316 Words that Flew Me Away to New York City

Last year, I wrote my 316 words essay with this title. Pretty much, I want this thing.

Do you ever have that itch when you want something and ready to work hard for that?

I did.

Last year- somewhere after went back home from Europe (I was attending a MUN conference with 9 strangers that are now basically my best friends) — I felt the urge to end my college journey by going to USA. I remember that one night, I was thinking a lot in my dorm room. I only had thesis left, but I didn’t want to be graduated that fast. I still want to do something, and I think that going to USA was the perfect way to close this chapter.

Back then, I didn’t know how, when, and what kind of thing that I will do to get there. Reality check, I’m not that rich to afford the trips and flights, but somehow I knew that I will go there, specifically to New York City, and met awesome people.

You know what’s magical about that itch? I did go to New York City and it was awesome experience which finally let me (or my ego) to be graduated.

So what did I do to get there?

I was attending one of the most selective business conferences for undergraduates in the world, which was held by Business Today, an organization established by Princeton University students, that aims to bridge world-renowned business professionals with undergraduates. This organization founded by Jonathan Perel, Michael Mims, and Steve Forbes back in 1968.

Back then, they asked me to write a ~300 words essay related to millennial generation. Here it is, an essay with 316 words that flew me away to New York City:

According to Catalyst, in 2020 half of the global workforce (which also means global consumer) is millennial generation. The existence of this generation is changing the way companies engage with their consumers. One of the best examples is the importance of sustainability issues for companies in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector.
Equipped by the rise of social media, the awareness of millennial generation for sustainability issue is huge and it’s affecting the way they consume their daily products. For this generation, it’s not only about high quality or affordable price, but it’s also about the sustainability footprint. In fact, Nielsen Global Survey in 2015 reported that 72% of Millennial Generation are willing to pay more for products that come from companies that are committed to environmental impact.
Understanding the dynamic of the market, one of the biggest companies in the FMCG sector, Unilever- a British-Dutch multinational company, made a bold move towards sustainability in 2010. Known as Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, this strategy has the vision to double the size of the business and reducing its absolute environmental impact in 2020. The result is impressive. By 2014, half of the company’s growth is backed by sustainable living brands, with high single and double digit sales. Of course, Unilever is not alone. According to AT Kearney Report in 2012, titled The Profitable Shift to Green Energy, other companies in FMCG sector are following the same path, including Procter & Gamble (P&G), Nestle, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft, and Johnson & Johnson. Not only related to profitability; with a sustainable business practice, these companies also can reduce their operating cost- especially related to waste management and energy consumption.
It’s remarkable on how 10 years ago, these companies never put the sustainability into their priorities, but now it’s important for their business model. The existence of the Millennial Generation, as the new consumer of their products, is influential to that model.

I did not believe it when the announcement came to my email. I was in Kuala Lumpur doing my three-week consulting project, and the good news distracted me from the project for at least two days (in a good way). Back then I reflected a lot about myself. I’m literally a misfit, international relations student, little interest in politics, huge interest in environment issues, and instead of joining debate club (miserably failed), or focusing myself in MUN for years (I’m absolutely an amateur in this subject), I decided to “waste” my time a lot with business competitions. I spent like months to really understand a world which I rarely encountered daily, lost a lot of them, but won some of these competitions. I treasure each win (and loss) not because I can put them in my CV (although I can put them proudly), but because I really feel the struggles. Each of them taught me many lessons, let me met many ambitious youths, and I will never forget about them.

If I, that misfit guy, could nail it, I do believe that you can!

Stunning building in NYC. Yes- it is the World Trade Center.

For Indonesian who read this, I really wish this year there is at least one Indonesian that can attend this conference. I mean, Indonesia is basically the 4th populous country on Earth and I don’t think it’s that hard to find someone who can attend this conference and going back home with all of the inspirations from the conference. You will meet amazing executives, youths (which basically make you realize that you are not that awesome — and that’s perfectly okay), and can see the beauty of NYC with your own eyes. What’s best besides that?

Just apply and write things that really resonates with your personality. It will shows.

Between jetlag-scared-and excited. Somewhere in between.

I write my review about the conference in Quora. You may read that too.

I wish you a good luck!

— — — — —

Apply here for the conference!It’s only until 30th July 2017!

More information: http://ic.btconferences.org/

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