Millennial guest series. Alisha Lesniak from the USA

Welcome to Business Raw by IAM Millennial guest series! 

I find inspirations in Millennials thinking of today and the future, as well as how they form their professional choices. The first article in this series was with my oldest son and his girlfriend from Shanghai. In this article Alisha Lesniak from the USA shares how her choices have been formed and what she is aiming for. THANK YOU, Alisha! If you are interested in sharing your story, let me know at


As a long-time lover of animals, it was natural for me to want to pursue them as a career path. While I knew that I always wanted to work with animals, it took me a long time to determine how exactly I would do so. I attended Cal Poly for college and graduated with a degree in animal science. The year following my graduation found me living and working in New York, New Orleans, and California. I worked in zoos, animal shelters, and veterinary hospitals.

While each job fulfilled me in its own way, I slowly began to realize that despite not wanting to admit, money was more important than I had once thought. That believe it or not, you actually needed to make money to live a comfortable life.

And unfortunately for me, these jobs just weren’t satisfying that. I am a person of many passions and somehow tend to gravitate towards the more expensive ones. I recently bought my first horse, and am training for my first triathlon. I picked up polo while in college, and since graduating only have the time and money to play every so often.

A polo tournament last summer in Gilroy, CA with my horse, Beowulf.

After talking with a close family friend I started to think more seriously about going into sales. Specifically, veterinary pharmaceuticals, where I could still work amongst the industry I was most passionate about. After applying, I found rather quickly that this is a very competitive job market and my lack of sales skills just wasn’t going to cut it. I sacrificed my animal job at the time to take an entry level sales position. I currently spend my days calling car dealerships to sell them on our auto finance lead program. Never in a million years would I have seen myself in this position. However, I am working towards my ultimate goal, and have learned immeasurable skills in sales and business in the mean time.

I think it’s important for millennials to be open-minded in today’s job market. Our dream jobs are obtainable, but not always out of the gate. We have to remind ourselves of the bigger picture to get where we want.

I enjoy learning new things! This is from my second bike ride. 


My Millennial guest series will be developed. STAY TUNED!

Business Raw


Looking at the Millennials/ Generation Y –  born early 1980 to early 2000 – is your leadership hanging in there? I hope mine is. Therefore, some of my inspirators are found in the younger age groups.

Found this article on Generation Y characteristics. The highlights:

  • Attracted to organisations where technology is at the forefront of the companies ethos
  • View life differently than their overworked parents – seeks the best blend of an enjoyable life with a fulfilling working environment
  • Unlike generations before them they are happy to change job roles more often to find the right organization to work within
  • A team playing mentality and expectations of openness and transparency from management and colleagues
  • Communication which is quick, effective and on Generation Y terms will be conducted in a heartbeat
  • Constant feedback, gratitude, guidance and reassurance are essentials

Generation Y is the fastest growing generation in business and as leaders…

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Millennials going global. Reflections from Shanghai

In one of my previous articles I talked about the Millenials and how I find inspirations in their thinking and professional choices. I am very happy to have Nicolai, my oldest son, and his girlfriend, Jinyu, as my guests.

Nicolai and Jinyu met in the small University city of Utah, Cedar City, USA, and graduated in May 2013. This last year they spent in Norway and now in Shanghai to learn each others cultures and languages.


Jinyu in Europe and Norway for the first time ever. Here celebrating the Norwegian Constitution day on May 17, 2013 with Nicolai.


– We are both very international and love traveling, meeting new people and explore different cultures. Exploring each others cultures and languages has been a natural and exciting milestone after graduation.

Jinyu just started in an interesting Management trainee position at Abercrombie&Fitch.

– I will be trained for HR, visual merchandising, diversity and some other crucial perspectives of fashion and retail industry. We just opened the very first flagship store for China here in Shanghai. It was very busy and successful! And I learned a lot.


Abercrombie&Fitch first flagship store for China just opened in Shanghai


People waiting for the new Abercrombie&Fitch flagship store opening in Shanghai


– Nicolai, what was the biggest change for you moving from Norway to Shanghai?

– It was a big step for me to live with Jinyus parents as they don’t know a word of english. This became the excellent opportunity for me to practice my Chinese. I am now a lot more comfortable communicating in Chinese and I have also adapted the big differences of the culture. Regular daily activities such as going to the grocery store, taking public transportation and eating in restaurants are challenges and make me adapt the culture and language.

Nicolai just came back from a Business trip to Thailand where he was presenting a new Athletic concept for Business Leaders. Time will show if his sales pitch was convincing enough to expand the concept he is working on. He just ran his first race in Shanghai, and next is marathon in Singapore in the end of May.

Nicolai running his first race in Shanghai.

Nicolai running his first race in Shanghai.


– Jinyu, are there changes you have noticed in Shanghai since you came back from your studies in the US?

– Shanghai is changing every single day! It grows so fast that locals can’t even keep on track. This is a radiant and young city that has so much to offer. The one thing that I have realized is that before foreigners were here just for leisure, but now more and more of them are coming for job opportunities. According to the latest population report, there are over 300,000 expats living here as residents, most of them come from Southern Europe like France, Italy and Spain.