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Berger Blog

Expanding the discussion of Generatonal issues in organizations, Leadership, and Individual & Professional Growth.

Buying a future

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I came across a story on American Public Radio’s Marketplace the other day that was talking about a new way college students and recent grads are working to get an edge upon graduation. The company, University of Dreams, will find you a well placed internship to get you on the road to professional success. They offer good internships with desirable companies and in desirable locations. What makes University of Dreams different is that, for one thing, there’s a fee, and not a small one. Second, it’s not just about finding you an internship, it also provides room and board, health insurance, transportation, seminars to support the experience, even weekend excursions.

One young co-ed described it as a bit like “sleep away camp.” Now the geezers are saying, “GIVE ME A BREAK!” (I think I can even hear them.) But the younger folks – the Millennials – are saying, “Well that’s a cool idea.” And with Mom and Dad having already spent $100,000 on the college education, what’s another $10K to really seal the deal?

Now the reality of it is that this is a natural piece that’s really just filling the gap. As a generation that’s been painstakingly supported and nurtured (some would say coddled) up through college, this makes sense. These kids have been having their parents advocate for them, provide for them, enable them, and pay for them starting at birth, and continuing through college. You may have seen in this space and in other places how parents have been spotted arguing grades with professors, going on job interviews with their kids, calling HR when the performance review isn’t positive enough for Mom and Dad. This is just another piece of the process.

One thing that it means is that young adults entering into the workforce will be prepared at another level, one that enables them to enter in to the workforce with a bit more of an edge. Another by-product of this slice of reality is that they’re being given yet another skill or experience that takes them farther away from previous Generations, who are likely to say, “I had to work for my opportunities, not have my parents buy them for me.”

And while all of these things are true to some degree, it’s just another example of the way things are different for the Millennials from the previous generations. Neither good nor bad, just what is. Will this be a widespread phenomenon? It’s too early to tell. However, it is another niche that exists on the landscape and will continue for a little while.

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posted by Michael Berger, 12:29 AM

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