As someone who graduated from university 17 years ago, I know what it’s like to feel unsure about what to do with your career. Although I had some work experience from my university years, my CV was a mixed bag of admin jobs and MLM cosmetics experiences, which were popular at the time.
Despite being interested in marketing, I didn’t have the qualifications to get a job in that field. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to find a free internship opportunity in Content Writing and PR with an educational foundation that was happy to train me. This experience was crucial in helping me find a job later on, as it taught me job-related skills and helped me identify the areas where I needed to gain more knowledge and practical skills.
Over the past 10 years, I’ve hired and managed many junior teams, and I can confidently say that investing in Gen Z interns is a smart move for professional services firms. Here’s why:
Gen Z interns love to learn and often come up with more ideas than you anticipated. They offer fresh solutions that you might not have thought of yourself. They’re eager to learn and take on new challenges, and they bring a sense of enthusiasm to the workplace that’s hard to match.
They’re willing to experiment and try new things. While hiring experienced professionals can be worth it for some projects, interns are great for projects that require more thought, testing, and creativity. They don’t hesitate to think outside the box or challenge you. This is especially valuable in professional services, where innovation and creativity are key to staying ahead of the competition.
They bring other skills to the table, such as their expertise with mobile devices and social media. They’re digital natives who have grown up with technology and are comfortable with it in a way that older generations might not be. They’re also more likely to have a diverse network of contacts that they can tap into for help or advice.
They make you think. When interns make mistakes or encounter errors with certain processes, it prompts you to consider how you can improve things in the company and with the product. They bring a fresh perspective to the workplace and can help you identify blind spots that you might not have noticed otherwise.
Hiring and investing in interns can help with diversity and inclusion efforts. Gen Z is the most diverse generation in history, and by hiring and investing in interns from a variety of backgrounds, professional services firms can create a more inclusive and diverse workplace. This can lead to a more creative and innovative workplace, as people from different backgrounds bring different perspectives and ideas to the table.
Hiring and investing in interns can help build a pipeline of talent. By investing in interns, firms can identify potential future hires and develop their skills and talents over time. This can help firms build a strong pipeline of talent and ensure that they have the skills and experience they need to succeed in the long term.
It’s important to note that while there are many benefits to hiring and investing in interns, there may be some challenges or drawbacks as well. Some interns may require a lot of training and supervision, which can be time-consuming for managers. However, by addressing these potential challenges and offering strategies for overcoming them, firms can ensure that they’re getting the most out of their investment in interns.
In conclusion, investing in Gen Z interns is a smart move for professional services firms. They bring a fresh perspective, a willingness to learn and experiment, and other valuable skills to the table. By investing in interns, firms can create a more inclusive and diverse workplace, build a pipeline of talent, and ensure that they have the skills and experience they need to succeed in the long term. Additionally, it’s a great way to give back to the community by providing valuable work experience to young people who are just starting their careers.
When it comes to hiring interns, it’s important to do so ethically and fairly. As mentioned earlier, interns should not be used as cheap labor, and they should be paid a fair wage based on their experience and the recommended wage for interns in the field. Additionally, interns should be provided with meaningful work and opportunities for learning and growth. By doing so, firms can ensure that they’re providing a valuable experience for interns while also getting the most out of their investment.
Overall, investing in Gen Z interns is a smart move for professional services firms. By doing so, firms can create a more inclusive and diverse workplace, build a pipeline of talent, and ensure that they have the skills and experience they need to succeed in the long term. It’s a win-win situation for both interns and firms, and a great way to give back to the community while also strengthening the business.