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Blake Wetzel

Reporting 1
Professor Thomas
April 28, 2015

Millennials: A Future Misunderstood


Blurb: Despite stereotypes and complaints of Millennials being selfconsumed, seeking instant gratification and only taking yes for an answer,
older generations may be too quick to judge the potential of this up-andcoming generation.

In between time spent studying for the LSAT, applying for internships
with the top PR firms in the nation, and cramming for finals, 21-year-old
Devynn Turk sits around a table with her friends trying to plan next years
events as her sororitys social chair.
With just one year left at Southern Methodist University, Turk and her
peers are already gearing up and planning for their futures.
Im motivated because I want to actually become the person I am
striving to be right nowits all leading up to a common goal, which is pretty
exciting, says Turk.
Shes not the only young adult working hard to achieve their goals
though.

I would love a job that challenges meYou cannot grow if you are not
pushed to your limits, said SMU President Carlton Adams.
As an active Hunt Scholar, member of Student Senate, and now
University President, he challenges himself on a daily basis with the many
school-wide goals he has set in motion for the coming school year.
Despite this, older generations continue to stereotype and complain
about the Millennials inability to work hard, their self-consumed attitudes,
and need for instant gratification. Could it be that society was too quick to
judge the potential and work ethic of this up-and-coming generation?
According to Neil Howe, author of Millennials Rising: The Next Great
Generation, this new generation of young adults is positive, trusting, upbeat,
engaged, and seeking meaningful work and new experiences. They are less
cynical than generations before them and strive to correct the perceived
mistakes of Baby Boomers.
Millennials are optimistic, idealistic, and very intent on making a
difference, said Mary Crane, an expert on training and preparing young
adults for the workforce.
This intent on making a difference is perhaps the greatest
characteristic of Millennials setting them apart from previous generations.
I hope to work in a workplace that is positive and fair to employees,
while at the same time hardworking and making an impact on something
important, said Chloe Rothstein, SMU student.

This eagerness to create positive change expands beyond the


workplace though and into the sphere of social issues. Yesterday the
Supreme Court began its decision-making process on whether or not the
Constitution requires states to license marriages between same-sex couples.
According to Crane, This civil rights issue has moved at lightening
speed and its all due to the millennial generation.
Pew Research findings prove that Millennials are the most politically
progressive generation to date. In correlation, the continual social progress
transforming our society has benefitted greatly from this generations
ideologies and values.
In their effort to work hard and do good, Millennials may be the first
generation to seek praise and appreciation from employers.
If you do not feel acknowledged or praised for [your] positive work
efforts, your momentum slows down and so does your success, said Adams.
While older generations would claim that this mindset is the result of
Millennials being raised to believe they are special, Millennials themselves
would argue that if they are succeeding in their position, positive
reinforcement ensures continual hard work.
Not only does this new generation of employees desire respect and
recognition from companies, but they are also drawn to more entertaining
and interactive workspaces. The environment that originated at Google, has
created a trend in the tech world, as well as the desires of the Millennials.

I want to work in a place that is flexible but still very professional


After working at JP Morgan last year I can say first hand, there is nothing
more awful than a room filled with grey cubicles, said Turk.
Yet another primary difference in this generation is that Millennials
have grown up in a time much unlike any other period, most especially due
to changes in technology. This transformative environment has equipped
them with many skills crucial in the digital age.
According to David Burnstein, author of Fast Future, their ability to
multitask and adapt to fast change enables them to react quickly to the
many challenges hindering our nation.
Innately tech savvy, Millennials provide crucial skills to companies,
forcing employers to transform their interview process, work environment
and structure to better attract this generation.
Adding to their list of accomplishments, Millennials are also on track to
be the most educated generation to date.

However, with these capabilities come some adversities.


Our colleges and universities are graduating competent young people,
but they are missing professional skills, said Crane.
While Millennials have gone out into the world and experienced many
interesting things like traveling, taking part in community service
opportunities, joining progressive organizations, and graduating with
impressive degrees, they have not gained fundamental work experience
unlike generations before them.
Many have dreams to own their own firms and companies, or start nonprofits, but they have yet pay their dues and take the necessary steps
towards achieving these goals.
Their political, social and occupational ambitions are undeniable. Their
ability and willingness to work hard is evident. The generation is progressive
and full of potential. But, they are going to need to hone their professional
skills and take initiative if they want to achieve the lavish goals they have set
for themselves.
Just as with every other generation though, the Millennial stereotypes
do not portray the image of all 80 million emerging adults. While some
Millennials must learn to accept the grubwork of society and realize that
they cant all be winners forever, many more are already on the path
towards achieving extraordinary things.

As Millennials work to reevaluate their futures and what it means to be


an adult, older generations must remember not to judge every Millennial by
their cover.
I wish they didnt doubt us so much. We are going to go on to do great
things just like every other generation, said Turk.

Contact List
Mary Crane: (202)256-8141 mar@marycrane.com
Devynn Turk: (562)833-7002 dturk@smu.edu
Carlton Adams: (214)537-3583 caadams@smu.edu
Maddie Giancola: (602)885-7939 mgiancola@smu.edu
Chloe Rothstein: (310)866-6917 crothstein@smu.edu