15: Developing Millennials through Empowerment

As an expert on millennials and the next generation of workers, I am often asked how do you motivate millennials? Many times, the answer is far easier than you think. Millennials are attracted to companies and leaders who value mentorship and empowerment.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Motivating Millennial Employees

Hey, this is Amanda Hammett and this is the millennial Rockstar podcast.

Amanda Hammett: All right. In today's episode of the millennial rockstars podcast, I got to interview Katie Kirschner, who is with NCR Corporation now. Katie has a. She is just a dynamo of energy and you're going to see that in the interview for sure, but she walks us through her career, which although she's only 32 years old, she has a wealth of experience from corporations all over the world and she's bringing everything she's ever learned right into NCR here in Atlanta, but I think one of the biggest takeaways that I walked away with after this interview was when she talked about the best manager she ever had and how that manager actually empowered her and gave her a voice. So tune in and tell me what you think.

Amanda Hammett: Hey, this is Amanda Hammett. I'm known as the millennial translator because I help companies attract, retain, and engage top millennial talent. And speaking of top millennial talent, I have Katie Kirschner with NCR. Hey Katie. How are Ya?

Katie Kirschner: How's it going?

Amanda Hammett: Well, I'm so excited to have you on. I reached out while back to NCR to one of my contacts there, Christine Bell, nab, and she's like, oh my gosh, I have some one for you to get her coffee, a starbucks gift card for. Fantastic. Fantastic. So Katie, why don't you tell the audience a little bit about you?

Katie Kirschner: Um, sure. So, um, I'll tell you a little bit about where I am right now and then I'll talk about how I got there. So, um, I work for NCR Corporation. Um, if anyone is in Atlanta or if you've seen pictures, we have this massive beautiful glass building right off of the main highway that goes through Atlanta. Um, which I'm super excited about. Not just the building but the company itself. So I've been with the company for a little over a year. It's dynamic in nature. So I've actually changed my role already being in the company that I currently lead, brand and marketing shared services, which is basically brand strategy and governance, industry analyst relations, market insights and business intelligence, consumer and buyer persona development and journey mapping and creative services and marketing agency management. So it's quite an eclectic group,

Amanda Hammett: A very collective group.

Katie Kirschner: Funny about that is I'm not just that this role was kind of created within a certain framework that our marketing leader wanted, but also how it fits in with my background and why am I able to kind of navigate and do this very eclectic set of work. So rewind a couple years back because I'm not that old, but I actually started in the restaurant industry and I worked there for about 10 years and I will say I learned so much learning in that industry. I would highly recommend anyone who hasn't worked in the service industry to do so. Um, it's anything from multitasking to dealing with difficult people. People are different when they're hangry. I think we all know that, yes they are. And not only that, but the dynamics of the different age groups that you work with in the restaurant industry. You have career restaurant tours who are there until well into their sixties to teenagers who are just coming out of high school and they're being hostesses. Right? So I learned quite a bit and the dynamics of how to deal with different types of teams and then also the multitasking, the aggressiveness of the entire sort of industry that, where you're in, you have to think on your feet.

Katie Kirschner: It's very stressful. Um, I loved every minute I will say I loved working in the industry. Um, but from there I decided, you know, I was in school at the time. Most people they have a job or they're in school and um, I was actually a musical theater major and I had this great passion for learning about theater and music and I did quite a bit of theater, um, from chorus to a musical theater all the way to dramas on the stage. And then I realized I also had a great knack for languages. So I started learning languages at an early age. So I am Japanese and Irish. Um, so my, my mom and she grew up a little bit in Japan as well, California. US, my grandmother, straight off the boat. Um, my dad has that Irish Lithuanian background. So he's a very eclectic, funky background.

Katie Kirschner: So I grew up in this multinational sort of cultural home, so by nature I wanted to learn different languages. I just thrived on understanding the culture. So because of that I kind of got drawn into well who, who lets you see other countries and kind of learn about cultures and where would language value in that I fell into business. So I changed my major from musical theater to where apparently you'll starve and it's so hard to get into. And I was like, all right, I moved to business and um, I loved it and I kind of, you know, it's just so funny. You, you, you study theater and you realize how much you'll actually use theater and business. But, um, yes, branding, for example, marketing, a form of form of theater, uh, that should be a play by the way. I'm going to get coined for that.

Katie Kirschner: Um, so I started in the business realm and I'm with languages and with travel. So I also love to travel. I think the only way for an individual to truly learn about the culture that you're going to sell into or do you understand? There are two things you've gotta, um, you gotta learn their language and you got to learn their food. I think that's the basis of every culture, but we'll get into that part. So after that, um, I got my bachelor's in Spanish, Italian and a international business from Georgia State University. Loved the panthers. I'm straight into the city and I actually started college when I was 16 years old, so that was, just, won't go into that AP, finished that needed to go to college earlier, decided to do so. But um, after that I was like, okay, well I'm really loving this business aspect and this was during a time where, you know, I think a lot of millennials can identify if you're in the older realm with the millennials, but recession and hard to get jobs and um, you know, where am I going to go next?

Katie Kirschner: So I actually decided to, um, move into my masters right away. So along with my masters, I, um, um, I studied international business and I had a focus on branding and corporate strategy. Okay. So, um, give me one second, just one second. Sorry. There we go. I just have to move. We have, we have a ecofriendly building here at NCR, so if no one's moving in a room, the lights will go out. So sorry about that. Um, another plus for NCR. But, so after I finished my master's in international business, I, um, I did a couple of boutique consulting engagement, so I first lived in Caracas, Venezuela, and I did it associate engagement there. Um, and then I was like, you know, I want to do consulting and I think when you get your masters or you always think of like this amazing life for everyone travels and you get to experience the cultures.

Katie Kirschner: They always, sometimes you think consulting first. Right? And that's, that's what I wanted to do. I also loved corporate strategy, so I was like, I wonder if this whole thing. And so the dean of my business or the dean of our International Business College actually sat me down and he was like, okay, um, you know, what do you, what are your plans for your life? Basically drew a timeline, which was the most valuable thing this gentleman could do. Um, and he just said, you know, do you want to have kids and get married here and, you know, what are your aspirations, what do you want to learn, et cetera. And so I told them all these things and um, I was just everyone and anyone to do that timeline timeline at least a certain amount of your life, you know, your major goals, you know, what do you want out of your life?

Katie Kirschner: And he geared me, he said, well, based off of that actually wouldn't suggest consulting, but everyone needs a basis in operations, every company needs operation. So it would be, it would be so valuable for you to learn that. Um, and just through connections, um, and a job that popped up with a global logistics company, I got placed there. So, um, that was leading strategy slash marketing for the Americas region for um, one of the top three global logistics companies in the world. So huge, massive company. Um, and that was my first, like, I wouldn't say it was like my real job, you know, you consider, you don't have to sit in a restaurant, a real job. I don't know why people don't because it is a real job or you bolting going around Italy and all over these places, but I'm really getting into that corporate world and then having to explore house.

Katie Kirschner: How the real world does what you learned in your masters, you know? Um, started there. Then I decided through that. I actually traveled the world live in a couple different places. Hong Kong is Argentina, Madrid and I met my husband through that who then encouraged me to go back to Europe to live there and I decided not to move with the company I currently was with, which was a German company. We learned a lot of cultural aspects about, um, and this is the funny part. I worked for a German company in America and then I moved to Germany and I got hired by an American company so, and I actually got hired there because they wanted an individual who could translate why American culture doesn't fit everywhere and why the strategies or the marketing they're going to instill won't work in the rest of Europe or in Germany itself was like, that's really interesting.

Katie Kirschner: So, um, got hired there, moved up the ranks to lead, I'm sales and marketing for the region, more marketing focus this time, kind of cool because I could take my strategy aspects and then apply that to implementation strategy. And then from there, um, we got a new CEO while I was in that position and I guess I made an impression on him somehow and so he pulled me to leading marketing and communications globally for the company. So they say, yeah, it was a, it was a big job. Um, and I, man, it was, I was awesome that he has so much faith in me to do that. Um, I mean I was competent at the same time. This is a four point $5,000,000,000 company, 29,000 employees, but the nine countries. And I'm just thinking, okay, I can do this. Like, and I loved, he brought me into the office when he had first asked me whether I wanted to.

Katie Kirschner: First he asked me if I was interested in the position. I was like, yes, please. Like who's not going to interested in someone's telling you, would you like to leave? Marketing Communications globally for the company, and he brings me in. He said, okay, listen, I want to know if you had one fifth of the resources that we have today within marketing communications. What would you do?

Amanda Hammett: And question? Yeah,

Katie Kirschner: it was a great question because yeah, that's a tough one. Um, so I laid out kind of just off the top of my head a plan and I said, well, I think these are the most important areas to focus it based on what I've seen in the field. And that was important. I had been in the field, I'd seen what wasn't and what was working, especially from a European perspective I had gained. I gained quite a network and some of the other regions just because it became you just start to create it because you're creating fields, kind of marketing elements.

Katie Kirschner: Um, so I brought that to the top and I told him what I, what I would cut automatically where we need to focus as a business. I knew our strategy just because that trickle down quite easily. Um, so then he said that was great and I guess he decided to put me in the position, um, and he said the best thing that I did, because I talked to him later about it when I presented it was I didn't come in and tell him, well, the first thing I would do is, you know, build another empire. I would start again and I would try and build my empire. Um, so it wasn't as power focus, it was more where can we get the best result with the small, smallest amount of resources. And it's not to say, well, I would start building resources again, which apparently it was more, Hey, if I have to be scrappy, like I know how to be scrappy.

Katie Kirschner: Um, I've had a job since I was 15 years old and I've, you know, I know how to kind of build things out without having much. So, um, I guess that helps in that scenario. And um, so from there that company actually got acquired and I decided not to stay on with the acquiring company, um, because it would have had to live in a different country than Germany and I didn't want to move, so it was just this perfect kind of time in my life. I said, you know what, I'm ready to come back to the states. I hadn't been in the states about nine years and I wanted to come back to family. Um, so I interviewed for the position at NCR while I was still in Germany. I had 11 interviews, which is pretty insane, but I'm NCR is they like to know that their people are good people, so I can, uh, I can also say that that's a good thing.

Katie Kirschner: Um, yeah. And then I got my first position within, um, like a portfolio sort of marketing role and then um, marketing change and shift a little bit within our company. We're dynamic, um, with, with the technology industry, you, which is just as dynamic. You also have to be dynamic in nature. So then I'm here I am fantastic.

Amanda Hammett: Oh my gosh, you have had all of these like crazy experiences in a relatively short amount of time. I mean, you've probably had a lot of love momentus different occasions in your career that someone would have over the course of like a 20 or 30 year career. Do you know what I'm saying?

Katie Kirschner: Yeah, I do. And that's why people don't believe me when I tell them how old I am, although I try not to tell them how old I am, but I'm actually serious. I've, when I was, when I first started my leading, I'm leading marketing communications for that company. People would first meet me, they would say, I was just wondering like, how, how old are you? And I said, well, I mean, you're, you're more than welcome. Two guests don't ask a woman her age. Uh, although I don't care, you know, I'll tell him that I said I, I, you know, you can guess I have, you know, I have two degrees. I've lived in seven different countries. You know, I'm married. So I was married or getting married at the time. So I'm getting married at the time, part of my degrees is a masters and they would be like, okay, yeah. So you're like, you just like age really well. So you're like 39. Right? And this is like years back. And I'm like, oh my gosh, like even if you said I aged well and then you told me that you thought it was 39, I don't know, I don't know to take that as a compliment or not.

Katie Kirschner: And it's partly because people, I mean you have people our age who we, we've just, we love to learn and we've been ambitious in nature and um, and it's even the aspect of a collectic learning or focused learning, right? I just happen to learn from many different fields and um, and, and fortunate enough to have learned strategy, which is a science that can be applied to any industry, including marketing. Marketing is also the science. So, um, I just think people don't, they don't match the two to think. There's no way that you can have done all that and have been that young. So, um, I, um, yeah,

Amanda Hammett: that's awesome. I mean, that is just an incredible background of information though, and I feel like what I see a lot of times with my rockstar millennials is that they do have what I call a lily pad of experiences. You're here and you're gaining skills and information and you're learning, but then you're ready to move on when you feel like you've mastered it, you're, you're not willing to sit there and just wait, you know, for the next thing to come trickling down to. You want to proactively go after it and so you do more like lily pad hops. Whereas previous generations were more willing to wait and move up wrong by wrong above singular silo and you, you are not singular in your silos.

Katie Kirschner: I don't know if it's even just that. So I would also say it's, it's the mentality that certain generations have. So I hate when I hate. I hate to use the word hate. I dislike when people say, Hey, millennials, you know, our, our company hoppers or career hoppers and that's just. It may be true in some cases, but in other cases it's simply listened. The, the environment that we live in today, so dynamic in nature that were actually pushed to move in different areas and learn different things. I mean if you look at a marketing role today, you might as well be a technology officer like you're meant to know technologies and data and analytics. You can be, you can run down a data and analytics if you want to. So actually if you had come from a marketing role and then you went into a data and analytics role and you had to go to a different company or whatever to learn that that was the force of the whole where consumer technologies and consumers meeting commerce are changing.

Katie Kirschner: So it's not so much that I'm not loyal to this company, to the company, but just for my own nature to do my, my passion better. So not much, but my passion better. I've got to learn x or I've got to know x and I get pulled in a different direction. Yes.

Amanda Hammett: Fantastic. That is, that is amazing. So Katie, with all of this experience that you have, um, I would imagine that there have been some bumps and bruises along the way. There may be some lessons learned along the way. So, you know, what is the one that immediately jumps into your mind?

Katie Kirschner: Oh, so the top one I would say is if there's one thing I've learned, it's to be, I live by this motto and I tell my team I live by this motto as well and it's to be open, honest and transparent. Um, and I've learned that having those two things at the core of the relationships that you have not just personally but also within business is actually proves to be quite fruitful. So I've learned that the hard way. I've had previous bosses who would think that I was competing with them because I'm just that learn, go theater and always throwing out ideas and challenging things. So I play Devil's corporate strategy. I play devil's advocate a lot when you build strategy to do that and a stress test things. And sometimes that wasn't taken as well as you would've liked it to be. And so I realized whenever I present an idea or I'm forcing someone to push themselves to think differently, even if it's my superior, if it's my boss, I need to also first establish that the relationship is. And this is the second thing that I hold core to learning is, um, my sole goal is actually for my peers, my employees, and my managers to be successful.

Katie Kirschner: That is my goal. So when nowhere is there, my goal is for me to be successful or my goal is for me to find success and move up and move on. Because if I hold dear to say, I want my boss to be successful and how can I help my boss be successful, my employees, how can I help them learn, grow and become successful? By default, I've become successful. But if you, if you change your mentality too, it's about you and it's about you becoming successful. You Act differently. Um, so I've, I've learned that from that experience of former boss who thought, you know, I was trying to take the reins and I wanted their job. I realize now I have to be honest and open like right up front and I need to continually be transparent with these individuals to why am I doing these actions, you know, be transparent into how do I think, you know, how can you interact with me and being honest in, in feedback.

Katie Kirschner: Like if I give individual feedback that there's a direct part, open, honest, transparent, and probably direct would be a fourth one. I would love that back to meet, right? Because I can't grow or change develop if it's not that way. So um, bump in a road is, is people tend to think, or I don't want to say people in general, but individuals may think, you know, I need to guard my intelligence or guard that because I will be, I don't want to be indispensable. And it's like, man, if you just knew I'm putting the team members first and your boss first in success, like it's life changing. It's actually a weight off of your chest to always think it has to be about you reaching that next level. You'll get there. You will and much faster if you're helping other people become successful. Much, much better.

Amanda Hammett: Okay. Absolutely. I mean, for every person that you know will maybe not treat you as well, there'll be 20 others that will be like, oh, you know, Katie did this for me and they'll bend over backwards for you and do even more than you could ever ask. Sorry, I just hit my desk. All right. Fantastic. That's awesome. Alright, so we, it feels like 20 minutes ago we talked about Georgia state and going into the working world now. When you were sitting in class at Georgia state or in your master's program, were there, you kind of mentioned that there were some differences in the, what you were learning versus the reality. So tell us a little bit about what was that reality check like for you? Was it a huge wakeup call or did, do you feel like you transitioned easily?

Katie Kirschner: Um, you know, it was, I just actually had lunch with one of my professors recently. Okay. Master's program at Georgia state. And I told him, I said, you know, there's, I think what they teach you in school is foundational. It's things that you, you, you should know going in, like you should know how to do accounting x and that helps you because you have to apply it to y and Z, whatever that is. There are foundational things to know as a basis. I think the wakeup call came from, um, knowing, understanding how politics work. So politics isn't just in politics. Um, so you're like, hey, yeah, these, these processes, this is how they're suppose this is the ideal. I learned that this was the ideal and this is how you build strategy and this is the reason you do it. And you try and, you know, bring a company out of ailment.

Katie Kirschner: And it's like, yes, but there are also, there are targets and goals that are sometimes unseen that you don't realize until you get in there. Right? So, um, you know, I've been in an, I did boutique consulting, so I've also been in companies that are like, yeah, we want this, we want this to be the goal. And you're like, okay, well I've done the research and I've done the data and actually like this is a better goal. Like this would be the ideal because based on where the market's going or whatever it is, and they're like, yeah, yeah, but we want this to be the goal, so we want you to create data and strategy so this should be the goal and you're thinking your head. That doesn't make sense. That goes against everything I learned like shouldn't you? You should look at the balance sheet and you should do the research.

Katie Kirschner: Right? But they understand like that and it may not that it's a malicious thing. It may be they have a different longterm vision of what they want to do with that company. They want to do something completely different or someone's going to retire and that's going to change the direction of where that company is going to go or or whether they're going to set themselves up for sale or whatever it is. So learning that there is a, there are, there's a politics and be underlining initiatives that don't. Don't pop up in your everyday case study when you walk through your master's program. That's probably the biggest, like, Whoa, okay. So it's not, you mean it's not all textbook

Amanda Hammett: thing. I mean those, those people get in there and just mess things up.

Katie Kirschner: Why would you want to do that? That makes no sense. And then, you know, you never know what it's for. But clients always in it.

Amanda Hammett: That's awesome. So let me ask you this, Katie, um, let's talk about, you know, bosses in the past, mentors maybe in the past or maybe currently that you have, um, what are they doing or what have they done to keep you really engaged? Because I mean, you're super dynamic, flat. You're on your own, so they probably don't have to do a whole lot, but you know, what is it that they do that keeps you super passionate and just like out there asking tough questions and getting that feedback. What, what is it that they do for you?

Katie Kirschner: Oh man, some of the best managers I've ever had, I'm truly lived and not just set it but lived empowerment. So example, the managers that would come to me and say, hey, we need to get, we need to get x done, or we have this chat, Alan Cheer, what would you recommend doing? Or what would you do? I said, well, based off Xyz, I would do this. Okay, go like you go and do it, or you, you go figure it out. Or are not that they wouldn't guide along the way, but that they, they felt that they could empower me to make a big decision or to build something that would actually affect anything in the company. You know, I think empowerment to say um, to not micromanage constantly. Like always worried like, oh, what is this? She's too young or she's going to fail because she doesn't know any of it. She hasn't been in the industry for 30 years. I've had two fantastic manager, actually three fantastic merrick managers are just like, they were like, well, what do you think? And um, yeah, well, if that's what you think, let's go with that. You know, it's, it's the simple trust in I think this because of x. and I just see, you know why, and they believe it and they empower you to go and do it and you know, what, you may fail sometimes, like your, your guests or what you decided to do may not work out. But I've had those same managers come back to me like, you know what? Yeah, that didn't work out, you know, that's okay. So what else would you do if it didn't? If they asked me that didn't work. So what do you think was the challenge in that? Why didn't that work out?

Katie Kirschner: And it made you think, okay, well, if this is why it didn't work, then maybe we can try x and, you know, change some things, some elements to get to the right solution to get it to the target. I'm that afraid to fail. And I know that's so overused. Don't be afraid to fail. Um, but you actually have to have management that is also not afraid to fail and afraid for you to fail. Um, and I love that. And I've had some great managers that they empower you and they're not afraid for you to fail. That's awesome. That is, that's really great and that's a great sign of a wonderful manager or leader because I can tell you that it's not always the case. Now there are people who like to control and there are people who, um, you know, they're, they're scared because their team is a reflection of them and at the same time you have managers who are like, Hey, if we fail, we fail together and I'll take the rap just as much as you'll, you know, you'll get the rap.

Amanda Hammett: So that's awesome. That's good. That's good. And that makes the team want to work even harder to make them look good.

Katie Kirschner: Oh yeah.

Amanda Hammett: So, okay, well good. Now what about any kind of perks for any, any of the companies that you've been with current or in the past that you were just like, man, this is nice. I mean, it doesn't have to be, you know, ping pong tables or anything of that nature, but, you know, extra days off or anything that just pops into your mind that a company has offered as far as benefits or perks.

Katie Kirschner: Oh yes. Benefits, um, keeps you engaged and happy at work. I'm probably the worst at this actually. I'll, if I can give one best I'll give to you. So the first one is flexibility and time. So, um, I think the worst thing a company can do, especially in this day days, age and says you need to work from eight to five, you need to be in the opposite and you need to leave at five.

Katie Kirschner: And it's like, okay, well, you know, if you're more flexible and you allow me to get a better work life balance, you're going to get far more productivity out of me. And I currently work for a company that's like that, that's very like, hey, you know, you don't have to. If you live not in the city and you need to drive all the way down here, comment like 10, leave by two. So you miss traffic, you'll finish your day at home. You may wait longer one day and shorter the next day when they strive for results rather than a time clock. That is one of the best benefits that accompany can give. And believe me, you'll get the results if you don't focus on the time clock. And the second thing is, um, I am a workout masochist. So part of my work life balance is being able to go to the gym and uh, I don't want to.

Katie Kirschner: I'm like NCR, so great. Like come work at NCR. I'm basically trying to get talent. So anyone who watches this, I'm basically trying to get down. Okay, video, okay plug. But we have the coolest Jim ever in this, in our building. And the reason I like that is it's a part of the work balance conversation, right? Um, for them to be able to provide that, to focus on health and to make sure, you know, hey, not only are you flexible for when you're in the office and when you're not, we focused on the results, but we also want you to stay healthy while you're here. Um, and have the ability to work out and they give classes. I'm also on great schedules. They have wonderful personal trainers in there as well. So, um, I love the fact that I can come in really early and I can work out and then I can just go straight to my desk or I can on my lunch break, go and work out and, you know, come back up to the office and I like that flexibility. So that's probably the second coop. Cool perk. Let's say.

Amanda Hammett: That's a really cool. I love that. I, I, that's, that's pretty cool. Very cool. So I assume that you don't go straight to your desk from working. We have an awesome locker rooms. I think that your, your coworkers would appreciate.

Katie Kirschner: I'm always like I did where the. Okay, just making sure.

Amanda Hammett: So, um, I, I know that you are obviously not fresh out of college, but is there something that you, is because you are fairly new, you, you were on the job market fairly recently, so you have a good idea about what it's like being out there looking for a job. What is it that companies need to do a better job of when they're looking at getting more rockstar? Millennials like yourself?

Katie Kirschner: Oh man, you know what, my biggest pet peeve and I am relatively new because I was applying when I was in Germany for the job in the US, you know, I know people want to be very extensive in the hiring process. I think that there are a lot of companies out there that make it so difficult even to apply and I want to say like an application is important, but it only says so much about a person and if you're looking, if he, if the job you're hiring for is a copywriter or a communication person, absolutely.

Katie Kirschner: Then you'll probably want, I want you to write an essay about xY, , Z and I know they're there. You need to weed out some, you know, because they probably get thousands of them. And I know this, I hire people as well. We get thousands and thousands of CD's, but truly I'm talking to somebody is a little bit different than having them, you know, go through this massive application process. And um, I think interviews are important. So I actually love that NCR did 11 interviews to hire me, you know, because it gave me a chance to see all the different people in the company and talk to them. Um, the different viewpoints, what each of them would be asking me, but also it gave, and we do this today, like I don't, I'm not the only one who interviews individuals that we hire my team, I actually have my peers interview them, I have my managers, other people in different areas I know that they would engage with because everyone has a different perspective.

Katie Kirschner: So what, you as a hiring manager, you may know what you want and you're like, I have this vision and the insight you get from someone else looking at that person from a different angle is so valuable and you don't get that from an application because you're not. Or an essay that someone wrote because someone who. So I'll give, I'll give a concrete example. I did horribly on my, like I'm just, I'm not a test. I'm not a standardized test taker. And I literally went to um, to admissions, the head of admissions at Georgia state. I don't know if she remembers this, maybe she will. She ever watches this, but I went to her and I said, listen, I know that my score is not good. I'm not good at standardized tests. I said, you could give me any other tests in the world except for a standardized test.

Katie Kirschner: I will replace it. I said, I guarantee you like I am going to be a great asset to this university, that I'm going to do such a great job. And she said, well, let me have you talked to you know, the business. I'm the Dean for our Institute of International Business or whatever it was at that time. He had a different position. I said, okay, and so I sat down and I said, listen, I'm telling and you know, I, I pitched myself, I talked to them, I told him why I would bring value. I told him how, sorry I didn't score well on it. I did all these, you know, different ways to like, do better at it, but I'm telling you like, these are concrete. I said, you know, how long I've worked and you know, why, what I bring as a value, like just verbally being able to say all that.

Katie Kirschner: Um, and I know some people have started doing videos to do that. I've seen that on the Internet, which I think is funny. But, um, I got, I got in based off of that, like for, for going to a business school, which is mostly people look at your scores. I got in strictly off of an interview or two interviews and then telling why my background's mattered. And I love the example of, um, a cat. Cole, I don't know if you've heard of her. She's a, she's an executive here in Atlanta as well for focus brands and she, um, she also, she doesn't have an undergraduate degree, but she wanted to go into a master's program and so for her to say, Hey, I don't need my undergraduate degree to be able to do this program, I think I'll bring value to it. You know, she went to Ted Turner and asked him for a referral and she's like, listen, like I'm telling you, um, I can really bring value to you by me coming to your program. And I think the same is with companies. I'm not saying interview every single person you have to have a lead out, but don't make your application process like the most horrendous thing are people writing 17 essays, et cetera. I don't think them writing 17 essays will let you know how they're going to be in their job. I would rather, and I actually saw Siemens do this. Oh, I said a name of a company I would see a as is where they, you recorded

Katie Kirschner: video and just talk about yourself. And I was like, that's genius, man. I wish more companies would do that because I'd love to watch the video over. Even me as a hiring manager, I'd rather watch a video than read your 17 essays.

Amanda Hammett: All right, so we've already made a disclaimer that this is a hiring firing for instance. So there you go. Okay, that's really cool. And I couldn't agree more. I actually was speaking at a university recently and a lot of the students, it was right before graduation, a lot of the students were talking about the process of getting a job and you know, they were going onto some fantastic companies like oracle and Cisco and I mean huge brand name companies, but they were all complaining about that initial application piece that one of them said it took like three and a half hours to just get through the process and they're like, and then I never heard anything back and it's like that, you know, three hours I'll never get back.

Amanda Hammett: And I'm like, yeah, that's probably true. Yeah. So I mean, it, it, it is, it's painful universally. I think so. Very cool. All right, so Katie, I mean this has been fantastic. I've learned so much. I mean, I literally, I now want to be your friend and then look like we're going to hang out because we both live in Atlanta, but we do have to wrap up. So is there any last nuggets of advice that you would like to give the audience of the millennial rock star podcast?

Katie Kirschner: Wow. Pressure. Um, you own your happiness, so you choose your attitude and you own your happiness. So don't expect a manager to own it for you. Don't expect a friend to own it for you. Um, you own how you choose to approach things and how what you know is your passion, what's going to make you happy, so focus on you, making yourself happy and less about thinking that other people or things are going to do it for you.

Amanda Hammett: Wow. Wise words, I can't say anything else. So thank you so much for joining us, Katie, and thank you for watching. See you next time.

Amanda Hammett: Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the millennial Rockstar podcasts. If you are looking for even more information on millennials and some free resources, visit my website at Amanda Hamot Dot Com. The link is below. It's Amanda Hamot Dot Com. There you can download a free millennial employee engagement guide that will give you all kinds of tips and tricks on how to keep those millennials engaged on a day to day basis. Because we all know that millennials who are happy at work are more productive at work.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

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