The Millennial Generation: Do You Fit The Mold?

This past week I took part in the 2011 Midwest ACE Annual Conference. One of the stand-out sessions I attended was entitled, “Brand Spank’in New: What role is your brand playing in the marketplace, with students and on your campus?”  The presentation was a joint effort between Kathleen Powell at Denison University and Alex Abraham at Edelman Consumer Marketing. As a Millennial, sitting in a session on Millennials, who blogs for you (the Millennial college student), I wanted to share some of the perceptions employers and career services offices have of our generation:

  • Millennials are always on. 75% of us are disconnected for less than one hour per day. If companies want to communicate with us they need to be online.
  • Millennials are multicultural. As such, companies are realizing that they need to communicate differently with us based on our background(s).
  • Millennials crave collaborative consumption. We are inherently digital and social, and this is reflective in the brands and positions we gravitate towards.
  • Brands help define Millennials’ personal brand. Brand preference is the #1 personal identifier we are willing to share online. We view ourselves as brand storytellers and share our experiences with brands via our online network. We are empowered by technology, as it gives us the opportunity to promote and share our brand globally.
  • Millennials want careers, not jobs. Just as brands shape our personal brand, careers help to define our identity. What we do shapes who we are.
  • Millennials list salary as an important factor when deciding to work for a company. This is followed by benefits, work/life balance, and opportunities for advancement. Job security ranks lowest for us.
  • Millennials measure success in the workplace by enjoying what they do. This is followed by good pay/benefits, praise/recognition, and personal fulfillment/happiness. Again, job security ranks last.
  • More than half of Millennials expect to be promoted within the first two years on the job. Only 25% of us think we’ll still be with our first employer after two years.
  • Millennials want to make a difference. We want to be a part of something bigger. We want to be engaged. We want to share our talents. We want to make positive change.
  • Millennials live in the world of on-demand. We crave information and feedback on a timely basis. We live plugged-in and look for positions that will provide us with open access to technology.

As a Millennial college student, what do you think about our generation’s stereotypes? Do you fit the Millennial mold? While this blog post cannot do Kathleen and Alex’s session justice, I hope you were able to gain some insight on how we are perceived in the marketplace and can use this information to assist in your personal brand development and overall career plan.


Heather currently serves as the Associate Director of Student Services for the Undergraduate Career Services Office in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. In her role, Heather guides students throughout their career development, lectures on career-related topics and personal branding, presents career workshops for students, supervises a team of career coaches, and develops/manages the social media efforts for her office. Before making the switch to Student Affairs, Heather worked in Marketing, Sales, and Promotion within the Music & Entertainment industry. Originally from New Jersey, Heather attended Indiana University for her undergraduate degree and The Ohio State University for her graduate studies. You can connect with Heather on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Related posts:

  1. Dealing With the Millennial Perception
  2. One Resume Does Not Fit All
  3. How Millennial are You? Using Generational Knowledge to Generate Success

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