your research.
What kinds of digital platforms do you feel you have benefited from in your career?
Facebook and LinkedIn have provided me with informative articles, job postings and networking opportunities. I also enjoy a good TED talk. It’s an easy way to learn from experts on topics you may not typically explore. One of my favorite talks is by Dr. Meg Jay, a psychologist who focuses on young adulthood. In addition, I often search for self-help articles. As of late I’ve been following Benjamin Hardy on Medium and CNBC’s Make It column.
What do you feel are some of the biggest perks of living in Coastal Virginia? What changes do you think the region should implement to continue to be a draw for millennials?
I love that Hampton Roads offers numerous activities and varied attractions. We have access to the beach, a thriving arts scene, outdoor activities and a myriad of dining and shopping options. We are also in close proximity to Richmond and Washington D.C. Millennials often look for job growth opportunities, and I believe the region should continue to attract diverse corporations.
Tell us about some of your favorite ways to do worthwhile networking.
Tailor the approach to find what works for you. Some folks enjoy attending networking events and making cold calls. I personally like to find a group that supports a cause I am passionate about. Get involved and join committees. It’s a good way to meet folks outside of your conventional network.
How are you contributing to life/community outside of the workplace?
In the past few years I was active as a development committee member for Samaritan House, student representative to the Old Dominion University Board of Visitors, co-founder and advisor to ODU Young Professionals and treasurer of the Graduate Society of International Studies.
In recent times, I have focused on Global Shapers Norfolk, the youngest community group of the World Economic Forum. As former curator and chair of the selection committee, I am always looking for stellar young professionals who are 20–29 and committed to making an impact in the community. If this sounds like you, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What advice would you offer to other millennials or recent graduates about getting their careers to take off?
Be willing to work hard and offer to take on volunteer opportunities in your company. Don’t wait to be asked. If a department is creating a committee for a project, inquire to see if you could join or help in any way. The more you do, the more people at the company will notice you. Also, be willing to step outside of your comfort zone.