This past summer, 27 interns brought their energy, enthusiasm, fresh perspective and technological savvy to our offices around the U.S. We got the chance to showcase our company to them. But, we wondered, what did they get from us? What are they are looking for from a future employer?
It’s important to know their answers. After all, they are a part of the Millennial Generation (young adults born between 1980 and 2000). There has been much ado about Millennials and what makes them tick. First of all, there are a whole lot of them; they make up more than 25% of the population. Second, they are confident and not afraid to take risks. In fact, two out of three have plans to start their own businesses. Third, they grew up in the digital economy, always looking for new options, and as a result are extremely sophisticated, informed consumers who often aren’t reached through traditional methods.
To get some answers, we asked a few of our Ramsey interns what they are looking for in a workplace culture after they graduate. Contrary to some of their online-only stereotypes, a collaborative environment was a common thread.
“Approachability. Being able to report to your superior or co-workers without hesitation is a huge appeal of workplace culture.” – Mikayla Cimilluca, Communications Studies major, The College of New Jersey, Class of 2016
“I seek to work in a collaborative environment. I believe this type of culture breeds creativity and innovation in a workplace.” — William Duffy, Finance major, Marist College, Class of 2016
We asked them to identify the most valuable thing they learned during their Konica Minolta internship. One common response was that simply, an internship taught them how the workplace, well … works.
“I would say the most valuable thing I’ve learned is how a corporation functions and how to work efficiently and effectively within the company.” – Farra Iaccarino, Analytical Marketing major, UNC Wilmington, Class of 2017
“I learned to ask questions and be proactive. Ask if there’s something you can do, sit in on or help out with. It shows that you are willing to take chances and make the most of your experience.” – Cimilluca
And because they are part of what may be the most over-analyzed demographic since the Baby Boomers, we asked them what they think is the biggest misconception about them.
“That we are a new type of worker who is strictly tech savvy, with lesser people skills than generations before us.” – Brian Sciortino, Marketing major, Ramapo College of NJ Class of 2017.
“A misconception about Millennials, especially in the workplace, is that we are lazy. I think in reality, we work differently than previous generations. Working on multiple projects, with multiple browsers open, carrying on multiple conversations while listening to music is how we’ve been conditioned to work. What may come across as lazy is our way of producing the best work in the most efficient way possible.” – Iaccarino
“That we are dependent on technology.” – Leah Martocci, Visual Communications Design major, Ramapo College of NJ, Class of 2017
In many ways, our interns aren’t much different from past young adults starting out in their careers, and looking to change the world. But, their collective influence is undeniable as we look toward the future of business and our place as a leader in it. We must take into account everything from how we configure our offices and how we structure our teams, to how we market our products in order to take into account the “Millennial Factor.”