Like students all over the United States, Landon Campbell (CMN ’20) and Michael Holmes (BUS ’20) graduated from college during the novel coronavirus pandemic. “The 20s are a pivotal time in life when one figures out everything from where to live to what kind of work to pursue,” Landon says. The precarious situation posed by the pandemic provided them with extra motivated to find ways to help students and young professionals navigate their first crucial decade after college.
The duo created a web series called “In Their 20s.” On the series, Campbell and Holmes ask influential people to offer their best advice for people in their 20s, based on their own experiences during that important time. Among their guests have been Rodney Herenton, founder and co-CEO of minority-owned Channing Capital Management, about pursuing a career in finance; Kati Quigley, senior director of global industry marketing for Microsoft, about company culture; and DePaul University Chief of Staff Steve Stoute about finding a passion for higher education.
They interviewed poet, activist and co-founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Teen Poetry Festival Kevin Coval about finding a creative passion and talked with technology entrepreneur and CEO of PopCom Dawn Dickson about finding success in her 20s. Former U.S. presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke told the duo that, “the balance of taking risks is easier to strike while you are younger. Because of this, take as many risks as you can in your 20s.”
Campbell, who works as a product specialist with Motorola Solutions, and Holmes, a valuation associate at Mazars USA LLP, believe that by speaking with influential people about what they did in their 20s, they have the power to inspire their peers and people currently in their 20s with the best advice they need to succeed. “A lot of other interviews only focus on where influential people are right now, not the road they took to get there.” Holmes says.
The producer of “In Their 20s” is Jake Aks, a film/video production student in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media., “Working on ‘In Their 20s’ gives me an opportunity to grow with the audience and learn from influential people as I go through my 20s,” he says.
Beyond their YouTube show, the “In Their 20s” team have been working with UCAN Chicago, a nonprofit organization that works to build strong youth and families from communities that have experienced trauma. This partnership is especially important to the team for the reach it can have to students who don’t have access to a network of influential people. “In order to be successful, you need to see success,” Campbell says.
“In Their 20s” interviews have something to offer viewers of all ages. “We have many audience members who are out of their 20s who still enjoy our interviews and have become loyal fans. ‘In Their 20s’ is a series that was created to inspire everyone. Regardless of how old you are, you can always be inspired,” says Campbell.