X IS FOR XENOGENESIS!
Xenogenesis is often used as a scientific term describing the production of offspring who are completely unlike either parent. This is certainly a description relatable to explanations of the Millennials (also known as Generation Y), who are often considered dramatically different than both Generation X and the G.I.’s (commonly known as Baby Boomers).
We talked with 2009 alum Jon Bausman, who has a self-professed passion for Millennials. Jon has worked with The Walt Disney Company and Ricker’s Convenience Stores, helping create industry-leading social media platforms, among other marketing and communications accomplishments. He is currently the Chief Marketing Officer at Hat Trick.
What do you think the most drastic difference is between Millennials and previous generations?
First of all, Millennials are most similar to the G.I.’s—who Tom Brokaw called the Greatest Generation. However, what makes Millennials unique is their “us” mentality. While previous generations may have a more “self” mentality, Millennials are very community-focused and make decisions based on the greatest good.
Would you say Millennials are more or less involved than previous generations?
By far, Millennials are more involved. Millennials are extremely civic-minded.
I’ve heard Millennials called entitled. Where does this stem from?
The issue of Millennials being entitled comes from their lifestyle from birth through the graduation of college. During this time, they’re been held to extremely high standards, whether it present itself through their grades, sports or even extracurricular activities. No other generation has had such high expectations.
When Millennials get out of college, they look at their parents’ lifestyles: their houses, their cars, their salaries, and think, ‘I’ve worked so hard for the last 22 years. Now do I get to benefit from that?’ They don’t realized it took their parents 30 years to get where they are now, but their parents also didn’t have the extreme pressure on every performance like Millennials do.
I’ve also heard that Millennials are very skeptical—of the news, business, politics.
There is a high level of skepticism and it’s related to the high standards Millennials have been held to. Think about the political situation with President Clinton. Millennials looked at what happened and thought, ‘Why isn’t our president held to these high standards that we are?’
But something Millennials are very good at is information-sharing and leveraging that communication. This changes the game a little bit, because bad experiences or skepticism about something can spread very fast.
What values do Millennials hold?
Again, Millennials are very civic-minded and focused on helping people. They believe in serving a cause that outlasts them. They also value education quite a bit.
The Millennials make up the largest generation yet, and the will put the community over themselves. The good part of this there’s a huge focus on the greater good: how will this help my classroom? My community?
It can backfire, though. Think about what happened at Columbine. Because Millennials are so community-focused, they have strong feelings about individualism—even as small as someone wearing purple Nike swooshes when everyone else is wearing blue Nike swooshes. When someone isn’t the same or doesn’t fit the realm, Millennials may attack.
Of course there are bullies in every generation, but unlike Generation X and the G.I.’s, Millennials are very good at ostracizing people because of their individuality.
How has technology affected Millennials?
Really, the early Millennials were the last generation to have a choice of using the Internet or not. Halfway through the generation, everyone had to be dependent on the Internet. Early Millennials remember a time before the Internet, or even years of dial-up, but now, the Internet is rampant. And Millennials have been there for the exploration and explosion of social media. Social media has been trashed in the past few years, and Millennials have been at the forefront, as they’ve become very good at constantly sharing information and easily adapting to new social media formats. They don’t experience the same learning curve as older generations when it comes to technology.
However, a major detriment of technology has been the Millennials’ ability to use good grammar and spelling.
What does a business professional need to know about Millennials?
First, and most importantly, Millennials are not what everyone thinks they are. Millennials were originally called Generation Y because they were thought to be a linear progression of Generation X, when generation traits are really cyclical. Generation X was all about individuality and expression, which is quite unlike Millennials. Books, advertisements and TV all think Millennials behave a certain way, but it’s very inaccurate.
Think about American Pie. Millennials have been called sex-crazed, as expressed by film, the TV and the Internet. Statistics show that Millennials are actually more religious in their beliefs and lean more toward abstinence than average.
Second, Millennials are really an untapped marketplace because they’re all about getting behind a cause. There have been a few organizations that have made great strides—like Invisible Children or even Pepsi Refresh, but businesses need to figure out how to market to Millennials or else they’re going to send completely irrelevant messages.
To contact Jon, email him at email@example.com or call him at 317-840-3517.
Y IS FOR YOUNG PROFESSIONAL!
Ashley Carbine, a 2010 MBA graduate, was an unusual member of the Residential MBA Program (RMBA) because she did not enter the program after graduating from Anderson University. Instead, she came to AU after graduating from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.
When Ashley Carbine first heard about Anderson University, she laughed. As a shy and reserved student at Lipscomb University, she had no intentions of moving five hours away to earn her MBA, let alone live with 18 strangers.
At the time, one of her professors, Dr. Steve Little (who earned his doctorate at AU), gave her an information packet and asked her to consider the RMBA Program. As a marketing and management major, she had a background in business, but wanted to still search for the direction in which her life and career would go. “I thought getting my MBA would help me learn a thing or two about myself,” said Ashley. “I think it may have been the best thing I ever did for myself—or better yet, the best thing God led me to.”
For Ashley, the best part of her time in the RMBA Program happened outside the classroom. “I truly believe the RMBA isn’t just about getting your degree,” said Ashley. “I think that it helps you learn how to build relationships, deal with conflict and learn how to get along with all types of personalities—and so much more.”
Her favorite memory was when a group of students created make-shift sleds and went sledding—by being pulled by a truck. “In ten years, I would still brag about the close relationships I still have with people from our cohort,” said Ashley. “It’s already been over a year and I talk to a few of them every day with others every few months. It truly is just an experience that you can’t put into words, and for that I am so grateful.
Currently, Ashley serves as the Human Resources and Training Coordinator for a nonprofit organization in Nashville called Evergreen Presbyterian Ministries, where she works with people with disabilities—which in her eyes, makes it all worth it.
“In layman’s terms, I help hire staff, try to keep them happy and solve any problems that may arise, and if need be I help out with dirty work—and anything else that comes in between!” explained Ashley.
According to Ashley, her boss took a chance hiring her because she did not have a background in human resources, but her passion and ability to learn have made working for this nonprofit a perfect fit. “I know that this is a job that is helping me learn, grow and step out of my comfort zone, but no matter what path I go down, the experience I have cannot be bought,” said Ashley. “Knowing that you’re helping people with disabilities lead a better life is an amazing feeling–and it helps drive me and motivate me in the day-to-day processes.”