Empowering Millennials: The Age of the Intern

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Girl at deskBorn 1980-2000, millennials (also known as Generation Y) are by far the most technologically savvy, mobile and free-spirited generation thus far. With a college diploma in one hand and an iPhone in the other, they’re ready to dive headfirst into the workforce. However, eagerness and education aren’t enough to compete these days, and this generation faces an uncomfortable unemployment rate of 12-14.5 percent.

While graduating from college is supposed to be a huge weight off of your shoulders, many grads are faced with even more stress and financial troubles than they were in college. Not to mention the fact that most days are spent applying for jobs and hearing nothing back.

In our recent Way to Work survey, we learned that seven in ten (69 percent) Americans aged 18-24 believe it’s harder to find a job now compared to previous generations, but in reality it’s not taking them very long to land one.

Millennials move in

Most of America’s employed youth (65 percent) found their current job in less than six months, and six in ten (63 percent) say the way their parents raised them has prepared them to go after the job they want. The majority of these employed young Americans say they are ‘working to live’ as opposed to ‘living to work’, but four in ten (42 percent) are not yet in their field of choice. This generation values corporate culture, respects the environment and is on the lookout for companies that promote collaboration.

However, due to lack of experience, millennials are in desperate need of mentorship. With a little handholding and some transparent leadership, the possibilities are endless.

Working with millennials

If you’re a company trying to “Gen Y-ify” your office, try adopting a floor plan and benefits that allow flexibility. This generation is always on the move – to keep them proactive, consider adding casual workstations with couches and windows to give them an environment completely different from the grey cubicle jungle. In-house gyms, up-to-date technology and cafes with great coffee are almost guaranteed ways to lure them in.

Though this tech-savvy, educated and extremely creative generation is full of potential, it severely lacks in the art of networking. Our survey told us that American youth are most likely to wish their parents had taught them the importance of making connections and networking (31 percent) and how to make a good impression (25 percent). Growing up with AOL instant messenger and text messaging as the main form of communication with their peers, these young Americans lack the ability to effectively communicate with older generations to grow their professional network. Picking up the phone or walking into an office creates anxiety in most of Gen Y and with Gen X and Boomers holding most management positions, there is a huge disconnect.

To help close this communication and networking gap, universities across the country have added internships as graduation requirements. Internships, which usually last 3-6 months, are the perfect opportunity for college students to “get their feet wet” and take their chosen profession on a test-drive. Students gain first-hand experience shadowing an internship supervisor with either monetary or college credit compensation.

Interns foster relationships with professionals in their respective industries, learn about corporate culture and time management, and can even walk away with work to showcase in their professional portfolio. All in all, the benefits of a good internship are endless

With a still struggling economy and an entire army of millennials ready to enter the workforce, a college degree and a solid cover letter just aren’t as powerful as they once were. Entry-level resumes are one in a million and the only real way to make it out of the stack is with relative internship experience.

The Adecco Experience

Here at Adecco, we work with some of the most exciting companies in the world and align them with highly qualified job seekers each and every day.

This summer, we’re offering 100 one-month paid jobs at incredible companies across the globe and some of them are right here in the U S of A!

Product Specialist, Ann, Inc.

Want to learn about the fashion life cycle? Learn the ins and outs of merchandising, design and planning as a Product Specialist Coordinator at Ann, Inc.!

Business Process Analyst, BB&T

To learn about Computer Science, Information Systems and Engineering, apply for a position as a Business Process Analyst with Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T) Corporation, one of the most well-known and established banks in America.

Engineering internship, Honda of America Mfg, Inc.

Are you a gear head looking to dive into the automotive industry? Take advantage of this great opportunity to work as an Engineer at Honda Motor Company, Ltd. at Honda of America Mfg., Inc! You’ll learn every single aspect of the business… including production of engines, transmissions, cars and research and development.

Service Coordinator, BMW of North America

Interested in a more strategic approach to the automotive industry? Apply to be a Service Coordinator at BMW of North America. You’ll work in both Financial and Engineering areas of this luxury brand. Assist with accounting, billing, and assist with customer check in’s and scheduling with the Client Service Team.

Click here to learn more about our amazing summer internship opportunities!


Abby Alger is a Marketing Specialist at Adecco Group North America. With coffee in hand, she delivers social media recruiting tactics, industry news and trends to job seekers and clients each day. Outside of the office, Abby can be found making homemade donuts in a Darth Vader apron.

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