Student Shares Experience as CofC’s Millennial and Gen Z Ambassador

CofC COMM Major Jordynn Pinckney attended the National Millennial Gen Z Community conference recently, where she met peers from across the country. Jordynn is eager to share her experiences with the greater CofC COMMunity. Read her blog below: 

As a college student, one of the more recent challenges I have been facing is decision making when taking steps towards. Being a junior in college means that the undergraduate experience is coming to a close; this can be overwhelming for many students, including myself. I often wonder: Am I making the right decision? Whether it be small things like, if I should spend more of my free time hanging out with friends, and engulfing myself in the college experience, or, reading, so that I can enhance my perspective to be a better writer. Minor decisions like these and major ones have halted me in the past and left me stuck trying to put together the bigger picture.

Although decisions have been difficult for me as a college student there are some decisions that are just easy. I made the decision to hop on a plane for the very first time, and travel to San Francisco with the National Millennial Gen Z Community in March. I was nominated by the College of Charleston Communication Department to join this community of brilliant young leaders, who while on the trip have had a great impact on me. When speaking with these students, I got the opportunity to share career aspirations and learn so much from students’ very own decision making, that by chance, allowed us to be on the trip together.

We had various insightful conversations with many companies and organizations that we visited. For example, companies like Google, KQED, Wells Fargo, UM Worldwide etc.

A conversation that really hit home for me with the challenges I had been facing while in the mists of my junior career, was presented by Nikhil Arora. He along with Alejandro Velez are the co-founders of Back to the Roots located in Oakland, California. Back to the Roots is a gardening company that expanded from a fact- given by the owner’s professor- about how coffee grounds could be used to make quality mushrooms. Arora and Velez were curious college students at the time but now they own America’s #1 Organic Gardening Company.


Arora told a story about how he and Velez used to go to local businesses and sell mushrooms that they had grown in their college houses. After some persistence, eventually, their product became popular. He then went on to explain how it was not just one thing that got him to where he is today. Rather, it was a combination of decisions and actions, yes’s and no’s, that shaped him, and because he remained persistent he made his dream a reality. And then it all clicked for me. From this conversation, I learned that failure is not an option, because as long as I continue to take steps towards my future my dreams are attainable, by just taking one step at a time.

-Jordynn Pinckney ’23

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