by Jon Souders
There is an elephant in the room so to speak, and quite frankly, I have no problem addressing it.
When someone is being labeled a millennial, recent misconceptions have fashioned themselves to attach to a certain connotation. Let’s be honest, we aren’t metaphorically blind or deaf to the reality around us. Terms such as “lazy,” “self-entitled” and even “needy” are characteristics associated with this demographic. However, that is a whole different conversation for someone else because unlike the cohorts before me, I am Generation Z.
Why would anyone care about what I have to say? That is absolutely a fair question to ask yourself and I promise to not be offended. But if you find yourself in the position of an employer, perhaps this content is beneficial and if not, I hope you enjoy casually perusing this article written by some 21-year-old.
At first glance, you may suggest that this is an article bashing the millennial regiment that has already paved some path foreshadowing my future career, but it is quite the contrary. I firmly believe that labels, primarily negative ones, don’t define a person, but instead give them an opportunity to prove others wrong. Speaking from a Generation Z perspective, it is not unrealistic to say that millennial misconceptions will have some effect on our pursuance of employment upon graduation. Some may look at our young faces and misinterpret us as more millennials with the same false pretenses. We are here to prove them wrong.
To the imaging channel, we are the “Next Generation”; make no mistake about it. As budding minds gearing up for graduation within the next 6-12 months, future endeavors weigh heavy on our minds. Stressful searching is inevitably within this time period as graduates and soon to be graduates cast that rod out, pining for opportunity to bite.
Fortunately for me, my bite came earlier than. Last year at this time, I was a cook and lounge server (a very elegant title for bartender) at my local country club. For me, the imaging channel was going to Staples or Office Depot and walking by printers to purchase school supplies. Now, my eyes have opened to an industry I knew nothing about.
My horizon has vastly expanded from my own false pretense of what I thought the imaging channel was. Unlike the generic office supplies stores, the imaging channel is a firmly established industry that continues to expand with new technology. Thanks to my college SAP program, I was able to land an internship more meaningful than words can describe. These past two summer months have exposed me to a real world business experience of new acronyms: OEMs, MPS, CPCs, MFPs, KPIs, M2M, M2P and of course ERP. The knowledge I have gained into business processes and the overall system solutions has been second to none. All insights and interests I had gained from a single opportunity.
This is what it means to be Generation Z; we are opportunity seekers searching for our next challenge. Our curiosity level matches the ample opportunity level that is to be had on this industry. My peers are ready and so am I.
Jon Souders is a senior level student at Saint Vincent College majoring in Marketing with a minor in Communication. This summer, he is working as a Marketing Coordinator Intern at MWA Intelligence, Inc. composing press releases, overseeing social media, and partaking in overall marketing content.