An Inside Look at Internships from a Gen Z Point of View
Posted by: Patrick Lewis, Manager, Content Development and Communications and Bridget Haley, Summer Intern, Marketing.
There is a lot of talk today about talent shortages in the workplace. A combination of low unemployment, younger people entering the workforce, and more and more Baby Boomers retiring every day, is leaving a deficit of talent. According to a Gartner survey, by the end of 2018 talent shortages became the number one risk in the workplace, even more so than privacy regulation and cloud computing.
With organizations craving educated, solidly skilled, and well-trained employees, there is strong current focus on developing early talent. With that in mind, I caught up with our resident Gen Z expert, and summer high school intern, Bridget, to get her thoughts on what an internship meant to her and what she learned from the experience.
Patrick Lewis, Manager Content Development: So, how was your experience working in a corporate office for the first time?
Bridget Haley, Summer Intern, Marketing: Although the information discussed in many of the meetings I attended was often beyond my level of understanding, I did my best to try and understand the subject matter. It made me realize how crucial communication and cooperation are to a successful business environment.
At first, I was a little intimidated by the thought of being a teenager surrounded by so many adults in this type of environment, but I was immediately made to feel welcome. So many people, of different positions and of different branches of Cartus, were eager to describe their passions and share their experiences with me. I found this especially helpful since I am not sure which exact career path I want to take at this point, so it was nice getting different points of view.
PL: What were your expectations coming into the internship versus how you felt at the end?
BH: Coming into this internship, I knew that I would be doing “office work,” but I didn’t really know exactly what that entailed. I was told that I’d be helping with digital marketing, so I expected to be involved with some relatively simple tasks supporting the marketing team’s work.
What I have learned is that digital marketing is so much more than just advertising in a digital form. Every seemingly minor aspect of marketing (websites, flyers, social media, blog posts, etc.) must be done strategically, because there are so many different ways to attract and engage clients to help them achieve their goals. I also didn’t expect the company to be nearly as large and global as it is, but I was amazed at the number of individuals that come together on a day-to-day basis to get things done.
PL: From a Gen Z perspective, what are your thoughts on our business environment and how did you have an impact? What do you feel we do well?
BH: Everyone seems to work together very well and collaborates to get projects done on tight schedules. I was excited to help out at the Cartus Cares Street Fair, an annual one-day fundraiser for various charities. This event really demonstrated how committed each person is to what they do and the strong bonds within teams. I noticed that these connections stretch beyond the work environment, allowing everyone to simultaneously work hard and have fun.
As far as my impact, it was great that I had a chance to work on actual projects, including research, competitive analysis, and presentation support, as opposed to just doing clerical work. It was very rewarding to really support the team and make a difference! My exposure to a “real-world” office environment, and meeting with people from different areas of the organization, gave me a good look into how many people with their own set of strengths and skill sets need to come together and collaborate to ensure success.
PL: So, now that you have a summer internship behind you, what advice would you give to future interns?
BH: Take advantage of the many resources the company and its employees have to offer. Try to touch as many areas as you can and meet with as many people as you can that are knowledgeable in different areas. And keep an open mind, because there is so much that can be learned from just being present and paying attention to everything that is going on!
PL: How will you carry your experience to your next adventure in college?
BH: I definitely want to take some business/marketing courses because I have a better idea of what those areas really consist of and the type of work involved. I will be more open to trying out different types of classes because there is a way to be successful within a business regardless of what your major is.
PL: Thanks so much Bridget for all of your hard work! We wish you all the best in your next adventure and we know you will make us proud!