Millennials in the Workplace: NextGen Students in Franchising | International Franchise Association

Millennials in the Workplace: NextGen Students in Franchising

IFA salutes the next generation of franchising leaders.


By Miriam L. Brewer, CFE

If you attended IFA’s Annual Convention and saw some younger, fresher faces, you most likely saw the NextGen in Franchising student scholarship recipients. These millennials participated in the competitive scholarship program and were selected from across the country. Faculty Advisors Jim Hopp (Northwood University), Dr. Mahmood Khan (Virginia Tech University) and Bill Maddocks (University of New Hampshire) developed and delivered specialized franchise education programming for this year’s cohort with each participant bringing a different prospective to the convention. 


In June, America’s Small Business Development Center and the Louisiana SBDC held the second annual Maximizing Millennial Minds Conference (M3) to discover innovative ways to improve how to can better coach and consult this group of entrepreneurs. Additionally, the America’s SBDC recently collaborated with the Center for Generational Kinetics to understand how different generations view and approach entrepreneurship. Not surprising, millennials have a strong interest in starting businesses. Of note in the study was:

59 percent of Millennials say that with the right idea and resources they would start a business within the next year.

61 percent of Millennials believe that the best job security comes from owning your own business.

51 percent of Millennials would absolutely want help with a business development plan.

45 percent of Millennials say access to capital is the biggest barrier to starting a business.

More than 13 million Millennials cite not knowing where to go for help to start or run a business as the No. 1 reason that keeps them from starting their own business.

The above crystalizes our need to connect with these entrepreneurial minds. Let’s look at the next generation of leaders.


Stewart and Jane Bainum Fund Scholarship Recipients

Tori Carter 
Tori just completed her junior year as an accounting major at Regent University. Though unable to attend the Convention due to competing demands, Tori was excited to receive this award as she believes a college education is still relevant in today’s society. Quoting Albert Einstein, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school,” Tori is looking forward to putting that into practice.
Hannah Goddard
Hannah understands the world is always changing and there are new skills to be learned and careers to be discovered. Receiving this scholarship award will help Hannah realize her goal of working in the Hospitality Management field. Hannah will begin her Junior Year at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass.
Kelsey Groom
“The IFA convention was an amazing experience! To be around peers that are just like me who are equally invested into our future. This experience was truly a catalyst into developing my own business. During the week, I gained networking skills and developed mentors to help me with my process. I have a big dream of one day owning a business in Baltimore. With the wisdom and guidance I gained at the convention, it can hopefully be a dream come true. I am currently working with a business advisor and developing a business a plan. It was truly a life-changing experience! Never would have thought I'd be sitting in a room with the CEOs and Founders of the most recognizable franchises in the world.” Kelsey is a rising senior majoring in Hospitality Management and Mass Communications at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md.
Uriel Rangel
Graduating with a Managerial Sciences and Hospitality Administration degree, Uri is ready to put in practice the theories he learned while at Georgia State University. Uri is prepared to demonstrate to employers that a candidate can work with team members who may not share the same background or beliefs. He will use his college education in its entirety to grow academically, socially, emotionally and the experience of the IFA Convention to reach his full potential.

Stephen J. Caldeira Scholarship

Amarah Blythe
Millennials must capitalize on being the nation’s largest generation and forge a path that will positively impact society. Amarah has taken to path to do just that. Last summer she was selected to do a segment on ABC 7 (Washington D.C. affiliate) on “The Importance of Millennial Voters.” Amarah states: “Companies that understand and embrace millennials and communicate with us in the way we are most accustomed to will gain consumer loyalty.” This recent Strategic Communications and Marketing Minor from Hampton University may be an asset to any IFA member company.

Choice Hotels International Scholarship

Lita Keller
“As my first experience attending a convention of this caliber, I had a wonderful time, while also having the privilege of meeting the experts of the franchise industry! I aspire to help coordinate large-scale events of this size, and I learned a lot from my observations that goes into putting on a smooth event. From attending the IFA convention, I can use my experience toward building my career and working with others in the event industry. I would like to thank the Franchise Education and Research Foundation for awarding me with the scholarship and all of those who made the IFA convention possible.” Lita just completed her junior year at
Niagara University.
Elizabeth Grese
Elizabeth was already a winner prior to receiving the scholarship award, having experienced and conquered a life-altering medical condition. Majoring in International Hospitality and Tourism Management has been a long-time goal of the Rochester Institute of Technology Sophomore. Beyond graduation, Elizabeth hopes to make strong connections with a company that has the ability for upward movement in an effort to help others the way they’ve helped her.


Doc Cohen Franchising Scholarship

Maria Bohrer
Maria is excited to have completed her freshman year as a Business major at the University of Toledo. This millennial has a clear understanding of the franchise model having competed in the DECA Entrepreneurship program and developed a solid business plan. During the IFA Convention, Maria led her “team” as they presented using the Business Model Generation Canvas.

Fred DeLuca Foundation Scholarship

Annika Firestone
Southern New Hampshire University senior, Anika Firestone, recently traveled to Nicaragua to install a water harvester for a poor community to improve the quality of the residents’ lives. This is a hint of Annika’s passion for social entrepreneurship and was a life-changing experience. Her education at SNHU has taught her discipline, responsibility, leadership and the business of Culinary Management and the scholarship was well used.   

Don DeBolt/DECA Franchising Scholarship

Jacob Keyslay
Jacob, a Sophomore at Northeastern University, is passionate about entrepreneurship and constantly pushes himself to improve. Through DECA, Jacob gained leadership, responsibility, and an appreciation for entrepreneurship. Through the Northeastern Co-Op Program, he plans to start his finance career with a company in Boston. His goal is to “work for himself and be his own boss.” Does that sound familiar to you?

Marriott Foundation Scholarship

Victoria Bouras
“The opportunity to attend the IFA Convention was a fantastic way for me to network with professionals involved in every aspect of the franchising industry. I was exposed to different career pathways that are available within the industry and gained a better understanding of the vital role franchising serves in giving hopeful entrepreneurs support in starting their own businesses. I obtained a deeper knowledge of the challenges franchisors face around compliance, scaling, and communication with their franchisees oftentimes located across the globe. Overall, it was an incredible opportunity and I am so thankful for the IFA scholarship and to have received the opportunity to attend the convention.” 
Joshua Otey
Joshua just graduated with a Finance degree from Howard University in May. During the group project, Joshua remarked on the value of his college education noting that it expanded his intellectual capacity, network, and outlook on life. He also stated, from an academic standpoint, he believes a college education should challenge students. This sense of temporary discomfort within the learning process is what drives our society forward. Joshua was quite appreciative of the opportunity to attend the convention and to be awarded
the scholarship.
Kayla Washington
A rising senior at the University of Houston majoring in Hospitality, Kayla notes that millennials are transforming the business culture by demanding change and evolution. Businesses are adapting daily which she finds amazing because for so long many feared that changes might equate to failure. With the notation that Millennials are making much needed, refreshing changes to the business culture in the 21st century, Kayla is intent on contributing to this positive business climate.
Steven Tai
“The IFA Franchise Education and Research Foundation is an amazing organization. The Foundation has provided me with remarkable opportunities. The first opportunity was to attend the IFA Annual Convention in Las Vegas where the experts in the franchising world shared their invaluable experience, knowledge, and insights. The second opportunity was the Marriott Foundation Scholarship, which allowed me to continue my goal of attaining a MBA from the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University. These opportunities have changed me for the better and I am grateful to the IFA.”
Scholarship awards to these young people were funds well spent and if these Millennials are an example of our future in the workplace, we are in
good hands.
Scholarship applications are accepted Aug. 1-Oct. 31. For more information about the IFA Franchise Education & Research Foundation’s NextGen in Franchising program, visit
Miriam L. Brewer, CFE, is Senior Director of Education & Diversity for the International Franchise Association.