Millennials don’t deserve their negative reputation

by Tim Pate

Some business leaders are scared of hiring Generation Y employees. That is the unfortunate truth. Many companies have been led to believe that the Millennial generation – that age group ranging from approximately 18 to 34 – is composed of unreliable, lazy, naïve workers, too incompetent, too care free, or too self-interested to do an effective job.

Take, for example, this article by Hollis Thomases on Inc.com: “11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media.” A post that garnered much feedback on both sides of the debate, Thomases’ piece paints a picture of Generation Y that is anything but appealing to an employer. This pervasive conception and regard of Millennials is not only detrimental to the success of members of Generation Y, but also to the potential of the companies unwilling to hire the youngest members of the workforce.

Image credit: Calita Kabir, Flickr.com

With our (and yes, I am among the ranks of the Millennials) strange, fleeting trends, our deep involvement in social media, and our love for music that sounds more akin to the belching of a robot than the artwork of a master composer, I can sympathize to an extent with the apprehension displayed on behalf of experienced managers of the older generations. After all, we tend to fear that which we don’t understand.

However, I believe that it’s time that recruiters and interviewers stopped judging applicants based on a preconceived notion of what it means to be a Millennial and instead evaluated prospects by their merits. As part of my position with the College of Business Department of Communications, I get to profile exceptional students at Colorado State University who absolutely shatter the image of a typical Millennial as proposed by people such as Thomases.

One need only look as far as the News & Events section of our website, where these students are highlighted each month for their extraordinary work – academic, professional, and humanitarian. Click the link for the story about Collin Brown, and you will discover a young man exploring the intricacies of the Internet Protocol system, a highly technical concept foreign to many people across generations. Brown’s youthful curiosity and dedication to discovering the latest in technology bolstered his academic and professional success – it did not hinder it.

Or you can browse the work of the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA program in the College of Business, where young entrepreneurs are developing sustainable business ideas to improve lives through ingenious business ventures. The work of these students crosses boarders, brings communities and cultures together, and creates opportunity to address global issues in innovative ways.

Thankfully, there are people out there (of Generation Y and outside of it) who are defending the integrity of the Millennials. Publications such as Forbes and Ragan’s PR Daily have published articles reinforcing the ability and aptitude of young workers, and I speak on behalf of most Millennials in saying that I appreciate their efforts.

In CSU’s own College of Business and across the country, young, aspiring students and professionals are looking for the chance to demonstrate the impressive feats of which they are capable. They have been equipped with skill-sets that prepare them to face challenges that doubters say they are incapable of conquering. I say it’s time to give Millennials the chance to prove themselves – I hypothesize that the results could surprise us all.

What are your thoughts? Do some businesses underestimate the abilities of Generation Y? Or are people justified in being cautious about hiring Millennials? Submit your opinions in the comments below. 

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For love or for money?

by Annie Burnham

Hallmark Cards celebrates its 100th birthday on Valentine’s Day. Though it is a day dedicated to love, Valentine’s Day ranks among the highest of profit-generating holidays. Hallmark’s data shows that 151 million greeting cards will be exchanged. Only Christmas trumps Valentine’s Day in terms of card-sending. The popularity of the holiday, however, begs the question: “Is this holiday still about celebrating love, or has it become a commercialized day promoted for profit and capitalistic gain?”

The first mass production of Valentine’s Day was in 1847. The idea of showing love to your sweetie has been an important concept through the years. Many people take advantage of this holiday to take big steps in their relationships such as proposing or getting married, dressing up and going out to dinner to celebrate their love. Through this commercialization, Valentine’s Day helps businesses meet their bottom line each year.

Of course, other holidays also support businesses, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and July 4th. However, it seems that each year Valentine’s Day gets the brunt of criticism for being overly commercialized. Why is that?

Valentine’s Day is soaked in pink and red, covered in fuzzy teddy bears, and smells overwhelmingly of chocolate and flowers. Is it just one big extravaganza for the commercial industry to increase profits and exploit men willing to buy $50 bouquets of roses? Has the greeting card industry become more worried about the bottom line than promoting the foundation of the holiday – love? According to The National Retailer Foundation, Americans will spend approximately $18.6 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts, card, and candy this year. Money spent on jewelry alone will equate for $4.4 billion of that total – an “average of $12.75 for every man, woman, and child in America.” Here are a few more statistics on Valentine’s Day according to the National Retailer Foundation:

  • 9 million pets across America will receive Valentine’s Day treats.
  • 110 million roses (mostly red) will be sold.
  • The average American man will spend $175.61 on his sweetie.
  • The average price for a dozen roses is $85.
  • People will spend $1.7 billion on flowers

So I ask you, College of Business students and alumni: Is Valentine’s Day a special holiday for love, or has consumerism overtaken the celebration?

Top Three Reasons to Attend the College of Business Career Expo

By Annie Burnham

Tomorrow, February 6, the Career Management Center is hosting their semi-annual College of Business Job and Internship Expo. From 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. join more than 50 different companies for networking in the Rockwell West Atrium. Why, may you ask, should you take advantage of this? Because graduation will be upon us before you know it and looking for potential jobs now will save you a lot of stress later. And if that isn’t enough to convince you, here are the top three reasons why you should sign up to attend the Career Expo tomorrow:

  1. Distribute your Résumé: You have the potential to get your résumé submitted for dozens of jobs. This will require you to do some research tonight and tomorrow morning. The Career Management Center has a list of the employers coming, so go ahead and browse the ones that appeal to you. See what positions they have open that you can fill. You might have to tailor your résumé a bit for specific positions but the fact that you prepared ahead will demonstrate your attention to detail.
  2. Networking Potential: Not only will this help with your possibilities for careers but also it will allow you to explore different options to meet your needs and interests. The more network connections you have, the more likely you are to get a job after graduation. The saying “It’s all about who you know” nine times out of ten is correct. Be confident and assert yourself. What do you have to lose?
  3. Free LinkedIn pictures: You will already be dressed up to present yourself to companies, so you are bound to look professional in your LinkedIn profile picture. This will help your page viewers see that you are able to present a professional image of yourself. Updating your LinkedIn page often is a good plan to increase your chances for landing a job.