Conversing with Millennials

Posted on Sunday, Apr 22, 2018

It’s debated whether I am actually considered a millennial or not. Just barely being able to claim the title of 90’s baby has me clinging to the tail end of the “Millennial eve.”

The age disparity became rather obvious at my first workplace get together when my co- workers shared stories about their children and husbands, while all I had were tales of my college woes. I guess that was one of the most valuable skill sets I’ve gained since coming to Washington D.C., no matter who is in the group or what sized the crowd is, I can find some type of common ground with these people that have a couple extra decades of experience. And when in doubt, I keep a couple of tricks in my back pocket to help avoid lulls in conversation.
  1. It is astounding the number of people that are willing to help and mentor you when they find out that you are interning and new to the city; ask for advice!
  2. People love to talk about themselves family, work, alma mater, or even their favorite sports team, it doesn’t matter. If you listen more than you speak, you’ll be able find topics with which you can relate and better connect.
  3. D.C. is a place run by passion. Government workers aren’t always well compensated, so asking why they chose to continue or start work in the public sector tends to revive the conversation.
  4. Additionally, D.C. is a politically driven town, so knowing the current events is always a good idea.
Of course, when you’re not sitting in meetings, attending receptions on the Hill, or networking to find a job, a run-down Mt. Vernon Trail is one of the city’s most beautiful hidden gems. What treasures can you find in Washington D.C.?

Gabrielle Orion
U.S. Department of Commerce
Washington, D.C. | spring 2018